Bast or Bastet is an Egyptian goddess that has the appearance of a black cat. Bast is the daughter of Ra and Isis, sister of Sekhmet and consort of Ptah.
The Panther God idol first appears in Fantastic Four #52 (1966), with the deity also being referred to as the Panther-Spirit. In Black Panter #21 (2000), written by Christopher Priest, it was retconned that the Panther God was the Egyptian cat goddess Bast or Bastet, over time it was shown that Bast can assume male and female forms.
Bast became the Panther God of Wakanda, sometimes also in the feminine form, his sister Sekhmet became the Lion God, another cult in Wakanda. In Black Panther #13 (2017), written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, it was revealed that along with other African gods: Thoth and Ptah (Egyptians), Kokou (orisha from Benin) and Mujaji (South Africa), integrates the pantheon of Wakanda, The Orisha, orisha is a Yoruba word that means spirit or deity, It is a name used to define African Gods. The Orisha and humans expelled the Originators from Wakanda.
In addition to Sekhmet, Bast had rivals with his other sister, K'Liluna and Magba.
Black Panther Limited Series
Bast possessed the body of a man called Sekhem Naville from Azania who prayed for his blessing. The man soon transformed into a Panther humanoid with superhuman physical abilities, killing several people and leading a revolt among the Azanian populace against their European oppressors. At the same time, T'Challa was immediately depowered, feeling weaker and more exhausted than he had ever felt after defeating a pair of panthers. T'Challa would soon come face to face with the Panther humanoid, who revealed than Bast left T'Challa because he didn't adequately help the people of Azania; what T'Challa claimed he did to help them was not enough. After a brutal battle throughout the Techno-Jungle, T'Challa was able to defeat the Panther humanoid with the traps that were available, transforming him back into a normal man. But, Bast confronted him in his true form, smacking T'Challa aside. When T'Challa admits that he hasn't done enough for his people and that he will never stop fighting, Bast leaves after saying that he has learned what he needed to learn, regaining his faith in T'Challa as the Black Panther.
Bast would soon come to T'Challa's aid when Mephisto attempts to take his soul in exchange for the lives of those in Wakanda. After releasing his hold on Michael Achebe, Mephisto touched T'Challa's soul, he was immediately transported to another plane of existence, where he was immediately over-powered by the numerous souls that were connected to the Panther God.
When the Skrulls disguised themselves and attempted to conquer Wakanda, it was the Panther God who revealed the hidden Skrulls to T'Challa via his dreams. While the Skrulls were able to hide their identities from both technology and telepathy, they couldn't hide their souls, which the Panther God saw. This knowledge allowed for T'Challa and Storm to launch an effective counter attack against the alien invaders and successfully defend Wakanda.
Later, during "World's Apart," Storm called upon the Panther God for aid against the Shadow King. Though angry at first, the Panther God agreed to hide in Storm's mind and when the Shadow King attempted to take control of Storm, the Panther God revealed herself and devoured Shadow King.
Deadliest of the Species
After T'Challa was nearly killed by Dr. Doom, his younger sister Shuri stepped up to replace him. When she appeared before the Panther God to be blessed, she was initially deemed unworthy due to her pride and hubris. However, she wasn't devoured and later received the Panther God's blessing and truly became the Black Panther after she defended and helped to defeat Morlun.
Dr. Doom appeared before the Panther God and had to pass a purity test in order to retrieve the vibranium. Initially the Panther God was unimpressed by Doom, but Doom appealed to the Panther God by revealing that if he were to be given the vibranium, he would bring peace to the world under his rule. Proving the purity of his intent, the Panther God allowed Doom to take the vibranium.
Bastet is one of the most powerful Heliopolitan gods and is the one who grants power to the Black Panther. Bastet recently died fighting the demonic Yokai and The Chaos King's armies alongside the mighty Kraken of Greek Mythology, giving The God Squad just enough time to escape the former realm of The Shinto Pantheon.
Bastet was revealed not to be dead at all and also interested in Hrimhari's and Wolfsbane's son Tier as he as about to be born. She fought with Kasha and Okami and even Hela to to get her hands on him.
City of the Dead
T'Challa and Reed Richards seek out Bastet (the Cat Goddess) in the City of Necropolis, where the souls of deceased Black Panthers reside, while Shuri, Storm, and Sue seek out Bast (the Panther God) during a pilgrimage. T'Challa approaches Bastet with the intention of becoming the Black Panther once again, but Bastet questions what would be done with Shuri. As an alternative, Bastet offers T'Challa a greater responsibility, in which accepts. Meanwhile, Shuri, Storm, and Sue do battle with Anubis and his undead warriors, until Bast comes to the rescue and devours him. Back in Necropolis, Bastet tells T'Challa that there will be fire in the sky, accompanied by a great flood (events that took place in Avengers vs. X-Men, destroying Wakanda and killing millions). She then empowers him with the strength and knowledge of all of the Black Panthers before him, deeming him the Black Panther once again. Because Reed accompanied him, his fate was bound with T'Challa's.
In the Top Cow universe, Bastet fell in love with Sallah, a mortal prince of Egypt, who was betrothed to Raquel. Raquel didn't like her future husband mingling with a goddess, and went to Anubis for help, Anubis lead her to the Witchblade. Bastet fought with newly empowered Raquel and won. But Sallah started to doubt Bastet's love, and she made him immortal as a proof of their immortal love. Raquel devised a new plan to get rid of Bastet and sought an old mage who made her a magic cat statue. Raquel used the statue to imprison Bastet for thousands of years.
At 20th century, Sallah was still alive and had searched a way to release her soul from the statue for the whole time. After he found a way, he sought out Lara Croft, who helped to obtain the statue. Sallah was trapped inside the tomb by his own traps. When Lara was presenting her find to the world, an old lady named Genvieve LeCavalier stole the statue and wanted to empower herself, but released Bastet instead. Bastet then killed the old lady. Sara Pezzini and Lara Croft had followed Genvieve and attacked Bastet and trapped her in the statue again.
After Sallah had managed to escape the tomb, he tracked down the statue of Bastet, and stole it from Sara Pezzini. He did a ritual to release Bastet from his prison. Bastet wanted revenge against the Witchblade, and again clashed with Sara Pezzini. In the fight Sallah got injured by the Witchblade and his immortality stolen. Bastet used her own immortality to heal Sallah and they both were left mortal. Bastet didn't want to loose Sallah again, so they left.
In the movie Captain America: Civil War, T'Challa tells the Black Widow
In my culture, death is not the end. It's more of a stepping-off point. You reach out with both hands, and Bast and Sekhmet, they lead you into the green veld where you can run forever."
Bast appears in the film Black Panther (2018) as having a major role, as being responsible for the emergence of Bashenga, the first Black Panther.
Bast appears as a black woman (just like in recent comics) in Thor: Love and Thunder (2002) played by actress and singer Akosia Sabet.