Tales of the Black Panther
Spirit of Wakanda, Your Reverent Son...
As heart of the people --and his tribe-- he who fulfills the duty as King and Chief are allowed to partake a special herb, The Heart-Shaped herb without a name. From then on, this soul may fulfill the pact with the Wakandan Panther God, receiving it's mystical gifts and becoming The Black Panther.
Rising in great majesty, a commanding power has been among us for many decades. Elusively, he has stayed just out of sight; a proud king and Wakandan Warrior, yet strange and dangerous stories surround him as we dare to edge closer.
This is the Tale of The Black Panther, commonly referenced as a superhero in Marvel's Comic Book Universe. It's true; this night-garbed avatar has worked with The Avengers, The X-Men, and various organizations, but truly, he is much more...a member of royal lineage, an enigmatic diplomat for his people, and a wise leader entrusted with his people's most rare and humbling secrets.
Join with me, as we journey through the grasslands and jungles to a nation, esoteric and advanced. Learn the Wakandan Saga; the great people and their leader do not fear our intrusion. But they are protected, so beware; Wakanda's Son is ever vigilant, prowling, and keeping his charge.
The Origin of The Black Panther
...and the first Black Panther.
Many have assumed the guise as Wakandan Protector; the first notable one was T'Chaka, father of T'Challa. His chapter comes to fruition with the fall of a strange meteor containing a large deposit of Vibranium, a virtually impervius metal with the ability to absorb sound. Recognizing the importance and possible exploitation of the resource, Wakanda withdrew from the world-stage, becoming nearly a hidden kingdom. (circa, WWII era).
Right: T'Chaka, in the earlier Black Panther garb before the arrival of Vibranium.
First appearance: The original appearance of The Black Panther was in July 1966, in Fantastic Four #52. During the issue, a young warrior named T'Challa tested his meddle against Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Girl, Thing, and The Human Torch. By defeating each of the heroes, he was proving himself capable of the Black Panther Mantle and rights.
Origin: From times past, as long as the nation of Wakanda has existed, its people have had a mystical connection with a deity known as The Panther God. Following traditions of piety, this being has granted their leader a Rite of Passage. Succeeding in the test gains this person the abilities and resources of The Black Panther, a name which also confers the position of King (or Chieftain).
The Rite of Passage:
Defeat Wakanda's six most powerful warriors unarmed and acquire the rare "Heart-shaped" herb.
Ways of the Panther
The Skills and Abilities of the Black Panther
Prima fascia, The Black Panther appears fairly ordinary among super-powered individuals, but closer inspection reveals him as one of the most unique and resourceful of all. Do you notice the strange adornments, the ornate claws and workmanship? These factors, and many more, define him among his rivals:
The Heart-Shaped Herb: It is unknown how much ability is directly gained from this rare item, but most accounts suggest that the Black Panther's agility and peak-level strength and health are a direct result of its ingestion.
Mystical Connection to the Panther God: Because of his pact with this deity, some of the Black Panther's powers are a result of the arcane forces surrounding him. It is possible that his abnormally heightened senses are related to this. (Note: In recent stories, T'Challa had to form a pact with a new, unknown Panther God; this one also gave him magical resistances.)
Physique: The Black Panther is similar to Captain America in strength and agility; his powers put him at the top-level of human perfection in those areas.
Education: The most famous Black Panther, T'Challa, was educated at Oxford University. There, he gained a Ph.D. in Physics. From his past, he is also a gifted tracker, military and poltical strategist, and renowned inventor.
Royalty: From a royal lineage that has established itself in Wakanda, T'Challa's family has assembled wealth and poltical station in the world. In times of need, he is capable of influencing global policy through diplomatic means. Within his homeland, he has collected rare objects, many of magical importance. All of these resources have made The Black Panther a formidable foe on many fronts.
Vibranium: Perhaps one of the most useful resources of The Black Panther is the Vibranium stockpile at his disposal. His suit is made of the woven material, making his footfalls completely silent while absorbing the impact of gunfire. Through the many inventions from this metal, his powers fall in line with Captain America's Shield, Thor's Hammer, and Wolverine's Adamantium Claws.
Martial Arts: The Black Panther is known to have studied and mastered many forms of combat. Unique, though, is that he has created his own form of fighting, a style which adapts specifically to the opponent.
The Mantle of the Wakandan King - Politics, Diplomacy, and Traditions of the Black Panther
Unlike many superheroes, the Black Panther is required to deal with matters of state. In lieu of the pressing global issues, he represents the entire Wakandan nation and is often called upon for their resources.
In recent years, T'Challa reintroduced Wakanda to world politics and married the mutant supeheroine Ororo Munroe, also known as Storm. Their ceremony was held in the African nation and attended by many popular figures. The entire event transpired during the Civil War, an episode which pitted superheroes against one another.
Shuri, The Black Panther - As the mantle of the Black Panther spirit passes on...
At one point in his history, T'Challa was heavily damaged (actually comatosed) after a confrontation with Doctor Doom. During that period, wherein Wakanda was left without a ruler, his sister, Shuri, undertook the Rite of Passage. Unlike the others, she was scolded by the Panther God for the jealousy she had towards her brother.
Having been passed over, Shuri continued as Princess of Wakanda, but has always been adventurous, headstrong and bold in her actions. However, she later showed self-sacrifice and worthy of the Black Panther mantle. Once T'Challa recovered, he fully passed the title of The Black Panther to her, losing many of his abilities. (Later, though, T'Challa would make a different pact to regain some new abilities.)
Candidates for a Black Panther Movie - Who should it be?
From as far back as the 1990s, there has been talk about a Black Panther movie. Originally, Wesley Snipes was interested in the role. Unfortunately, because of funds or other disagreements, this movie hasn't taken place.
So chime in; show your support for a Black Panther Movie. Here was have some interesting candidates, each which have shown they could fulfill the role of Wakanda's infamous superhero. Be sure to comment in the guest book if you have some other ideas.
Who do you think would best fill the role of the Black Panther in his own movie?
Marvel Knights: The Black Panther - The Spirit of Wakanda in his own mini-series!
In 2010, Marvel Knights: The Black Panther was released in Australia without much recognition elsewhere. Consequently, it has gained some positive recognition over time for it's direction, storylines, and background. This movie has now been released to video in 2011.
An 8-episode miniseries, this compelling tale of the Black Panther brings in urban and jungle action, mixed with superheroes and supervillains from the Marvel Universe.
Black Panther Fact:
For awhile, he assumed the name "Black Leopard", to disassociate from the Black Panther Party.
How about some Black Panther Stuff! - See the Black Panther in action.
A beautifully illustrated portrait of a black panther, which would easily fit into the character collection.
In this Ultimate version of the Avengers animated movie, the heroes are met with T'Challa, and embark upon saving the Kingdom of Wakanda.
A paperback pushing the limits of panther knowledge and background. This is a retelling of his origin and collects Black Panther (2005) #1-6.
This book deals with the Black Panther's mission in protecting the resources of his homeland from an alien race known as the Skrulls. Collects Black Panther #39-41.
As a United States secret agent is assigned to his client, The Black Panther, he learns things aren't just diplomatic when super-villains and assassinations abound. An interesting take on the King of Wakanda from a more political perspective.
Thanks for dropping by. If you see anything of interest or hear anything pertaining to The Black Panther, chime in here. All comments are welcome. Feel free to hang out here anytime!