Black Panther, at the time, was a groundbreaking sculpt. It was a new, original sculpt from David Cortes based on the Black Panther design from the Christopher Priest run in Marvel Comics, at least I think that’s where it was debuted. For many collectors this figure and sculpt represented a perfect mix of “comic book” looks and correct physical anatomy. It was ripped, balanced, and looked fantastic; any anatomist would enjoy looking at this figure. On top of that, it had articulation out the wazoo! The original 2-up prototype was a thing to behold; it was beautiful and groundbreaking — just awesome. But, as with anything that is pantographed down, things change from prototype to production. The figure lost a bit of the pow that the 2-up had and the proportions seemed off. Nevertheless, this still stands as one of the pinnacle figures from the Toy Biz era of Marvel Legends.
The sculpt of the figure is a discussion piece for many collectors as it is textured — like, sandpaper textured. It’s not smooth and does not say “Union Suit,” so this has left many a collector unhappy with the figure. On the other hand, there were a great many people that were happy with the figure and the textured costume. I guess it’s a personal preference thing. While I prefer the smooth surface, I do like the texture as it gives the figure a certain “pop.”
As mentioned there is a ton of articulation on this figure. It’s got:
Tooooons! And you want tons because Panther is a character that is supposed to be posed in crouches of all kinds. And good fighting positions. This figure does not disappoint — it’s easily one of the best articulation schemes on a Marvel Legend.
Black Panther was a character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the late ’60s and has been part of the Fantastic Four and Avengers. My fondest memories of Panther are during his days as a teammate of the Avengers during the Byrne run in the late ’70s. It’s not that he was a strong character or well written, but I liked the concept and the costume. There was a short period where he had his own title with Jerry Bingham was the artist, and I loved the art. And I loved the feel of the book as there was a darkness to it, and the inner-city feel made it gritty. Panther fell off the radar for a while, lost in the happy times of the ’80s. Eventually he’d get a revitalization in the ’90s and especially in the ’00s.
This costume is gawdy, the gold really stands out against the black, it looks good, but it also says “bling”; when you are king of your own country then I guess that’s OK. But I’m not a fan of the claws. I know that Panther’s always had claws, but these things are a bit long and kinda in the way. My preference is still the “classic” version of Panther; it’s a great simple costume. It’s a good thing that there is a new version of Panther coming up in the summer of 2013!
You can still pick up Panther on Amazon.com.
You can discuss this figure further on the fwoosh forums.