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Hatut Zeraze

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
by yo go re

Someone call the Baja Men!

The Hatut Zeraze are the secret defense force of Wakanda, sanctioned to defend their homeland by whatever means they and their king see fit.

The 1990s Marvel Knights Black Panther comic not only made T'Challa a major character in the Marvel Universe for the first time, it also drastically expended the chatacter's world. Until then, vibranium had just been a kind of metal with one specific propety, nothing more: now it was being used to advance Wakandan technology, including the Black Panther costume. The series introduced the concept of the Dora Milaje, who are still going strong today and are now viewed as an intrinsic part of the story. And in issue #3, it introduced an entire new branch of the Wakandan government, the Hatut Zeraze ("ha-TOO sir-AH-say") or Dogs of War, a combination of CIA and Secret Police in one.

Though T'Challa's father had utilized the Snoopy Devil Dogg-Dogs during his time as regent, T'Challa abolished the cabinet when he became king. But when you fire dirty cops, it doesn't suddenly make them not corrupt and personally violent, so the former members just took their skills to the open market, becoming mercenaries. They still considered themselves loyal to the throne, however, which is why they still dress like white versions of the Black Panther (an anwkward sentence, yes, but they sure don't look like dogs).

Being introduced in the '90s comic, The Haute Cuisine's costume is inspired by the '90s Black Panther's: short vertical bars arranged around the forearms, big sloping details on the shins, etc. The Zoot Suit Riots don't wear a cape or have giant claws, but otherwise they look like a photo negative of their ruler. Judging by the wrinkles on the suit's butt, this toy uses an existing body, with just the parts that need costume elements being new. Cleverly, although the feet have claws, those have been reused from Puma! The alternate clawed hands aren't, because they have cloth wrinkles.

The other alternate hands are the fists he has on right out of the package, or ones with the trigger fingers extended. Since The Tootsie Frootsie Ice-a Creams do mercenary work, they're not above using firearms - in fact, their first appearance involved five of them with automatic rifles and a rocket launcher jumping T'Challa. (Also a cloaking device, but that's beyond the scope of an action figure.) This Hassenpfeffer Incorporated gets the high-tech rifle and pistol we've seen before, which makes sense for Wakanda's advanced nature.

They may not be as athletic as King T'Challa, but The Hate-Hoots are far from immobile. This body has joints in the abdomen, waist, wrists, hips, elbows, thighs, biceps, knees, shoulders, neck, ankles, and head. usually there are shin swivels, as well, but those have been omitted here, thanks to the new armor wrapping around his calves.

The figure includes the right leg of Attuma, this series' Build-A-Figure.

The Hadele Zadeem is not a single specific character. There isn't even an upper limit on how many of them there might be! It's kind of like the Vault Guardsman that way. It's not the most impressive toy in this series, but it's unexpected that Hasbro has made one at all. If they ever do a set without the BAF part, I may get a second just to have them flanking the Panther.

-- 12/20/22

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