Saw 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.
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. With 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.
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.
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.