Quick introduction to Marvel's The Black Panther

Black Panther Avengers originSaw Chadwick Boseman in “42” or “Get on Up,” but have no idea why millions of nerds and geeks worldwide are raving about his casting as The Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Ok, here’s a quick primer to why The Black Panther is one of the best characters in the Marvel Universe.

Fantastic_Four_Vol_1_521. He’s the first black mainstream superhero in American comics. With his debut in Fantastic Four #52, Black Panther was introduced to comic audiences in July 1966.

2. The Black Panther’s real name is T’Challa and he is the ruler of Wakanda, home of the vibration-absorbing mineral vibranium, one of the strongest materials in the Marvel Universe and one of the components of Captain America’s famed shield. black panther wakandaWith the vast supply of the material, T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka, maintained the tradition of keeping Wakanda hidden from the outside world. No invading force has been successful in breaking through Wakanda’s highly trained defenders.

2. Black Panther predated the Black Panther Party – T’Challa was introduced in July 1966 and in October 1966, the Black Panther Party was founded though the panther logo was created by the BPP’s predecessor, the Lowndes County Freedom Organization, earlier. To try to avoid controversy, for a time, Marvel changed T’Challa’s name to simply The Black Leopard.

3. The Black Panther isn’t a superhero alias, but rather a rank of the Wakandan Panther Clan chieftan. The chieftain,  eats a special herb that provides him superhumanly acute senses and increases his strength, speed, stamina, reflexes and agility.

Black Panther and Fantastic Four4. T’Challa decides to prove his worth as Black Panther and defeats The Fantastic Four. Something Doctor Doom can only do on his best day.

5. He’s rich – Thanks to its vibranium, Wakanda is one of the wealthiest realms in the Marvel universe and its advanced technology rivals that of Reed Richards or Tony Stark.

6. He built The Quinjets – The Avengers’ primary mode of transportation was initially designed by the Wakanda Design Group. And when Captain America needed a hiatus from the team, he asked Black Panther to take his spot.

Black Panther and Storm7. He was once married to the X-Men’s Storm. Although they dated as teens, T’Challa rekindles his flame with Storm and the two proved to be one of the MU’s power couples.

Black Panther Falcon wings8. He helped Falcon fly. Before Black Panther created a flying harness for him, Falcon flew in name only, but after getting an assist from Panther, Falcon could finally take to the skies.

9. Everyone wanted to play him on the big screen. From Wesley Snipes, Michael Jai White to Morris Chestnut, T’Challa has been a heavily-sought after role for black actors.

10. He’s been a feature player in the animated world. From a episode based around his origin in “Fantastic Four” to a regular role on “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” and a featured role in “Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Black Panther,” Panther even had a six-episode motion cartoon on BET.

 

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