Powerful Facts About The Superhero Black Panther

December 21, 2017 | Dylan Fleury

Powerful Facts About The Superhero Black Panther

If you’re like me and only get your superhero fix from the movies and not the comics, then you probably had no clue who Black Panther—real name T’Challa—was when he showed up in Captain America: Civil War. But after a great debut and an amazing performance from Chadwick Boseman, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who can’t wait to see more Black Panther in his feature film debut! So, before Marvel takes you to the wondrous land of Wakanda, read up on some facts about its King!

Black Panther Facts

27. Expanding the Universe

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has taken its audience all over the universe, with films centered in space, on different planets, and in different realms. Marvel will be adding another location to that list with the release of Black Panther: The film takes place in the fictional, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda.

Black Panther facts Black Panther (2018), Marvel Studios

26. Small Screen

Black Panther may have recently made his feature film debut, but he's no stranger to the small screen, having appeared in both the Fantastic Four and X-Men animated series in the 1990s as well as Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. He even had his own animated show on BET for a short time.

Black Panther facts The Avengers: Earth

25. Creators

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are the minds behind nearly every Marvel superhero, so it should come as no surprise that they created Black Panther as well. Black Panther is also credited as being the first ever black superhero in mainstream comics.

Black Panther facts Getty Images

24. Fantastic Debut

It's common for superheroes to make their debut in established comics, and Black Panther was no exception, debuting in issue #52 of the Fantastic Four comic in 1966.

Black Panther facts Flickr, bixentro


23. Starring Role

After years of being a featured player in other superheroes' comics, Black Panther finally got the chance to star in his own when he headlined Jungle Action #5 in 1973.

Black Panther facts Shutterstock

22. Got There First

Black Panther wasn’t inspired by or named after the Black Panther movement that came in 1966, but actually debuted a few months before the group appeared. There was even a brief period when Marvel decided to change the character's name to Black Leopard to avoid any assumed affiliation with the group, but neither Marvel nor the fans were too keen on the name, and Marvel changed it back.

Black Panther facts Getty Images

21. Everyone Wants to Be the King

Like any role in Hollywood, several actors auditioned for the role of Black Panther. Among them were Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Anthony Mackie, Djimon Hounsou, and John Boyega. Other than Boyega, these actors all still managed to land a role in the MCU, with Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Hounsou having parts in Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy, respectively, and Mackie playing Sam Wilson—aka Falcon—in numerous films. Don't be sad for Boyega,though: he's got a little thing called Star Wars.

Black Panther facts Getty Images

John Boyega

20. Power Couple

Black Panther became one half of a true power couple when he married X-Men member Storm in his homeland of Wakanda. Unfortunately, after Wakanda was attacked, T’Challa realized he needed to focus more on being a king than a husband, and the marriage was annulled.

Black Panther facts X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Twentieth Century Fox

19. New Era

Just before Black Panther made his official big screen debut in Captain America: Civil War, Marvel Comics released the first issue of the new Black Panther comic, written by MacArthur Genius and National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Black Panther facts Captain America: Civil War (2016), Marvel Studios


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18. Punching Racism in the Face

Following in the footsteps of Captain America, who punched Adolf Hitler, Black Panther traveled to the American South–Georgia, to be exact–and took on the KKK.

Black Panther factsPexels


17. Passion Project

Before Chadwick Boseman became the King of Wakanda, Wesley Snipes did his best to claim the throne. Back in 1992, he expressed his intention to bring Black Panther to the big screen, and even had the backing of Lee. He fought hard for over a decade, but wasn’t able to get the deal done.

Black Panther facts Getty Images

16. Finding the Right Fit

Before Ryan Coogler was hired as the director of Black Panther, Ava DuVernay was in talks to direct the film and even met with Kevin Feige and Boseman to discuss it, but parted ways after creative differences. Other plans included a version directed by John Singleton–who wanted Chiwetel Ejiofor as the titular character–and F. Gary Gray.

