Marvel

Who Is Black Panther?

'Black Panther' LogoEarlier this week saw Marvel Studios unleash their plans for Phase Three, which saw threequels for Captain America and Thor. It also included names the majority of a movie goers won’t at all know – Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and the Inhumans will all be getting their own movies in the near future. More than 90% of people won’t know anything about these characters and luckily, Marvel has said they will ‘educate the viewers’ before they come out. Even with that, let’s talk about the characters Marvel is brining into their MCU.

Background

Beginning thousands of years in the past, the Wakanda (fictional country in Africa) tribes were united under a single chieftain. That began the royal line of chieftain/kings, known by the title of ‘Black Panther’. Eventually passing it on to the oldest son once they had educated themselves on Wakandan magic, tradition, academics and ‘the ways of the warrior.’

The title character’s, T’Challa, path to the Wakandan throe and becoming Black Panther was not as direct as you would think. His mother died in childbirth and T’Challa took his father’s advice of excelling at all aspects of life, to better earn the mantle of Black Panther. He earned a number of degrees, academic and athletic excellence while attending schools in both American and Europe.

Following the death of his father, it put T’Challa on a path to proving himself worthy of the throne. Once earning the mantle of becoming Black Panther, he ingested a special herb that connected him with the Panther God, Bast, which also granted him superhuman strengths, speed, and senses at the same time. From there T’Challa, while being Wakanda’s deadliest warrior and smartest thinker, he used his wisdom to put Wakanda on the map as Earth’s most veritable technological nation.

Marvel Comics Black Panther

Abilities & Equipment

On top of his superhuman abilities, Black Panther also uses a number of gadgets. He is known for mastering all known weapons such as swords, spears, knives, and arrows along with firearms as well as close-range and technological weapons and devices. His suit is vibranium mesh that is bulletproof, his boots are also vibranium based that allow him to skim across water, space heights, and cling to walls with ease.

Other weapons are anti-metal claws, energy daggers, an energy shield, a cloaking technology, and an extremely powerful portable supercomputer known as a Kimoyo Card. Whether or not we will see all of this in a feature film, I highly doubt it. But we could very well see each item used in different ways and stages along Panther’s journey in the MCU.

Allies

Since his creation, Panther has been a frequent member of both Fantastic Four and the Avengers. But because of studio rights, don’t expect anything of the Fantastic Four side of things. He is a member of Marvel’s Illuminati (Black Panther, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Blackbolt, Mr. Fantastic, Professor Xavier, Namor, and Beast – also known to be the eight smartest characters in the Marvel universe).

As for personal relationships, for those in this MCU, he is closest to Captain America. Captain America first met T’Challa’s father T’Chaka during WWII, where King T’Chaka granted Rogers access to the vibranium for his signature shield. Whether this is played out in the feature films, that’s up in the air, but it would be a cool cycle story to play with. As for Cap and Panther, Panther sided with Cap in the epic Civil War storyline. So it’ll be interesting to see if that actually happens in the movie version, as it’s been rumored that Panther will be playing Spider-Man’s part from the comics.

Marvel Comics Captain America & Black Panther

Enemies

T’Challa fights many memorable bad guys along the way, I mean he is King of the world’s most advanced nation. But no doubt Ulysses Klaw is his ‘arch nemesis’. The Dutch physicist who is constantly in pursuit of Wakanda’s vibranium, is also the man who killed King T’Chaka, T’Challa’s father.

It’s also good to mention that Andy Serkis showed up as Klaw in the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer last week. So not only will he be a part of Ultron’s plans in A2, it’s a safe bet he’s Panther’s first foe in his first solo film.

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, T’Challa and Wakanda’s importance to the Marvel Cinematic universe is whatever Kevin Feige and the writers make it. Wakanda could be very useful to the Avengers, the most advanced technological nation on Earth as part of the Avengers aid would be smart since it seems Thor’s home of Asgard could very well be on the out in the near future. As for T’Challa, he’s known for his calculating mind, and the balancing act he does between duties and desires – basically being Marvel’s version of Batman. He has Iron Man’s resources, he has the abilities of Captain America – but he has something the other superheroes in the MCU won’t have (kind of minus Thor), he is a King.

Black Panther now has a release date for November 3rd, 2017. It has no director at this time, but is starring Chadwick Boseman.

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