With his first appearance coming up in Captain America: Civil War, it's about time we learned all about T'Challa, the Black Panther.
As I mentioned a in my article about Marvel’s history of female representation, Marvel have always had a problem with ethnic representation. However, in 1966 Marvel created the first, and possibly the strongest, African comic book heroes, T’Challa, the Black Panther. With his first live action appearance by Chadwick Boseman in Captain America: Civil War, it’s time to get filled in on the history of Wakanda’s King.
The story of Black Panther starts with the fictional nation of Wakanda, a technologically advance, secretive African country built on the foundation of the panther cult. The society pray to a panther God who lends its power to one member of the society, the Black Panther. Years ago the Black Panther and king of Wakanda was T’Chaka, T’Challa’s father. When T’Chaka thought outsiders were trying to take the resources from the country he attempted to confront them and was killed. This left T’Challa to fight for the title of Black Panther and King of Wakanda, rising quickly to take both ranks.
Friends And Allies
Over his time as both a king and an active member of the Avengers, T’Challa has made many friends and allies. He has a strong relationship with both Captain America, who he respects as a man of principle, and Iron Man, who he sees as a fellow man of science. T’Challa has also married fellow African hero and X-Man, Storm, although the couple are currently divorced. Along with his wife and the Avengers, T’Challa has also enjoyed a long relationship with the Fantastic Four as he has often aided Reed Richards in his scientific endeavours and helped foil the plots of Doctor Doom.
Top 3 Black Panther Graphic Novels
If you want to learn more about the King of Wakanda and see how truly kick-ass he can be, check out these great graphic novels:
Black Panther: Who Is The Black Panther?
In this modern classic, illustrated by the industry legend John Romita Jr, we are presented with a great retelling of T’Challa’s origin story.
Black Panther: Civil War
What better way to get ready for Captain America: Civil War than to read Black Panther‘s own version of events as he decides where he stands in the debate.
Black Panther: The Client
Going a little further into T’Challa’s background ‘The Client’ follows the story of Government Agent Ross who is assigned to guard the king on a visit to America. This really shows the duality of Black Panther and why he is a fan favourite.
T’Challa has rarely appeared in other mediums, with only a short appearance in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance gaming series. However, there was a animation made from the ‘Who is the Black Panther?’ storyline which is pretty good. Past that there have been some great references and a few episodes in the various Marvel cartoon series. Let’s just hope in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther is portrayed in the way he deserves, as the King of Wakanda.