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Comics to Video Games: Black Panther

Could T'Challa be the main character of a video game?

    How would T'Challa's skills translate to the digital realm? 
How would T'Challa's skills translate to the digital realm? 

So after trying to put some Assassin’s Creed parkour elements into my idea for a Nick Fury game here, I started to think about what hero who has never had a game would be a more natural fit for that style of game. He would have to be extremely agile and be prone to climbing, leaping, and making whatever his surroundings may be his own personal jungle gym.

Jungle. Hmmm. This got me thinking about how so few of those games take place in a modern era urban environment and how none really take place in the wilderness. I can imagine that it would be just as fun to swing from tree branches and vines as you move through the forest canopy as it would be to move across concrete rooftops. And so I present to you my idea for a hero who could traverse both the dense African jungle and the urban sprawl, and who clearly will again in my idea for a game, the Black Panther! == TEASER ==

To ensure there is no confusion, when I refer to the Black Panther, I’m talking about T’Challa and not his sister Shuri. Now that we’ve covered our bases, we need a plot that will make sure T’Challa will travel around both the jungles of Wakanda and the city to make sure we get to experience both jumping around tree tops and dropping down on foes like a real panther and then taking those skills to the urban jungle. This will really help players to get a feel for some of T’Challa’s struggles as well as he has always had to balance the ancient ways of his people with an ever-changing world and urbanization.

I am thinking this would need to be a story broken down into two parts. The first part would be original to the video game in order to help feature some of T’Challa’s most iconic villains as well as to help the user get used to a lot of T’Challa’s abilities. These in-depth tutorial levels will feature lots of hand-to-hand combat as T’Challa moves around the African jungle in this third-person action adventure game.

     Dutch scientist Ulysses Klaw is one of T'Challa's most iconic foes.
 Dutch scientist Ulysses Klaw is one of T'Challa's most iconic foes.

Now, the two most iconic Black Panther villains I always think of are Klaw and Killmonger and so they would need to be featured in these early levels doing their usual bit in wanting to destroy T’Challa, Killmonger to rule Wakanda and Klaw just because he hates him so damn much. These early levels will work out as about a quarter to a third of the game and educate the players in all of the moves and powers that T’Challa will use for the rest of the game.

After quelling these iconic threats, and since they always seem to be going after Black Panther, we can just write them off as a flashback or whatnot from one of the many encounters T’Challa had with them and we’ll jump into the comic continuity from there. We can pick it up right around the same time as Dark Reign. This would make sense because T’Challa could be reminiscing about simpler times for the battles against Klaw and Killmonger when confronted by Namor about the Dark Illuminati.

This could set T’Challa up for battles against Dr. Doom, Morlun, and Death herself if we were to follow the comic timeline and this could make up the bulk of the remainder of the game. We could also streamline the timeline, cutting out smaller events and whatnot to ensure that our last couple of levels follow T’Challa as he is now in Hell’s Kitchen (thus ensuring urban levels). 

     The Doomwar story arc could make up the bulk of a Black Panther video game plot.
 The Doomwar story arc could make up the bulk of a Black Panther video game plot.

It might be a bit much to pull off, but a video game that features T’Challa against his classic foes like Killmonger and Klaw and then follows him through Doomwar would definitely be epic enough to warrant a game. Include cameos by some of the Marvel universes most well-known characters combined with a jaw-dropping depiction of Wakanda and the surrounding forests as you explore them Assassin’s Creed style and I think the game would be a perfect fit for action/adventure enthusiasts out there.

One last minor detail I want to mention is that if I’m having a Black Panther game, I want Keith David to do his voice for all the cinema scenes. If you need a strong, independent black man played in a cartoon or video game, you get Keith David. Plus, he’s already been the character when Black Panther made an appearance in the 1994 Fantastic Four cartoon.

So there you have it folks. We have a voice for the Black Panther, a plot with a lot of iconic villains, and a set gameplay mechanic that should work perfectly for what we would want to pull off. Let me know what you guys think. Could T’Challa carry his own title? Should he only be featured in a more team-oriented game like maybe an Avengers title? Are there other villains that could be featured? Is Doomwar the kind of story that could translate to a video game? Let us know with comments below!