Movie Name: Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther
Studio: Marvel Animated Features
Release Date(s): August 8, 2006
MPAA Rating: PG-13
The Chitauri have resurfaced in Africa and with them Herr Kleiser. When Herr Kleiser kills the king of the hidden African nation of Wakanda, his son T’Challa is forced to take up the mantle of ruler. With the threat of the Chitauri too great, T’Challa realizes he must find outside help to save his people and turns to the Avengers. The Avengers have their own problems. Jan and Hank are fighting more and Bruce Banner is being held on murder charges for his rampage as the Hulk. Thor appears to be missing in action and Captain America’s loner personality has made him almost suicidal. It is up to the Avengers to put their problems behind them and save the world from the Chitauri forever.
Directed Will Meugnoit and Sebast, Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther follows up storylines presented in Ultimate Avengers: The Movie and was released later in the year. It wasn’t as well received as the first Ultimate Avengers movie, but did wrap up some major plotlines.
The movie takes place not long after the Avengers battle with the Chitauri and Hulk but mostly serves as a device to introduce the Black Panther and his home of Wakanda. The Black Panther is pretty bad. They took aspects of his original costume (the open mouth area) but also gave him the power to transform into a panther-humanoid creature at times of need. The Black Panther has a long history and to treat him as he was in this movie seems kind of insulting. Wakanda wasn’t bad, and the smart move to have the hero of Africa and the hero of America wanting the same goal drew nice parallels between Captain America and Black Panther.
The Hank Pym and Janet Pym relationship continues to be underdeveloped and seems just like a bickering couple instead of the surprising violent relationship they had in the actual Ultimates comic book. Betty and Bruce’s relationship also mirrors Hank and Betty’s but more in a needy sort of way. Both couples come off as a bit of a soap opera that is too soapy to be taken seriously…I really wish they had pushed the PG-13 rating.
The ending of Ultimate Avengers 2 is actually pretty good. The final throwdown with the Chitauri in Wakanda is ok, but the War Machine/Giant-Man portion is pretty fun. It was good to see War Machine get used in this and the team-up between Stark and Pym seemed pretty realistic in how they helped each other.
Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther just leaves you wanting more. It isn’t as good as the original movie, but it also feels like there is supposed to be a sequel which at this point has never developed. Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther was originally released on DVD but now can be found as a double pack with Ultimate Avengers on Blu-Ray. With the big screen release of The Avengers in 2012, it is possible that the Ultimate Avengers will surface again.
Ultimate Avengers: The Movie (2006)