Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tales of the Red Panda: The Mind Master

It's an easy reference to make, and I use it from time to time, but this is the Batman Begins book for the Red Panda (and of course, trusty, sassy sidekick The Flying Squirrel.  While the bulk of the story takes place in the present, a number of chapters are flashbacks that cover a significant portion of his training, motivation and even appearance.

I was pleasantly surprised by this because I thought there was no intention to ever do so.  The impression I got from the few episodes I listened to was that all Panda adventures would take place with the character already fully established, basically like he's always been there.  Now looking around at the show list a bit more, I see that there has been some focus on Red Panda's agents and the first meeting between Panda and Squirrel among the (now) 87 performances.

The book was a bit more intense than expected as well. There were still humourous elements but the overall tone was darker.  The villains in The Crime Cable were more cartoon-like (in my perception and opinion, at least) than Mind Master's Ajay Shah, who is capable of a particularly heinous mental ability.

Like the majority of the episodes, you can read this book individually without feeling like you've missed something.  There is a Panda agent whom I believe is introduced in Crime Cable that has a small part in The Mind Master, but not having read his first appearance will not make this book confusing.

The more I read (or listen to) this character's adventures the more I enjoy him.  Being that I'm far behind where the audio shows are concerned, it'll probably be a while until I get around to reading the third book as I think I'd like to catch up to those a bit more first, but I do look forward to obtaining it.

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