The Black Panther is the first African American superhero of the comic book universe. As the King of Wakanda, a super advanced African nation, T’Challa is one of the richest and well-known superheroes of the Marvel Pantheon. He is a brilliant strategist, tactician, and scientist with a high-level of intellect. He wears a suit made of Vibranium which is world’s strongest metal and available in plenty in Wakanda. He has a hybrid fighting style with superior acrobatics and mimicking skills of various animals.
As a longstanding member of the Avengers, Black Panther is no doubt popular but there are still several hidden yet awesome facts about him even the diehard fans have no idea about.
1. He is a member of almost every superhero team
Black Panther is not just an Avenger. In terms of being a part of a superhero team, T’Challa only is second to Wolverine in terms of sheer numbers.
Black Panther has been a part of the Defenders, the cosmic-powered Ultimates, the Fantastic Four, the time traveling Fantastic Force, an all Black superhero team called the Crew and after marrying Storm, a member of the X-Men as well.
2. Wakanda designed the Quinjet
Appearing first in Avengers #61 in 1969, the Quinjet has been the Avengers’ and SHIELD’s primary method of transport throughout the world. It has helped them travel across countries, galaxies and even universes for that matter.
But the MCU never sheds light on that contribution. Hopefully, the new Black Panther movie will introduce us to a new, updated form of the Quinjet.
3. He once took over Daredevil’s place
Matt Murdock gives in to his greatest fear – he turns evil. After taking over the world and unsuccessfully attempting to turn the organization into a force for good. He fails and turns evil himself. After the events of Shadow-Land, Matt gives up the Daredevil title.
A recently dethroned king of Wakanda’ T’Challa, proposes to step into his shoes as the protector of Hell’s Kitchen until Matt finds his way back to the light.
4. His Sister once took over the mantle
After Doctor Doom puts T’Challa in a coma, his sister becomes the next best candidate to inherit the throne. Shuri is one of the good ones and had trained rigorously for the role of Black Panther from birth. She finally gets a chance to rule Wakanda and show her people her mettle in battle.
After the events of Secret Wars, Shuri was left in stasis as T’Challa took over the throne. She has recently returned with a budding sibling rivalry all but imminent.
5. An American Cop once became the Black Panther
When T’Challa becomes a victim of severe hallucinations and loss of mental control, he gives up being the Black Panther citing health reasons. Kasper Cole, a police officer, finds his abandoned costume and becomes the next Black Panther for the time being. T’Challa, hesitant at first, finally gives him his blessing.
T’Challa soon returns back to being a superhero and Kasper Cole then becomes the White Tiger, the newest member of Wakanda’s Panther cult.
6. Punches way, way above his weight class
If you think Black Panther is the Batman of the Marvel Universe, you are dead right. Black Panther, unlike the Batman, has enhanced physical attributes thanks to ingesting a special heart-shaped herb. But he still mostly relies on cunning, tech, and strategy to best his opponents.
He has defeated the entire Fantastic Four, Namor and even the cosmic-powered Silver Surfer, who is considered one of the strongest beings in Marvel Comics.
7. Has rejected the title of the Black Panther
The mantle of the Black Panther is hereditary, passed from father to son. T’Challa’s father was once considered the greatest Black Panther ever until T’Challa came into the picture.
After T’Challa goes into a coma, his sister Shuri takes over. She is quite good too. In the now-canceled MC2 Universe though, T’Challa’s son T’Chakka II refused from carrying on the tradition, opting for a name called the ‘Coal Tiger’.
8. The First Black Superhero
Although not the first African American to star in his own series, Black Panther was still the first Black guy to don a mask and become a superhero in the comic books.
Back in 1966, Black comic book characters were sparse and incredibly offensive. That was until T’Challa challenged the norms and the rest is history.
9. Almost changed his name once
How does the name Black Leopard sound to you? Doesn’t quite hit the mark as Black Panther does, ain’t it? During the 1970’s, the Civil Rights movement was in full swing and the people leading that movement was the Black Panther party.
In order to not politicize a character, Marvel Comics changed his name to Black Leopard. Although it does not sound that cool, it is still way better than his super-offensive original name – ‘Coal Tiger.’
10. He is the King of the Dead
Wakanda worships Bast, the Egyptian Cat Goddess with incredible mystical abilities. When Shuri takes over the throne, T’Challa returns to claim it for himself. In order to dispel a conundrum, Bast proposes a worthy solution – Shuri will rule over the Living while T’Challa will rule over the Wakanda’s dead.
As the king of the Dead, T’Challa commands an army of immortal spirits that have helped him defend Wakanda against the likes of Thanos, Doctor Doom, and Namor.