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Kung Fu Panda Issue 4

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This subject has been distinguished as part of the real world and should not be taken as part of the fictional universe of the Kung Fu Panda franchise.

Kung Fu Panda Issue 4 (or Kung Fu Panda #4) is a comic book released by Ape Entertainment that is based on DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda franchise. It is the fourth issue out of six[2] in the comic book series, each separated into two different stories that presumably take place sometime after the events of the first movie. The book was published on September 28, 2011.[3]

Synopsis

As kids, Po and Heng were constantly competing over who the kung fu expert was — with Heng always winning. Now with Po's reputation as the Dragon Warrior spreading, Heng returns to challenge Po to a dangerous competition, to determine who the true master of kung fu really is![1]

Summary

This book is separated into two different stories:

Best Friends for Never

Young-po-and-heng

Po and Heng in their childhood

After an absence of some years, Po's old childhood friend Heng returned to the Valley of Peace and reunited with Po in his father's noodle shop. Though Heng claimed that they had some good times together, Po was shocked to see Heng again, and remembered the many times that the pig was cruelly competitive towards him. The greetings were interrupted when the Furious Five entered the noodle shop to bring Po back to the Jade Palace, and Heng insisted that Po introduce him to them. The introduction got off to a bad start when Heng misnamed the team as the "Fabulous Five", raising Tigress' ire, and when Heng attempted to flirt with Tigress, prompting her to floor him after he took her paw.

Some time later, Po and Heng conversed over dinner, during which Heng explained that after learning that Po had become the Dragon Warrior, he decided that he had to see for himself, and pulled out a diagram they drew as children of an obstacle course called the Infinite Obsta-Gauntlet Course of Trapishness. Po was stunned to discover that Heng had not only planned the course, but also had it built. Heng proceeded to challenge Po to a race. Po was at first reluctant, but then he remembered Heng's past treatment of him during their childhood, and seized the opportunity to finally best him.

Infinite-obsta-course

Po racing Heng in the Infinite Obsta-Gauntlet Course of Trapishness

Thanks to his kung fu skills, Po maintained a steady lead throughout the course, and relished the fact that he was finally winning. However, during the last run to the finish line, the panda remembered a foot race Heng had won when they were children, and how Mr. Ping had warmly expressed his pride in Po's efforts, while Heng's parents had coldly admonished him for being "slow" despite his win. Po realized that Heng's competitiveness stemmed from a need to prove his self-worth. In an act of compassion, he pretended to trip mere meters from the finish line, allowing Heng to win. Heng was ecstatic, but then revealed that due to the funds required to have the course built, he had lost his home and his money.

Shocked, Po demanded why Heng would do such a thing, and the pig explained that when he learned that Po had become the Dragon Warrior, he became obsessed with proving that he could still beat him. Po told Heng that he didn't have to prove anything, and admonished him for treating everything as a competition. Realizing that Po was right, Heng bid him farewell, only to be stopped by the panda, who had an idea to help Heng get his home back.
Infinite-obsta-course-2

Po and Heng overlooking the new obstacle course

And so, with the help of the Furious Five and Mr. Ping, they converted the obstacle course into a kid-friendly playground which promoted kung fu training. With the new course proving a lucrative success, Po told Heng that he would get his old house back in no time. Heng revealed that he wasn't going back to his old home, and intended to buy a mansion even bigger than Po's. When Po reminded him that he lived in the Jade Palace, Heng asked him if it was for sale, to which an annoyed Po refused.

Let the Fur Fly

One day, Po was summoned from the noodle shop to the Jade Palace for an emergency: Tigress had fallen seriously ill from the poison-tipped blade of a bandit's sword. Shifu explained that the only cure for the poison is the rare botongy plant, found only in the Forest of Isolation. The rest of the Furious Five weren't allowed to accompany Po, as it was against everything the forest stands for. Though initially reluctant to venture alone, being told that Tigress would not recover without his help convinced Po to agree to make the journey.

Let-the-fur-fly

Po meeting the Chinese Pangolin

After a long journey through many hazardous locations, Po finally reached the Forest of Isolation, which was full of sticky mushrooms. Po quickly discovered the botongy plant, but was confronted by the Chinese Pangolin, the guardian of the forest. In reference to the Pangolin's claims that the greatest offense is a defense, his body was covered in plates, making physical blows useless and painful. However, Po persisted, striking the Pangolin all over while drenching him in sticky mushroom goop. The arrogant Pangolin stood completely still during this, and questioned Po over his apparently futile attempts. Po explained that he had no intention of letting Tigress down, and that his blows were meant to disguise his true intentions; the Pangolin then grew aware that the sticky mushrooms in his plates had immobilized him. After commenting that the greatest offense was actually the ability to problem solve, Po departed with the botongy plant.

Back at the Jade Palace, Shifu explained to Po that thanks to the botongy plant, Tigress was recovering. However, no matter many times Shifu tried to explain, Tigress seemed convinced that the source of her illness was actually food poisoning from the dumplings Po had dropped some time ago. This resulted in a furious Tigress bursting from her room and chasing Po, who stated that he should have stayed in isolation.

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References

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