7 Facts you should know about Marvel’s Black Panther

Marvel’s newest superhero movie Black Panther is about what it means to be black in both America and Africa—and, more broadly, in the world. Let’s find out 7 facts you should know about Marvel’s Black Panther:

1 Black Panther was the first black superhero in mainstream comics

Although there were black heroes before him, back when Marvel was still Timely Comics in the ’50s, it published stories about “Waku, Prince of the Bantu” in Jungle Tales, Black Panther is widely credited as the first black superhero to debut in mainstream comics. Although he first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 in April 1966, T’Challa wouldn’t actually star in his own comic book until 1973, when he headlined Jungle Action, another jungle-themed anthology that stretched back into Marvel’s history when it was Atlas Comics (the company went through multiple name changes in the ’40s and ’50s).

2) He is essentially Marvel’s answer to Batman

Black Panther and Bruce Wayne share a lot more in common than a fondness for pointy ears on their cowls. T’Challa is pretty much Bruce Wayne, except that the Black Panther also has a few superpowers. One of the smartest people in the world—he’s on a level with super geniuses like Tony Stark and Reed Richards— T’Challa is also incredibly skilled in armed and unarmed combat. He’s also at the peak of human strength and agility, on par with Captain America.

3) He’s currently helping solve the biggest problems to the Marvel Universe

In the current “All-New, All-Different” update of Marvel’s comics, Black Panther stands as a member of the cosmic superteam the Ultimates alongside Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, America Chavez, and Blue Marvel. The team works together to safeguard the Earth from cosmic threats, capable of doing so thanks to support from advanced Wakandan technology.
Their first story saw them manage to turn Galactus into a life-giving cosmic force rather than a planet-devourer, so they’re pretty dang good at what they do. Black Panther is a big part of that.

4) Black Panther has been in development since 1992

Wesley Snipes announced his intention to develop and star in a movie based on the comic book character 25 years ago. Various delays, ranging from script issues to Snipes’ involvement in the Blade series, plagued the project until it was shelved indefinitely. At long last, in October 2014, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced Black Panther would be released on Nov. 3, 2017, with Boseman in the leading role; the release date was later pushed back three months.

5) He’s royalty

T’Challa’s life is dominated by legacy. Not only is the Black Panther role a hereditary title passed down throughout his family (although rigorous mental and physical tests have to be passed before one can assume it), he’s also from the ruling family of the Panther Tribe, who govern the independent African nation of Wakanda. T’Challa earned both the right to rule and the Black Panther persona (as well as the powers that come with it, gained from eating a mysterious plant poisonous to many non-Wakandans) from his father, T’Chaka.

6) He and Storm were once the ultimate Marvel power couple

T’Challa and Ororo Munroe are two of the most prominent black characters in Marvel’s roster, and their 2006 marriage was such a huge deal, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers took a break from fighting each other in the comic Civil War event to celebrate it.

Fans loved the characters together, but the marriage wouldn’t last. In a controversial move, their relationship was annulled in 2012 when Black Panther banned all mutants from Wakanda following an attack by a brainwashed Namor the Sub-Mariner. Many assumed the couple’s split was because there were plans underway to bring T’Challa to the Marvel’s cinematic universe, where he couldn’t bring his wife—Storm being part of Foz’s X-Men movie rights.

7) He’s currently helping solve the biggest problems to the Marvel Universe

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..Black Panther/T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), in b/g M’Baku (Winston Duke), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

In the current “All-New, All-Different” update of Marvel’s comics, Black Panther stands as a member of the cosmic superteam the Ultimates alongside Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, America Chavez, and Blue Marvel. The team works together to safeguard the Earth from cosmic threats, capable of doing so thanks to support from advanced Wakandan technology.
Their first story saw them manage to turn Galactus into a life-giving cosmic force rather than a planet-devourer, so they’re pretty dang good at what they do. Black Panther is a big part of that.

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