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    T'Challa 

T'Challa

https://mediaproxy.tvtropes.org/width/350/https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/12a5d2d7a80351c9ba321c22b4e841aa.jpg

Alter Ego: T'Challa

Notable Aliases: King of the Dead, Mr. Okonkwo

First Appearance: Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #52 (July, 1966)

T'Challa is the Black Panther, king of Wakanda, one of the most technologically advanced nations on Earth. He is among the top intellects and martial artists of the world, a veteran Avenger, and a member of the Illuminati. Using his powers and abilities, he has pledged his fortune, powers, and life to the service of all mankind.


Black Panther provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Occasionally seen wielding weapons made of vibranium, plus he's wielded the Ebony Blade in the past.
  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: It helps that they're not natural and are made of vibranium.
  • The Ace: Highly skilled fighter, near-genius-level intellect, exemplary head of state... Is there anything he's not good at?
  • Animal Eyes: Has been depicted with panther like vertical pupils but that seems to have been relegated to Canon Discontinuity.
  • Anti-Magic: The Ebony Blade, but even without the Ebony Blade at his disposal T'challa still routinely shuts down magical foes.
  • The Atoner: T'Challa promises to be this when Wakanda is threatened by internal strife in Black Panther (2016). He assures Kwabena Ware that he will honor the memory of Kwabena's brother, whom he failed to save. In general, he feels very bad about his failure to effectively rule his people and protect his homeland from Avengers Vs. X-Men onward.
    T'Challa: I honor Kwaku Ware. I will honor him until my last breath, knowing that all of my breaths are but his mercy. I did not save him. May I suffer a thousand torments for this, so long as I suffer them alone and no more Wakandans die. That is my sacred duty. Because this is what I am—a king.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: To be badass is an absolute requirement for being the leader of the Panther Cult.
  • Badass Baritone: When voiced by Keith David.
  • Badass Bookworm: Ph.D. in physics. Master of numerous African martial arts.
  • Badass Cape: Gained one in the 90's complete with winged collar, just look at the character image.
  • Bald of Awesome: During Christopher Priest's run, he's got a shaved head.
  • Becoming the Mask: His regal, calculating and restrained appearance? It's an act. He notes that it's what is expected and required of him, and he hates doing it, but he has to. He eventually realises that he started fooling himself into thinking this is what he is. He only really lets it down around close friends (Tony Stark and Reed) and Storm.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards Shuri.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Often unfortunately used in conjunction with Badass Decay, but fortunately it never lasts.
  • Blade on a Stick: Uses one every now and then.
  • Bulletproof Vest: His costume is laced with vibranium, making it a lot more than bullet proof.
  • The Cape: Manages to be both this and The Cowl, depending on how he's being portrayed.
  • The Champion: Of the Panther God, Bast.
  • Cain and Abel: The Abel to his adoptive brother Hunter's Cain.
  • The Cassandra: When the Illuminati first met up, T'Challa was the only one to see the disaster coming, asking them what would happen if and when they disagreed, and told them to walk away. They didn't. T'Challa turned out to be entirely right.
  • Characterization Marches On: Would you believe in the 70s, during his time on the Avengers, T'Challa actually made quips? And not deadpan sarcasm. Actual quips. A far cry from his modern, more stoic depiction.
  • The Chains of Commanding: T’Challa’s responsibilities as king weigh on him deeply to the point his decision to become an Avenger was due in part to wanting to escape his aristocratic demands and become the hero he always wanted to be. His transition from being light-hearted and flippant to stoic and restrained is due to having to be a king more than a superhero over the years.
  • The Chessmaster: Can play at the level of the likes of Doctor Doom and come out on top. T'Challa has encountered beings statistically far above him and ended up completely trolling them.
  • Crimefighting with Cash: Despite also having super powers
  • Church Militant: In a sense, as the representative of the Panther God.
  • Clark Kenting: He's capable of putting on an alarmingly good impersonation of an ordinary, nerdy guy. According to Carol Danvers, his flawless American accent is insanely creepy.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Not all of his powers come from his suit, but the vibranium weave certainly helps.
  • Cool Mask: Face-covering, and often depicted with glowing lenses.
  • Cool Teacher: As Luke Charles, his Secret Identity that he used in the 70's to join The Avengers.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: It comes with being the Black Panther and/or the King of the Dead.
  • Determinator: Especially in the stories by Don McGregor. The Black Panther costume, at this time, was just regular cloth, and T'Challa would repeatedly endure serious punishment, often spending multiple issues bleeding from various wounds. But he would never give up.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: Thanks to his status as ruler of Wakanda.
  • Dual Wielding: He quite often dual wields his energy daggers
  • Good Counterpart: It has been pointed out that he is essentially this to Doctor Doom.
    • He could also be considered one to Namor: The Sub Mariner, depending on whether Namor is considered evil or not.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He's a hero, but a ruthless one if he feels the need.
  • The Good King: Deconstructed in Black Panther (2016). T'Challa genuinely cares for his people, but many Wakandans, including several Dora Milaje, question the relevancy of the monarchy. In that same series, his efforts to protect his people actually result in harm to his subjects. In one scene, he puts down a miners' riot (secretly inflamed by Zenzi), knocking several miners unconscious in the process. In another scene, he defeats several armed men in Zenzi's cult, only to discover that he has left their wives and children bereft. At the end of "A Nation Under Our Feet", his title as king becomes largely a religious role, as a new democratic Wakandan government forms.
    Kwabena Ware: You speak of hope? My hope died when Namor drowned my village. It died against when the Black Order made my brother beg for death. Where were you when your country needed you? Gallavanting with Avengers? Bedding down with the weather witch? And now you threaten me? You accuse me of destroying what you could not bother to defend?
