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Four teens. Four cats. Four elements.

Four warriors: Panthera.

Panthera follows the unexpected adventures of Taylor Quinn, new freshman at Bridgedale High School in Massachusetts. Most students have a rough time transitioning to high school - pop quizzes on day one, cafeteria food, gym class, and the like. Well, Taylor gets lured in to (more like abducted by) the special club her brother Jason is in, only to find it's a group of teens given the power to transform into big cats (as in lions and such, not oversize house cats, mind you) with control over the classical elements. Including herself now, apparently.

The group is led by BHS's chemistry teacher, Mr. Richard Reynder, whose past work at a chemical company apparently led to a massive (and inhumane) experiment, which has support from the government, (and also to his ability to give the teens their powers,) which he tasks Panthera with trying to stop. So Taylor, Jason, Jason's hot-tempered girlfriend Kira, and the easy-going quick-witted sophomore Fletcher find themselves, in panther form, on the wrong side of the FBI's guns.

But what happens if the cats get connected back to the kids?

Not to be confused with the band Pantera.


Tropes used in Panthera include:


 Pardus: So unfair. These Nazis double the fine if I call it "the kitty".

  Pardus: Air! Air!! ...aw, when did we stop doing the scream-your-element-while-attacking thing?

  • Car Fu: Leo and Pardus team up for it. Oosterhuis proceeds to break the car in half and send it flying back.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Onca's human side shows through here.
  • Cat Fight: Onca and Tigris end up bonking heads in their transformed states, making it a literal cat fight.
  • Catgirl: Not in the traditional sense... Also this.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Kira for most of arc 1, in the sense that she hated Taylor for (potentially) taking some of Jason's time.
  • Collapsing Lair: Oosterhuis destroys the load-bearing columns of the underground facility when he loses his alias and his support, leaving Panthera and several FBI agents in the collapsing room.
  • Dead Little Sister: Erica serves this role for Oosterhuis, though she was his wife. She died of cancer, so Oosterhuis is looking for the cure for cancer... by experimenting on innocent people. Her resemblance to Onca is uncanny...
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tigris has her moments in the second story arc.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? : Taylor did right here.
  • Elemental Powers: Duh?
  • Fan Service: There's a nice upskirt of Jang here, which Word of God claims to be a coloring accident. In a non-main-comic example, this NSFW was pretty popular in the forums.
  • Fighting Your Friend: The aforementioned cat fight just barely qualifies in terms of "friend", as Tigris hated Onca from the start and Onca more or less handed her the perfect reason to try and clobber her.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Gyeoknoho.
  • Five-Bad Band: Ari is setting one up as of the last page of chapter seven.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: In addition to their elemental powers each member of Panthera also has one of the four temperments associated with their powers in the form of healing ability, based on the relationship set in Humorism.
    • One could also include Aristotle in the ensemble as such (based on personalities): Ari is Phlegmatic, Onca is Supine, Pardus is Sanguine, and Leo and Tigris are mixes of Choleric and Melancholic.
  • Foreshadowing: Valeska's tidbit in panel four.
    • In 6.24, Panthera is trying to figure out who tipped off the North Koreans to their powers. Come 7.24... Ari's back.
  • Genre Savvy: Pardus shows plenty of this here even if Tigris Seems Genre Blind in the same scene.
    • Genre Blind: Jang in chapter six. "Gyeoknoho is glorious! Gyeoknoho is invincible! Gyeoknoho -- *KABOOM*" Forumgoers were quick to point out that that's number 24 on the Evil Overlord List.
  • Gonna Fly Now Montage: Complete with music.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Seems to be played straight at first with Valeska Köhler, but subverted when it turns out Ari is the Big Bad. Later played straight with Kira's facial scar after 8.10, though.
  • Homungous Animal Mecha: The North Koreans call it Gyeoknoho or the Raging Tiger.
    • Impossibly Graceful Giant
