Superhero Spotlight

Black Panther


Chris Diver

T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, or as he is known by his more famous occupation the Black Panther. Black Panther is a Marvel superhero who has been a key part of the Marvel Universe and has served on many different teams and had many successful story runs. First appearing in 1966’s Fantastic Four #52, the Black Panther is the first black superhero in mainstream comic books. Black Panther was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

T’Challa is the King of the African nation of Wakanda. During his young adult years, he travelled to America and Europe to study a variety of different subjects and also found a talent for athletics. At college, T’Challa also got his first taste for fighting having defended himself against a group of students trying to attack him for dating a white woman. After college, T’Challa returned back to Wakanda, and as part of his tribe’s ritual, had to find the Heart Shaped Herb, when he was encountered by the organization A.I.M. T’Challa later found out that the group of A.I.M. soldiers were lead by his former friend, B’Tumba, who always felt jealous of T’Challa and his accomplishments. During the encounter, B’Tumba was told to kill T’Challa but refused leading to his own death. The Heart-Shaped Herb had increased T’Challa’s abilities making him ready to fulfill his destiny: to become the Black Panther.

Upon the death of his father, T’Chaka, T’Challa became King of Wakanda and became the country’s protector, the Black Panther, having to balance both positions. As king, T’Challa started to invite other superheroes to Wakanda including the Fantastic Four who helped him defeat his arch enemy Ulysses Klaw. Black Panther had helped the Fantastic Four on several other occasions fighting villains like Doctor Doom and Psycho-Man.

Black Panther would also go on to aid Captain America in defeating long time foe Baron Zemo. After this team up, Captain America offered Black Panther membership into The Avengers. After this, Black Panther had fought alongside the team taking on a variety of villains including Ultron, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and Yellowjacket.

Black Panther would later see himself in a power struggle against a Wakandan villain known as Man-Ape, a man dressed in a white gorilla costume, an outfit that was forbidden in Wakanda, who planned to overthrow T’Challa and take the throne and leadership of Wakanda all for himself with the people worshipping the Gorilla God over the Panther God. This lead to the two of them battling throughout the village and Black Panther was knocked out. When he woke up, he was strapped to an alter beneath the sacred Panther Idol of Wakanda, who attempted to use it to kill T’Challa. The plan backfired and the Avengers came to the aid of T’Challa defeating Man-Ape. Black Panther would also team up with Daredevil, having saved his life when he was suffering from radioactivity.

Over his tenure as a superhero, T’Challa has found allegiance with several different heroes including the X-Men member, Storm, who he was married to. Black Panther had also remained close with the members of the Fantastic Four and Captain America, who he sided with during the superhero civil war.

Black Panther has appeared in other forms of media outside of comics. Black Panther appears in the MCU portrayed by Chadwick Boseman first appearing in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War” as well as his own solo film in 2018. He is also set to appear in Avengers: Infinity War. Black Panther has also made several appearances in various cartoons and video games.