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Black Panther Fantastic Four X-Men 97 Plot Hole

X-Men 97: Did Marvel Create A Black Panther Plot Hole?

Contains mild spoilers for Ep 10 of X-Men 97

A Surprising Twist in the X-Men 97 Finale

In a key scene during the season 1 finale of X-Men 97, the show introduces a significant plot hole in its continuity. We see Black Panther urging President Kelly to take action and vote yes on the Magneto Protocol. Captain America also supports this decision. However, Captain America’s remark reveals that this Black Panther is not T’Challa but his father, King T’Chaka.

Black Panther Fantastic Four animated series Marvel MCU X-Men 97 (3)

Black Panther Controversy Explained:

Unraveling the Continuity Error

Many fans quickly recognized the issue here. While it’s known that T’Chaka preceded T’Challa as Black Panther, this revelation disrupts the established continuity of the 90s animated series. Brad Winderbaum, head of Marvel Studios Disney+ streaming content, stated that X-Men 97 fits directly into the continuity of the 90s animated shows, including crossovers with Spider-Man: The Animated Series. This connection is crucial because Black Panther appeared in various 90s cartoons, notably debuting as T’Challa in Fantastic Four: The Animated Series.

Black Panther Fantastic Four animated series Marvel MCU X-Men 97 (3)

Larry Houston’s Confirmation

Larry Houston, the original director of X-Men: The Animated Series, confirmed that Black Panther’s appearances were always intended to be T’Challa. In an interview, Houston explained, “We had two X-Men episodes in Africa where I included Black Panther whenever they were in Africa. Some sharp-eyed fans spotted him, although he didn’t have a speaking part.” Given that voice actor Keith David identified the character as T’Challa in Fantastic Four: The Animated Series, this continuity seems consistent.

The Dilemma of T’Challa’s Absence

The big question now is, where is T’Challa? If T’Chaka is Black Panther in X-Men 97, it raises issues about T’Challa’s timeline, especially since he and Storm are close in age in the comics. Marvel cannot easily suggest it was always T’Chaka, as interviews have indicated T’Challa was meant to be the Black Panther.

Concerns Over T’Challa’s Future

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

Some fans speculate that Marvel might be phasing out T’Challa’s character after Chadwick Boseman’s passing. While this is understanding from an emotional standpoint, it could come with other unintended consequences. When it comes to the most popular fictional characters that have dawned on mantles, history has proven that the characters have always mattered more than the mantles. From James Bond, to Spider-Man, to Superman, to Batman, the core character has lasted throughout time despite changes in actors. T’Challa should be no exception to this, and if he is, then Marvel could be subject to the optics of [unintentional] discrimination. In other words, having the very first Black superhero be shelved off, and not continue, while his white fictional counterparts continue to thrive simply isn’t a good look.

Showrunner’s Ambiguity Adds to the Mystery

Black Panther Fantastic Four X-Men 97 Plot Hole (2) beau demayo

X-Men 97 showrunner, Beau DeMayo was seen online as saying that he “can’t speak to this choice” to bring on T’Chaka rather than T’Challa. This is definitely odd because, as a showrunner, Beau DeMayo would ideally oversee all aspects of the show. So for him not having an answer to this change up with Black Panther draws more suspicion. This raises further suspicion, suggesting that the decision might have come from higher up at Marvel Studios.

An Unnecessary Plot Hole

Without clear answers from Marvel, this retcon with T’Chaka feels like an unnecessary plot hole. X-Men 97 exists in its own alternate universe, but removing T’Challa while contradicting established continuity only adds confusion and suspicion. Allowing T’Challa’s character to continue in this alternate universe seems harmless, making this decision all the more perplexing.

For more updates on X-Men 97, stay tuned to The Movie Blog.

X-Men 97 Ep 10 Review:

 

X-MEN '97 Marvel Animation Marvel Studios

X-MEN ’97, exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 MARVEL.

Director: Jake Casterano
Writer(s): Beau DeMayo
Stars: Jennifer Hale, Ray Chase, Alison Sealy-Smith, Cal Dodd, George Buza, A.J. LoCascio, Holly Chou
X-Men ’97 comes to Disney+ on March 20, 2024. Be sure to follow E-Man’s Movie Reviews on Facebook, Subscribe on YouTube, or follow me on Twitter/IG @EmansReviews for even more movie news and reviews!

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