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Spoilers for all works set prior to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are unmarked.

King T'Challa of Wakanda / The Black Panther
"I must right these wrongs."
Click here to see him in the Black Panther habit 
Click here to see him in the What If...? timeline 

Species: Enhanced human

Citizenship: Wakandan

Affiliation(s): Wakanda (Golden Tribe), Avengers

Portrayed by: Chadwick Boseman (2016–2021), Ashton Tyler (young)

Voiced By: Manuel Campuzano (Latin-American Spanish dub), Miguel Ángel Garzón (European Spanish dub), Makoto Tamura (Japanese dub), Namakan Koné (French dub), Pierre-Yves Cardinal (Canadian French dub), Rodrigo Oliveira (Brazilian Portuguese dub)

Appearances: Captain America: Civil War | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Avengers: Endgame | What If...?

"Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We cannot. We must not. We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe."

A prince and diplomat from Wakanda. After a terrorist attack on a United Nations summit in which his father King T'Chaka perishes, T'Challa finds himself grappling with how to best take on his father's mantle as the king and protector of Wakanda, the Black Panther. T'Challa boasts strength and reflexes on the same level as Captain America, and a high tech suit made of the rare metal known as vibranium that further enhances his abilities.

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    Tropes A to L 
  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: Courtesy of his vibranium suit. They're strong enough to stop vehicles and leave permanent scratches on Captain America's shield (which is also made of vibranium).
  • Achilles' Heel: His vibranium-weave suit renders him nearly impervious to gunfire. However, as it's a weave rather than fully solid a la Captain America's shield, he can still be harmed by various other threats, including poison, suffocation, punches, and electricity. Black Widow takes advantage of the latter, holding him off with simple stun rounds to buy Bucky time to escape. Badass Normal Killmonger takes advantage of the suit's inability to stop momentum by shooting Black Panther with a grenade in mid-jump, causing him to fly backwards and be stunned for several seconds from an attack he'd normally be able to No-Sell effortlessly.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • In the Civil War comics, T'Challa was against registration and sided with Steve on the issue. In the MCU, T'Challa's stance on the Sokovia Accords are a mix of Steve and Tony's on the matter, i.e. he's in favour of the idea of oversight, but not the politicking that will almost certainly result from the Accords. He ends up helping Tony because he believes Bucky killed his father in the bombing at Vienna, Cap intervenes to help Bucky escape from him and Tony can help him track Steve and Bucky down, but besides that his story in Civil War has nothing to do with the pro/anti-registration conflict. And while he does eventually agree to help Steve evade custody and even help deprogramme Bucky's HYDRA brainwashing, by that point the Accords are barely a factor in the story.
    • He's also more impulsive and hotheaded than his comic book counterpart and other versions (particularly The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! version), who's more of a chessmaster and strategist, though he seems to be shifting more towards this characterization by the end.
    • T'Challa in the comics has a reputation for being quite stoic, apart from being easily-detached with romantic partners—what with Nakia's unrequited crush and the fact that his marriage with Storm ended in divorce. In-film, however, T'Challa is visibly more emotionally open: to bantering with his sister, being full-on dorky / The Comically Serious when Nakia and his friends are in the picture, being stricken by or weeping with grief, or venting his rage at Zuri's death and T'Chaka's mistakes when they meet at the astral plane the second time.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Downplayed since T'Challa is still very intelligent and rational, making some of his own gear and successfully leading his country, but even so he isn't quite up to the level of his comics counterpart. In the comic books T'Challa is not only one of the most skilled martial artists in the Marvel Universe, but he's also The Chessmaster and among the 10 smartest characters in the universe. T'Challa in the films is far more down to Earth, and if anything, his intellectual capacities are handed off to Shuri in these adaptations.
  • Advertised Extra: T'Challa was heavily featured in most of the later marketing for Infinity War. Despite this, he has only 3.5 minutes of screentime (less than Mantis and even Thanos' children) and doesn't really get to do much until the last act of the film.
  • Amicable Exes: He and Nakia used to date, yet they are still friendly with each other and work well together to stop Klaue and Killmonger's schemes in Black Panther. It is made clear that T'Challa still has feelings for her and they get back together in the end.
  • Animal Motifs: Panthers. What else?
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Wakandans believe that the panther goddess Bast was the one who led their ancestors to the Heart-shaped herb that grants each Ruler their superhuman powers. As such, it became tradition for each of King of Wakanda to be known as the "Black Panther", and use panther styled armor and weapons.
  • Arrow Catch: He catches Hawkeye's explosive arrows, which explode directly in his face. He doesn't even flinch.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The King of Wakanda is decided by ritual one versus one combat. T'Challa had to win against the likes of M'Baku and later Killmonger to keep his throne.
  • Attack Reflector: His upgraded suit in Black Panther is a variation on this, able to absorb and store up kinetic energy from physical attacks which can then be channeled into an energy shockwave.
  • The Atoner:
