Comic-Con International 2016 - Marvel Studios Presentation

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Marvel’s Black Panther is enjoying a new generation of fans thanks to a critically-acclaimed comic series penned by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a show-stealing appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and—of course— the forthcoming film that has everyone buzzing. While he might seem like the new kid on the block, Wakanda’s king has been an important figure since his comic debut in 1966. For those who aren’t familiar with T’Challa’s role in the the Marvel lexicon, here’s recap of Black Panther’s past appearances.

EARLY APPEARANCES

FANTASTIC FOUR #52, 1966

Fantastic Four #52 marks the first appearance of both Black Panther and Wakanda in comic books. In this issue, an invitation to visit the kingdom is sent to the intergalactic planet-hopping super team Fantastic Four, which includes Reed Richards, one of Marvel’s most intelligent minds. The Fantastic Four were impressed after meeting the Wakandan king and experiencing an African city with technological advances (like their use of the metal vibranium—which was obviously huge in 1966). T’Challa was even gracious enough to gift Reed a flying car.

AVENGERS #52 (JOINING THE AVENGERS), 1968

Black Panther leaves Wakanda and travels to New York to see the Avengers.This would be the first time the Black Panther meets and ultimately joins the squad. In a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, he ends up getting arrested for killing them, but ultimately frees himself and proves the Avengers aren’t dead by saving them.

PANTHER’S RAGE (JUNGLE ACTION), 1973

Panther’s Rage marks the first solo run for the Black Panther as well as Marvel’s first foray into long form stories (the story takes place over 13 issues). The story focused on a revolution against T’Challa in Wakanda.

The second arc was a controversial storyline that may be a lesson in being careful what you ask for. As the story goes, Don McGregor, the writer of Panther’s Rage, was allegedly told to put more white characters in his next story. He responded by pitting the Black Panther against the Ku Klux Klan. In the story, the Black Panther travels to Georgia to investigate the suspicious suicide of his love interest Monica Lynne’s sister, who was investigating corruption and its links to the town’s chapter of the Klan.

BLACK PANTHER, 1988

Continuing its reputation of bringing awareness to social and economic issues, Marvel has Black Panther fight apartheid in the imaginary African nation of Azania while searching for his stepmother Ramonda.

REBOOT & CIVIL WAR, 2005

In 2005, after a hiatus, Marvel decided to reboot the series. It would rewrite T’Challa’s origin story and make a more formal introduction to his sister Shuri, as well as his enemy Ulysees Klaw. He marries the X-Man Ororoe “Storm” Munroe at a ceremony attended by a who’s who in the Marvel universe, including Iron Man, Captain America, The X-Men, the Inhumans royal family, Blade, and even Doctor Doom. The pair embark on a tour throughout many Marvel titles, eventually meeting the Inhumans and Namor. They Join Captain America’s anti-registration side in the comic book version of Civil War, and replace Reed and Sue Richards in the Fantastic Four for a brief time.

SEE WAKANDA AND DIE (SECRET INVASION), 2008

Secret Invasion was a multi-issue comic book crossover event that centered around an invasion of Earth by the Skrulls, the shapeshifting aliens who have replaced many of the Earth’s heroes. Black Panther leads Wakanda against their attempt to invade the kingdom. Not only does he and Wakanda play a major role in thwarting the Skrull invasion, but it is also one of the few stories that centers on Afro futurism.

NEW PANTHER, 2009-11

After nearly dying, T’Challa heads to New York to take over patrolling Hell’s Kitchen for Daredevil. During this time, the mantle of Black Panther and ruler of Wakanda is passed to Shuri, T’Challa’s sister.

THE ULTIMATES, 2015

The Ultimates form a team with not a single white man present, which is an oddity for Marvel. The team includes Black Panther, Blue Marvel, Spectrum, Ms. America and Captain Marvel. It faces problems on an ultimate scale and act as the heralds for Galactus.

MOVIES

IRON MAN 2

If you watched closely as a fan, this was the first hint that Black Panther would be making an appearance. In a meeting with Nick Fury, Tony Stark discusses the Avengers’ initiative and their tracking of people with abilities, including a person tagged in Africa.

AGE OF ULTRON

While Black Panther plays a little more substantial a role in the comic book series, the only reference to him in this film is when we are introduced to Ulysees Klaw as he talks about obtaining the Vibranium from Wakanda.

CIVIL WAR

Civil War would be the official introduction to Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe where his father becomes a victim of an assassination and he hunts Captain America’s friend the Winter Soldier. Ultimately, this is the last straw that forces super heroes to take sides against each other. By the end of the movie Black Panther has seemed to have switched sides as he aids Captain America taking his injured friend to Wakanda for treatment.