  • Government in Exile: Too many times to count.
  • Guile Hero: As a tactical, strategic, and political genius, T'Challa is this by default, regularly outwitting his opponents.
  • Headbutting Heroes: Frequently, often with Iron Man, Namor, or Shuri his sister.
  • Heroic Lineage: Only members of the Wakandan royal family can successfully become the Black Panther.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Outside of Wakanda, although he's sometimes hit with this while in his homeland
  • Honour Before Reason:
    • Can sometimes fall prey to this, although he's smart enough not to let it become his Fatal Flaw.
    • Played for Laughs when he and retinue are forced to ride around in Everett's 2-seater Miata instead of their limousines on their visit to America.
  • I Know Karate: T'Challa has studied a variety of martial arts, and can mix them up.
  • Instant Costume Change: Most modern versions of his suit can switch between casual wear and full Panther regalia in an instant.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Has been seen(or not seen as is the case) using one occasionally.
  • Laser Blade: His Weapon of Choice from Volume 3 onwards. This also allows him to Set Swords to "Stun".
  • Legacy Character: T'Challa was the first canonical Black Panther, but in-story he inherited the title from his father, who inherited it from another relative before him going back hundreds of years.
  • Magic Knight:
  • Majored in Western Hypocrisy: An African King with a PhD from Oxford.
  • Many Spirits Inside of One: A benevolent version, his spirit is directly linked to all the Black Panthers who came before him.
  • Missing Mom: His biological mother suffered Death by Childbirth, and his adoptive mother was kidnapped while he was just a child although she eventually returned.
  • The Mole: His initial reason for joining The Avengers was to get close to them to see if they were a potential threat. After determining they weren't, he stuck around for real.
  • Multi-Melee Master: He's unquestionably proficient with any weapon you can name, although Heroes Prefer Swords.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: Vibranium-lined and capable of transforming.
  • Omniglot: It's never really commented on but in Christopher Priest's run he's shown speaking at least two languages per issue.
  • Only Sane Man: In the Illuminati, when the role isn't taken by Captain America.
  • Panthera Awesome: Named for the black panther, which is his tribe and nation's totem animal.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Will kill if he has to, but prefers to avoid it.
  • Renaissance Man: A multi-lingual scientist, diplomat, tactician and martial artist.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: His nation's greatest warrior and an active diplomat and superhero, as well as a king.
  • Science Hero: When he has to be. At one point in the 2016 run, he reflects that being a scientist is his first inclination, without his various responsibilities.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: A good example, but he has been known to do this when he has to.
  • Secret Identity: He has over the years adopted several of these although, sometimes overlapping with Living a Double Life like his Luke Charles persona.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Frequently when not in costume.
  • The Strategist
  • Super Intelligence: Close enough. He's one of the eight smartest men on the planet, alongside the likes of Reed Richards, Doctor Doom, and Hank Pym.
  • Superhero Sobriquets: Has been called both "the most dangerous man alive" and "the man without fear", the latter of which he borrowed from Daredevil.
  • Super Power Lottery: Having a deal with the Panther God will do good things to you. T'Challa has:
    • Super Reflexes: Heightened agility.
    • Super Senses: All of his senses have been enhanced and he can recall anything he has smelled or heard for a long time afterwards.
    • Super Speed: Faster than any recorded human athlete.
    • Super Strength: Not to ridiculous levels, but T'Challa is far stronger than even an Olympic weightlifer.
  • Super Soldier: As the Black Panther, T'Challa is endowed with power by the Panther God to make him his tribe's greatest warrior.
  • The Spymaster: As king of Wakanda, and resident Chess Master he has been known to play this role from time to time.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Namor, during Jonathan Hickman's New Avengers. T'Challa really, really wants to kill him for trying to wipe out his country, but circumstances mean he can't. And with Carol Danvers after Civil War II, though mostly on her part.
  • Title of the Dead: His current position is King of The Dead, as anointed by the panther Goddess Bast
  • To Be Lawful or Good: A core part of T’Challa’s character is his struggle with this trope. He strives to be morally righteous and heroic and tries to live up to higher ideals, but is shackled by his protective responsibilities to his country as its king to do some morally ambiguous deeds at times for national security. Often times he finds a way to be good and lawful, but others he’s forced to compromise his morals which weighs on his conscience.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The time between 2012 and 2015 kind of sucked for him. First, Namor floods most of Wakanda in a psychotic rage, he and Storm divorce, then the Incursions start happening. T'Challa's forced to work with Namor, even as Wakanda and Atlantis start going to war with one another. The Dora Milaje turn on him in disgust, and the ghost of his father disowns him for not being ruthless enough. Then Namor reforms the Cabal, who take over Wakanda, while the rest of the world just shrugs its shoulders and goes "eh", while T'Challa and the rest of the Illuminati are forced on the run from SHIELD and their friends in the Avengers (who, for added injury, don't bother doing jack-shit about the Cabal). In trying to retake Wakanda, Shuri sacrifices her life to give T'Challa a chance to get away. Even when everything else is undone (or ignored) after Secret Wars, most of the damage done to T'Challa sticks.
  • The Unfettered: He will do anything to protect Wakanda. Anything.
  • Warrior Prince: King and protector of Wakanda.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • T'Challa occasionally veers into this although never to villainous or Knight Templar levels, in fact it's a sore point between him and Hunter that he isn't a full blown Knight Templar.
    • It's also part and parcel of being a member of The Illuminati with Necessarily Evil being the reason the group exists in the first place.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Killmonger and the White Wolf. He and Doctor Doom sometimes feel this way about one another as well, Depending on the Writer.
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    Kevin "Casper" Cole 