      • It's then subverted when Leo gives a long explaination of why it would not work - It's nuclear powered, with all the problems with shielding and cooling that implies (and it does blow up at the end of the chapter), and it's just not sustainable. Also, it has guns in the claws. That's also a problem because they could get jammed by the mud and broken by whatever surface it's going on.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Courtesy of CJ. "Oh, sure, Fletch's a cool cat. I'm pawsitive our purrsonal relationship is a roaring success. Some club can't change his spots, no kitten. Pard-on me, I feel-ine late for our class. Cat-cha later." (That makes $45 for the cat-pun jar, if you were wondering.)
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Jason has shades of this when it comes to Fletcher and Taylor. Ouch.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: In chapter eight. Leo states that they've got two angles of attack that way and the split is tactically decided - most experience with least (the teams are Tigris-Pardus and Onca-Leo). Tigris notes it's unusual.
  • The Mole: The current plot seems to be setting up Sarah Pavlopoulos as one of these.
  • Mugging the Monster: here.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Leo develops a case of this after they get out of Korea. Minor case: after promising to rip Fletcher's throat out if he hurts Taylor in any way, shape or form, because Fletcher is a good kid and probably the only person in the world who knows what she's going through besides Jason himself and Kira. A more serious example happens after they get back from Korea - after Ari's Reveal and death, Jason realises that a lot of the things he always assumed were true or the right thing to do don't make sense anymore in light of their drastically-shortened lifespan and has one of these when he realises that he pulled his own sister into this mess.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Poor Onca as she tries to learn Growl: apparently she likes boiling flowers and fucking fruit.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Played with as Jason is clueless about Fletcher taking a liking to Taylor until Kira points it out to him, when he promptly goes into stunned denial of the possibility.
    • He seems painfully aware of it later, though. When Fletcher takes Taylor to a concert, Jason makes it crystal clear that if anything whatsoever happens, bad things will happen. To be fair, though, those tickets are apparently really expensive, it's not that much of a stretch...
  • Naive Newcomer: Onca. To be fair, she had no idea what she was getting into.
  • Nice Hat: Oh Pardus
  • No One Could Survive That: Leo in the collapsing Ovid-building.
  • North Korea and pretty much all the tropes that go with it.
  • Oh Crap: All of Panthera when Ari goes One-Winged Angel on them.
  • Panthera Awesome: Exactly What It Says on the Tin
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: The second story arc takes place in North Korea, where Kira's family comes from.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Somewhat, as Onca tries to communicate to Tigris that they've been fighting for the wrong side even though she's horrible at using Growl, though subverted as Tigris does get the gist of it anyway. Thus starts the epic battle.
    • Though as bad as she is at Growl, Onca somehow nonetheless manages to express new words like "Hobbes" or even "Euphrates"(!) in it.
      • Word of God says proper names are cognates (or at least as close as you can get with panther-friendly sounds)
  • Premature Empowerment: In the first issue, Taylor is asked to join the "Adventuring Club"…and then knocked out and injected with gene-altering treatments to turn her into a were-jaguar with elemental powers. And only then is she told what she's really let herself in for.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Tigris doesn't seem to be bothered at all by her own fire.
    • And used again here. Tigris gets blasted with a flamethrower and notes that it "tickled".
  • The Reveal: Ari/Oosterhuis going One-Winged Angel and demonstrating his powers.
  • Right Behind Me: Done perfectly here.

  Pardus: That's the "Right Behind You" look isn't it? Man I hate that look.

 Leo: Cats don't need licenses, to hunt, fight, kill. But they never have to worry about why they do it, or the greater consequences, either. And we... Tigris, what's my name?

Tigris: I... don't follow.

Leo: My name. What's my name?

Tigris: Uh. "Leo?"

Leo: ...no. "Leo" is the lion mask I wear into battle. And yes, the mask is deeply a part of me. But my mind -- my soul -- is human. My name is Jason, and it's me who has to live with the things I do.

  Jason: If you do ANYTHING to her, in any way, shape or form, I will quite litterally #%$&!$# EAT YOU. And you have NO idea just how DEEP I could BURY what'd be left of your sorry carcass. UNDERSTOOD?

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