Building on the epilogue of Kung Fu Panda 2, the latest sequel introduces Po (Jack Black) to his father Li (Bryan Cranston) and an entire tribe of Pandas hidden away in a secret valley deep in the mountains. Along the way Po will also struggle with passing on his knowledge of Kung Fu in the role of teacher, first to the Furious Five and later to his Panda students, when an old threat returns and begins stealing the chi of Kung Fu masters across China.
You have to love an episode of Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness that basically becomes Godzilla before everything is said and done. Tired of being the smallest, and most overlooked, member of the Furious Five, Mantis (Max Koch) decides to drink a few sips of a black magic potion that “biggens” him to the same size as his teammates.
While hosting a Kung Fu tournament between the Furious Five and Po (Mick Wingert) and the warriors of the Onyx Temple, Shifu (Fred Tatasciore) becomes increasingly paranoid that Po and the visiting Master Chao (James Sie) are planning to replace him as the master of the Jade Palace. Shifu decides to enter the contest to prove he still has what it takes, meanwhile the real threat to the village comes in the form of the dangerous Kung Fu master Pai Mei (Clancy Brown) who arrives in the Valley of Peace just after all the masters except Chao have embarked on their competition.
As Po (Mick Wingert) starts beating her regularly in combat Tigress (Kari Wahlgren) becomes increasingly competitive and jealous over how far the Dragon Warrior has come during his short stay in the Jade Palace. Trying to prove her superiority in concentration, Tigress accidentally lets loose Shifu‘s (Fred Tatasciore) meditation spheres which once belonged to the evil Master Ding (Enn Reitel).
After two months of being cooped up in the Jade Palace unable to perform Kung Fu for without permits lost in a bureaucratic nightmare caused by the new regulations instigated by superintendent Woo (Ken Jeong), Po (Mick Wingert) and the Furious Five are finally granted permission to return to duty and deal with increased crime rate that has grown in their absence.
The long delayed final issue of the Kung Fu Panda mini-series is sadly a disappointment. Until now the comic has done a good job capturing the fun of the films by putting a comic book spin on new stories featuring Po, the Furious Five, and others. Sadly that ends here with an issue that feels very phoned-in and cribbed directly from the current Kung Fu Panda TV-show.
In the main story Po is reunited with his ultra-competitive childhood friend Heng who has arrived to challenge the Dragon Warrior to best him in the “infinite obsta-gauntlet course of trapishness” the pair thought up as kids. The story has some fun moments, and a nice moral at the end as Po allows his friend to save face by beating him before finding a way to turn Heng’s complete waste of money into a profitable enterprise.