Kevin "Casper" Cole

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1783480_kasper14.jpg

Alter Ego: Kevin "Casper" Cole

Notable Aliases: White Tiger

First Appearance: Black Panther Vol. 3 #50 (December, 2002)

In becoming the White Tiger, Kasper’s physiology was enhanced due to a special variant of a mystical heart-shaped herb.


  • Affirmative Action Legacy: To both original Black Panther (an African) and White Tiger (a Latino). Kasper is an African-American of mixed heritage (black Ugandan father and white Jewish American mother).
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: To T'Challa for a while.
  • Badass Longcoat
  • Becoming the Mask: Impersonated the Black Panther. Slowly came to act like him.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Wore one of the Panther's vibranium laced suits under his police uniform instead of the standard issue Kevlar vest for a while. He later began impersonating the Black Panther using it, and still has one as White Tiger.
  • The Bus Came Back: After The Crew, Kasper went AWOL for a good long while despite T'Challa's increasing prominence in the larger Marvel Universe. He only reappeared in 2017's World of Wakanda anthology book, where he's still hustling for a promotion in the NYPD.
  • Cain and Abel: With his half-brother, Triage.
  • Church Militant: Not intially, but after becoming White Tiger, he is an acolyte in the Panther Cult.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: The same costume favoured by T'Challa. In fact, his first costume was one of T'Challa's old uniforms.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Vin Diesel served as inspiration for early designs, although the resemblance became toned down for the final versions of Kasper's comics.
  • Cool Mask
  • Cowboy Cop: Has a definite problem with the rules.
  • Defective Detective
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Already a capable police officer and Panther impersonator before gaining superpowers.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: In White and Black when both Black Panther and White Wolf were trying to use him, with T'Challa as the good angel and Hunter as the bad.
  • Legacy Character: Briefly masquaraded as Black Panther, before becoming White Tiger. He's actually the third person to have the title of White Tiger as well, but has no connection to the previous two.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Mom's Jewish, dad's black, and the guys he works with will not leave him alone about it, going so far as to dub him "Kasper" in honour of his paler skin tone.
    • His girlfriend Gwen, the mother of his son, is Korean. They're on the outs as of World of Wakanda.
  • Panthera Awesome: Named for one
  • Super Power Lottery: Possesses synthetic duplicates of all of T'Challa's powers:
    • Super Reflexes: Heightened agility.
    • Super Senses: All of his senses have been enhanced and he can recall anything he has smelled or heard for a long time afterwards.
    • Super Speed: A minor example, but Kasper can hit thirty-five miles an hour.
    • Super Strength: Close enough. He gained the strength of an Olympic athlete with no effort whatsoever.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Of Erik Killmonger, who granted him his powers, and of T'Challa and Hunter, who both try to use him to their own ends early in his career.
  • Worthy Opponent: Killmonger began to see him this way, as did Triage.

