Real Name: T’Challa
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #52 (July, 1966)
Powers: As a by-product of the Heart-Shaped Herb, T’Challa’s physical attributes and senses are heightened to that of a superhuman.
Affiliation: Avengers, Pendragons, and Queen’s Vengeance
Enemies: Klaw, Man-Ape, Erik Killmonger, White Wolf, Morlun, Tetu, Zenzi
Love Interests: Storm
Did You Know: For a short time Black Panther was renamed Black Leopard because of an untrue affiliation with the Black Panther political party of the 1960’s.
A Little History
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Black Panther has become one of the most popular characters in all of the comics. He first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 back in July of 1966 and was the first black superhero in mainstream comics.
The Black Panther is the title given to the Chief of the Wakandan nation. While it is a title bestowed from generation to generation, it is a title that must be earned.
Centuries ago, a meteor made of Vibranium crash-landed in the land of Wakanda. Many years later, King T’Chaka hid Wakanda from the rest of the world. He did this because Wakanda was far more advanced than any other civilization and he feared what might happen if other nations learned of its existence.
This would not last, as shortly thereafter, the scientist, Ulysses Klaue discovered and made his way into Wakanda. He proceeded to create a Vibranium based weapon and used it to murder T’Chaka. T’Chaka’s son, Prince T’Challa managed to use the weapon against Klaue destroying his right hand. In an act of desperation, Klaue fled the country but revealed its existence to the rest of the world.
The young prince was the next in line to become the Black Panther but unfortunately, he was not old enough. While he aged, his Uncle passed the trials and took on the mantle. After many years of training and education, T’Challa returned to face the trials for himself.
Of course, because he is one of the best fighters in the Marvel Universe, he easily passed. He then ate the Heart-Shaped Herb bestowing him with the powers and memories of all the Black Panthers before him.