Comic Book Character of the Week: Black Panther


Black Panther, also known as T’Challa, was the first son of a previous Black Panther and ruler of Wakanda (an isolated country in Africa), his father T’Chaka. His father was killed by the supervillain Klaw over Vibranium (a rare metal found primarily in Wakanda). T’Challa trained over the years for revenge, and eventually got it as he drove Klaw away, almost killing him (though he was prevented from doing so by Mr. Fantastic).

T’Challa became Black Panther after he went away to America and Europe to study, came back and beat the current Black Panther at the time, and ate the herb that made him superhuman and connected him to Bast, the Panther God.

Throughout the years T’Challa has gone through steps to make Wakanda the world’s leader in technology. They’ve had nuclear technology before others, a cure to cancer, technology to cancel mutant powers, to disrupt all energy weapons, and more. This was due to not only their intelligence as a nation, but due to their reserve of Vibranium, an advanced metal that could be used for nearly anything from weapons to armor to other technology.

T’Challa began his relationship with the likes of the Fantastic Four and Avengers to ‘test’ them and see how powerful they were. Eventually, he found them trustworthy and regarded them as allies and friends. This led to his friendship, rekindling of their relationship, and eventual marriage to X-Men and Avenger Storm, who became Queen of Wakanda for a time.

During his life, T’Challa has defeated the likes of the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Iron Fist, Storm, Wolverine, Dr. Doom, Kingpin, Captain America, Mephisto, and more using his genius intellect, mastery of all martial arts, great technology, and superhuman ability.

Black Panther vs. Mephisto

Though the one enemy he has never defeated is Erik Killmonger who has defeated him every time they’ve fought and even took the Black Panther title from T’Challa at times. Killmonger remains T’Challa’s greatest enemy as he is both domestic (in or near Wakanda) and a match for him in every way (physically can kill an Elephant with one punch, has the skill to fight with and defeat T’Challa, and is on his level intellectually).

T’Challa’s greatest weapon is his intellect, figuring out how to negate the X-Gene, figuring out how to make all of Wakanda’s reserve Vibranium inert, figuring out a way to rob Kingpin of all of his riches and his empire, figuring out how to drain Silver Surfer’s powers, and how to trick and cut off Mephisto himself (essentially Marvel’s Devil) from his powers. He’s also made complex technology from kitchens and hardware stores during his stint in Hell’s Kitchen such as an item to reverse polarity, a magnetic device, and more.

Beyond his intellect Black Panther has his Vibranium suit (which has allowed him to take hits from the likes of Hulk, Iron Man, Iron Fist, as well as energy that would affect Thor), his energy daggers (that can burn nerves, can conduct through metal, can disrupt forcefields, and go intangible to penetrate armor), his teleporter, and even cloaking technology.

More recently, during Avengers vs. X-Men, T’Challa sided with the Avengers and fought Storm who sided with the X-Men. Due to her ‘betrayal’ of Wakanda, the High Priest annulled their marriage. During this time, Namor (King of Atlantis and at the time host of 1/5 of the Phoenix Force) attempted to destroy Wakanda in an attempt to kill the Avengers who were hiding there. Due to this, Black Panther has sworn to kill him.

Currently, Black Panther or T’Challa is now King of the Dead with the memories and powers of the previous Black Panthers and yet another upgrade, while his sister Shuri is the official Black Panther and ruler of Wakanda (he is merely the protector). T’Challa is also in the group known as the Illuminati (consisting of Reed Richards, Iron Man Tony Stark, Professor X, Namor, Black Bolt, Dr. Strange and formerly Captain America) who make decisions based on what’s best for the earth and its people.

Overall, T’Challa is one of the smartest men on the planet as well as one of the greatest martial artists, and can use the combination of the two to take on nearly any situation and nearly anybody.

Copyright © WarWithWords 2014

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