Black Panther facts Getty Images

15. Tagging in

When Daredevil decided he needed a break from protecting Hell's Kitchen, he got Black Panther to fill in for him. During this time, whenever Black Panther wasn’t patrolling the streets, he went under the civilian name of Mr. Okonkwo, an immigrant from the Congo, and was the manager of the Devil’s Kitchen diner.

Black Panther facts Flickr, AntMan3001

14. Building a Nation

Coogler brought in experts on African history and politics to help set up and establish Wakanda and add legitimacy to the nation.

Black Panther facts Black Panther (2018), Marvel Studios

13. Authentic Accent

Boseman decided that an African accent was not only appropriate, but also necessary for T’Challa. He believes that because Wakanda is a technologically advanced nation that was never affected by colonialism, Black Panther would keep his native tongue and not have a European accent.

Black Panther facts Black Panther (2018), Marvel Studios

12. Film Influences

Executive Producer Nate Moore is cited as saying that Black Panther feels like a crossover between The Godfather and the James Bond franchise, bringing the family drama and competition for power to a world of espionage. Blade Runner has also been cited as inspiration for the design of Wakanda.

Black Panther facts Getty Images


11. Change for the Better

Marvel decided it was best to change the name of a key character from the Black Panther comic who is featured in the film. The character of M’Baku is actually named Man-Ape in the comic, and is often covered in fur and wears an ape mask. I think it’s pretty clear why Marvel thought some viewers might have an issue with that.

Black Panther facts Black Panther (2018), Marvel Studios

10. More Than a Name

While most superheroes hide behind a secret identity, this isn’t the case for T’Challa. Black Panther is a title, not an alter-ego, and it's passed down from protector to protector.

Black Panther facts Black Panther (2018), Marvel Studios

9. The Dark Knight

Black Panther is considered Marvel’s answer to Batman, and he shares similar abilities, intelligence, bank accounts, and costuming with Bruce Wayne. They both also stick mainly to the shadows, and generally work alone unless needed by their respective groups.

Black Panther facts Justice League (2017), Warner Bros.

8. Vibranium

Vibranium is a rare–and fictional–metal that can only be found in Wakanda. It's the same metal that was used to make Captain America’s shield, and it's what Black Panther’s suit is made entirely of.

Black Panther factsBlack Panther (2018), Marvel Studios

7. Magical Herb

Black Panther gets his super strength and heightened senses and abilities from a heart-shaped herb found only in Wakanda.

Black Panther factsBlack Panther (2018), Marvel Studios

6. Warriors

The Dora Milaje, also known as the Adored Ones, are an all-female group of Warriors that help protect Wakanda and look after the King. They were a late addition to the Black Panther comics, appearing in 1998, and will be featured in the film as well.

Black Panther factsBlack Panther (2018), Marvel Studios


5. Diversity

Black Panther will mark the first time Marvel Studios has a film staring a black superhero. On top of that, Coogler will have the honor of being the first black director to direct a Marvel Studios film.

Black Panther factsBlack Panther (2018), Marvel Studios

4. Coal Tiger

Sometimes creators have to go back to the drawing board to get a character right, and thankfully Kirby knew that. The original concept for Black Panther saw him with his face exposed and no mask on, but the main issue was the name: he was going to be called Coal Tiger.

Spice Girls FactsShutterstock

3. Unique Style

Coogler has said that he feels like the majority of the Marvel films generally look and feel the same, which is why he insisted that Marvel Studios allow him to use the same crew he had on his previous projects to make it feel like more of a Coogler movie than a typical Marvel movie.

Black Panther factsGetty Images

2. Sticking Around for a While

Boseman signed a five-picture deal with Marvel Studios to play Black Panther. So far, he has appeared or will appear in three films–Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War–leaving many to speculate that another appearance will happen in a Black Panther sequel.

Black Panther factsAvengers: Infinity War (2018), Marvel Studios

1. Brains and Brawn

Everyone knows Black Panther has superhuman strength and reflexes, but only real fans know that his greatest power is actually his brain. He has a PhD in physics from Oxford University and he's considered to be one of the eight smartest people in the entire Marvel universe.

Female Scientists factsShutterstock

Sources:  123456789101112131415

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