    Shuri 

Shuri

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shuri_1.jpg
Technically a Disney Princess!
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shuriblackpanther.jpg

Alter Ego: Aja-Adanna

Notable Aliases: Griot

First Appearance: Black Panther Vol. 4, #2 (May, 2005)

Princess Shuri of Wakanda, formerly Black Panther, is a Marvel Comics character created by Reginald Hudlin & John Romita, Jr., first appearing in Black Panther #2 (dated May 2005).

Shuri is the younger sister of T'Challa, king (and protector) of Wakanda. Though she's now considered an integral part of the Black Panther mythos, she only made her first appearance in the comics decades after his debut.

Growing up in the shadow of her older brother, Shuri wanted badly to become the Black Panther, but fell short of that goal. When T'Challa was rendered critically injured in a battle with The Cabal, Shuri was deemed worthy by the Panther God to succeed him in the role of Black Panther, and became the first full queen of Wakanda in the process. She remained Black Panther until her death a few years later, sacrificing herself in a standoff against the Black Order.

She didn't remain dead for long, however, as T'Challa successfully resurrected her following the restoration of the Marvel Universe. After helping end a rebellion within Wakanda, Shuri was made a member of its new ruling council. During this time, she also became the subject of her first-ever solo series, simply titled Shuri.

As a major supporting character of T'Challa's, Shuri has appeared frequently in other media, most notably within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portrayed there by Letitia Wright. This version of the character is slightly different from her comic book counterpart, giving Shuri an emphasis in Wakandan sciences, as well as a snarkier personality.


Shuri appears in:

Notable Comic Books

  • Black Panther (various runs):
    • vol. 4 (2005 — 2008)
    • vol. 5 (2009 — 2010)
    • vol. 6 (2016 — 2017)
  • Shuri (2018 — 2019)

Film

Animation

Video Games


Shuri provides examples of:

  • Adventures in Comaland: In Black Panther (2016), her body is suspended between life and death. Her spirit wanders in Djalia, the plane of ancient memory. She comes out of it (thanks to T'Challa and Manifold) with some new powers.
  • Affirmative Action Legacy: The first female Black Panther.
  • Animal Motif: Originally, a panther, given her title. Later, she adopts a bird motif after her time in Djalia, and is able to become a flock of black birds at will.
  • Boobs of Steel: In her Black Panther suit.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Or superwoman in this case.
  • Composite Character: Shuri's portrayal in her own series introduces personality traits of her MCU counterpart, but without removing her previous traits instead using them all to make her potrayal more rounded.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Marvel Mangaverse #3
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: That suit of hers is much tighter than her brother's.
  • Good Is Not Nice: She is definitely a good person, but she apparently has quite the reputation for not working well, as lampshaded by Spider-Man. It's implied to be the result of her resentment toward her brother. She’s also proven to be much more murderous than her brother after taking his mantle.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: She was always jealous of her brother T’Challa for being chosen as the Black Panther and longed to surpass him in any way with no success. Her abandoning her jealousy and resentment allowed her to become T’Challa’s successor.
  • Heroic Lineage: Only members of the Wakandan royal family can successfully become the Black Panther.
  • Honour Before Reason: In contrast to her brother who goes out of his way to avert this, it's especially noticeable when she has to deal with Namor. She will abandon all reasonable or pragmatic methods if it means avenging insulted honor or wrongs against her people.
  • Hot-Blooded: Far more so than her brother.
  • Legacy Character: The third superhero character to call herself Black Panther, and the second (after T'Challa) to actually have the powers granted to them by the Panther God.
  • Most Common Superpower: She has large breasts, befitting her being an extremely powerful superheroine.
  • Mystical White Hair: She gets it after her time in Djalia, and some new mystical powers along with it.
  • Panthera Awesome: As Black Panther, she's named after a panther.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Hates to kill and took slaying the Radioactive Man very hard. Eventually It Gets Easier since she is later shown murdering with impunity in later stories.
  • Remember the New Guy?: She didn't exist before Hudlin's run, and after her first appearance, everyone in-universe acts like she's always been part of the franchise, despite how weird some prior stories read knowing of her existence.
  • The Resenter: Towards T'Challa for a while, though not to nearly the level of Hunter but still noticeable.
    • However, it was a chip on her shoulder that led to her attitude problem and the Panther God initially rejected her because of that (along with her arrogance.)
  • Ret-Canon: Following the movie, Shuri was also heavily reimagined to be closer to her movie counterpart, including a sudden interest in science and engineering.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: She's the princess of Wakanda, and she fights bad guys as much as her brother, the first (the first introduced anyway) Black Panther, her brother T'Challa.
  • Sacrificial Lion: In the New Avengers during Jonathan Hickman's run.
  • Sibling Team: With T'Challa when both have their powers.
  • Super Reflexes: She has heightened agility.
  • Super Senses: All of her senses have been enhanced and she can recall anything she has smelled or heard for a long time afterwards.
  • Super Speed: She can run faster than any recorded human athlete.
  • Super Strength: She is stronger than any recorded normal human.
  • Taken for Granite: After her time in Djalia, she develops the ability to turn herself into rock.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: She’s at her worst and most ruthless during the “Doom War” arc where she along with her brother gladly slaughters the Wakandan ruling council working with Doom and murders various Wakandan guards with impunity. When forming an offense against Doom, she sacrifices many of her own considerably small forces for minor and ultimately meaningless gains, much to T'Challa's displeasure. She even goes out of her way to kill an unarmed guard simply because the guard was in her way and rebuffs any What the Hell, Hero? remarks from her allies with an I Did What I Had to Do excuse.
  • The Un-Favourite: She felt this way, though she was certainly better off than adoptive big brother Hunter.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Shuri is capable of transforming her body into either a flock of black birds, or a single enormous one.

