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Beginners Guide: Black Panther

Take a look at who this character is and what makes him so dang cool.

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One of the biggest pieces of news to come out of the Marvel event was that Black Panther would be getting his own film and the part will be played by Chadwick Boseman who has also played Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get On Up. Black Panther isn't one of Marvel's most forefront heroes, but he is an important character and a very important part of Marvel's long history. Many fans aren't aware of this, so we thought we'd fill everyone in on where this character came from, who Black Panther is, and even a few of some must read material for the character. Let's delve into the past of Black Panther.

T'Challa's first in story appearance in FANTASTIC FOUR #52
T'Challa's first in story appearance in FANTASTIC FOUR #52

Black Panther is mainstream comics first African superhero and one of the first black superheroes in comic history. He was created by the legendary Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in 1966. His first appearance happened in FANTASTIC FOUR #52, and since then, Black Panther has been a member of the Avengers, held his own in multiple on-going series, and member of the secretive group The Illuminati.

Black Panther is one tough hero. In his first appearance, he went toe-to-toe with all the members of the Fantastic Four, and he came out on top. That's a pretty hard act to follow. He took down a super-powered team upon first meeting them, and at that time, he wasn't a super-powered and that's pretty hard to do.

Black Panther is more than just a tough-guy character. It's a title given to the leader of Wakanda. The current Black Panther, whose real name is T'Challa, leads the advanced African nation cut off from the rest of the world. Due to a large vibranium deposit because of a meteor strike, they've become a country far advanced in technology.

On his own, Black Panther is highly intelligent, a genius. He's become a master with technology and fighting. He's also an expert tracker, so running from T'Challa is not an option. To boot, he's also rich. Black Panther is like a more emotionally stable Batman. To make things even cooler, those from T'Challa's bloodline can eat the ceremonial Wakandan heart-shaped herb and gain super-powers. By ingesting the herb, T'Challa gets a slew of abilities including superhuman senses, durability, strength, stamina, and healing factor. What's really cool is that the herb allows him to draw upon the experience and knowledge of previous Black Panther's in his bloodline.

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T'Challa has had some major moments in his life, including marrying Ororo Munroe (Storm). T'Challa helped Ororo reunite with her family, and afterwards, T'Challa popped the question. After they were married, they headed back to the United States to find it was in the midst of a super-hero Civil War. They took sides in the fight and were an unstoppable team. However, all great things must come to an end. During the Avengers vs. X-men story line, Namor, empowered by part of the Phoenix Force, attacked and almost destroyed Wakanda. T'Challa declared all X-Men enemies of Wakanda, after losing thousands of his own people. T'Challa, struken with grief, yelled at Storm and she attacked him The High Priest of Wakanda annulled their marriage.

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It's not all rough and sad for Black Panther though. The rest of the Marvel universe considers T'Challa to be one of the most powerful, intellectually, on Earth. He's highly respected and one of the members of The Illuminati. This group was formed after the Kree-Skrull War by Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Mr Fantastic, and Beast to prevent an event like this from happening again. T'Challa declined his first invitation to the group, but after the events of Avengers vs X-Men, T'Challa joined, which can all be seen in NEW AVENGERS. Currently, the group deals with the idea that universes are colliding and have the potential to destroy the 616.

As you can see, Black Panther isn't just an interesting character. He's someone who deserves his own film. His history is deep and incredibly interesting. We'll finally get to see the leader of his own country star on the big screen. He's an important part of Marvel's history and not just because the character broke down racial barriers. He's a part of major and current events at Marvel and a character worth celebrating.