Other Black Panthers

    Black Panther (1,000, 000 BC) 

Black Panther (1,000,000 BC)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marvel_legacy_vol_1_1_nycc_deodato_black_panther_variant.jpg

Alter Ego: Unknown

First Appearance: Marvel Legacy #1 (November, 2017)


  • Famous Ancestor: He's most likely the very first Black Panther, and as such a distant ancestor of T'Challa.
  • Nemean Skinning: Uses the skin of a black leopard, and he's the chief of the Panther Clan.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently handled Mjolnir, and made a good enough impression that the hammer in question doesn't mind in the least when T'Challa uses it to smash a Khonshu-enhanced Moon Knight in the face.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Only known as Black Panther, with his first name unknown.
  • Out of Focus: Of all the prehistoric Avengers, he's the one with the least focus.

    T'Chaka 

Black Panther

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tchaka_earth_616_from_black_panther_vol_5_4_0001.jpg

Alter Ego: T'Chaka

Notable Aliases: The Great

First Appearance: Fantastic Four #53 (August, 1966)

T'Chaka, The Great is a former king of Wakanda and Black Panther. He is the father of T'Challa and Shuri.


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    S'Yan 

Black Panther

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/704675_war_of_kings_darkhawk_01.jpg

Alter Ego: S'Yan

Notable Aliases: The Swift, the Fast.

First Appearance: Black Panther Vol 4 #2 (May, 2005)

S'yan, The Swift is a former king of Wakanda and Black Panther. He is the son of Azzari, The Wise and the younger brother to T'Chaka, The Great. He passed the title of Black Panther to his nephew T'Challa.


  • Badass Beard: He had a well trimmed goatee.
  • Cool Uncle: For T'Challa and Shuri.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Like Shuri, he had never appeared in the comics until the 21th Century.
  • Spirit Advisor: Like his brother, T'Challa saw his spirit when he looked for advise from his ancestors.
  • Taking the Bullet: Sacrificed himself to protect his sister in-law Ramonda from Doctor Doom's men during Doomwar.

    Azzuri 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/azzuri_earth_616_from_black_panther_captain_america_flags_of_our_fathers_vol_1_1_0001.jpg

Alter Ego: Azzuri

First Appearance: Black Panther Vol 4 #1 (April, 2005)

Grandfather of T'Challa and Black Panther during WWII.


    Nehanda 

Nehanda

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nehanda_earth_616_from_black_panther_vol_6_14_001.jpg

First Appearance: Black Panther Vol 6 #14 (July, 2017)

A former ruler of Wakanda and user of the Black Panther moniker, although not the costume. During the Middle Ages she was part of a prototype version of the Avengers.


  • Action Girl: Like her distant descendant Shuri, Nehanda was a queen and a Black Panther, even if only in name.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Her outfit exposed her midsection.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Instead of the black cowls and costumes from her predecessors and descendants, she wore simpler blue hood.
  • In the Hood: Wore one instead of the typical Black Panther cowl.

Alternative Title(s): Marvel Comics Shuri, Black Panther T Challa

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