    • Spends most of Civil War trying to kill Bucky, who he believes killed his father. After discovering the truth, he offers Bucky a hiding place and help in finding a way to get rid of HYDRA's programming.
    • His Character Arc in Black Panther involves coming to terms with the fact Wakanda and even the father he loved has failed people like the Big Bad Killmonger for generations, and it's up to him to make things right.
    T'Challa: You were wrong! All of you were wrong! To turn your backs on the rest of the world. We let the fear of our discovery stop us from doing what is right! No more. I cannot stay here with you. I cannot rest while he sits on the throne. He's a monster of our own making. I must take back the mantle back, I must... I must right these wrongs.
  • Audible Sharpness: The claws on his suit practically ring whenever he pops them out in a fight.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: As prince of Wakanda, he was trained from childhood to eventually take the place of his father as both King and the protector of Wakanda, the Black Panther.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: He beats the only challenger to his claim to the throne in single combat when he had the powers of the Heart-shaped herb stripped from him, and is crowned king of Wakanda as a result.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Downplayed as he wasn't technically dead, T'Challa was barely alive after his first fight with Killmonger. It was only taking the Heart-shaped herb from his family that he manage to wake from his death-like state in Black Panther.
    • In Avengers: Endgame where he is one of many characters who are brought back from being dusted by Hulk reversing Thanos' deadly fingersnap from Avengers: Infinity War.
  • Badass Baritone: Courtesy of Chadwick Boseman, T'Challa's voice carries weight and power in both diplomacy and in battle.
  • Badass Boast: Gets a couple of these:
    • To Steve and Sam, regarding the Winter Soldier:
      T'Challa: The Black Panther has been the protector of Wakanda for generations, the mantle passed from warrior to warrior. And now, [...] I also wear the mantle of a king. So I ask you, as both warrior and king, how long do you think you can keep your friend safe from me?
    • During the end credits scene, Steve warns T'Challa that all sorts of foes will be coming to invade Wakanda for sheltering the Winter Soldier. His response? "Let them try."
    • When Klaue sarcastically asks him for mercy in his solo movie, a furious T'Challa spits out "Every breath you take is mercy from me."
    • His line in Infinity War to Proxima Midnight and Obsidian Cull when the former says Thanos will have Vision's Mind Stone?
      T'Challa: You are in Wakanda now. Thanos will have nothing but dust and blood.
  • Bait-and-Switch: A particularly cruel one in Avengers: Infinity War. Given the immense popularity of his solo movie, most everyone expected that he would survive Thanos using the Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half of the universe. After the Badass Finger Snap goes off we see him going to help up the relatively expendable Okoye, only for her to survive and T'Challa to fade away.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: T'Challa is one of the nicest people in the MCU and is a Reasonable Authority Figure. He is polite, respectful, and very caring towards the people around him and those he considers his friends. But unlike his comic book counterpart, who is mostly a stoic character, this version shows that T'Challa actually is more emotional and prone to anger when he views that something is a problem.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Threatening his little sister Shuri is a one-way ticket to an asskicking. Subtly done during M'Baku's challenge; T'Challa tolerates his insults up until M'Baku shouts at Shuri and makes her flinch, at which point T'Challa is visibly pissed off and cuts M'Baku off mid-sentence to announce he accepts the challenge.
    • Done again in the final battle in a splendid inversion of the usual "superhero sees his Love Interest in danger and gets a Heroic Second Wind" trope: once he sees that Kilmonger is about to murder his little sister in cold blood, T'Challa screams "SHURI! NOOOOO!!" and makes his suit release a blast so powerful, it sends every Border Tribe soldier around him flying. Cue T'Challa tackling Kilmonger into the lab and giving him a beating so fierce, Erik is finally on his toes for the first time.
  • Brains and Brawn: T'Challa is a fierce Warrior Prince while his sister Shuri is a Teen Genius scientist.
  • Broken Pedestal: He finds himself on both ends of this trope.
    • He gave W'Kabi his word that he would capture Klaue and make him face justice in Wakanda. he failed, as Killmonger could break him out, and this cost T'Challa W'Kabi's trust, making him believe the new king is just "more of the same".
    • Though he still loves his father and is proud of his heritage, T'Challa couldn't help but be disappointed when he found out that T'Chaka's killing of N'jobu helped turn Killmonger into the threat he became. By extension, he's disillusioned with the rest of his ancestors after realising just how many people Wakanda has hurt or failed to help in their efforts to keep themselves hidden.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Losing the powers of the Heart-shaped Herb hardly affects him. He still kicks ass without it. Case in point, he defeats M'Baku in a duel while de-powered despite the former's nigh-inhuman strength.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Examined more thoroughly in his feature film where he must succeed his slain father as king of Wakanda while holding on to the mantle of the Black Panther.
  • Character Development:
    • He's initially obsessed with killing the murderer of his father. But after seeing how vengeance has consumed Zemo and torn the Avengers apart, and how it blinded him and caused him to attack an innocent on flimsy evidence, he decides to break the Cycle of Revenge and let Zemo live, taking him to prison to face justice for his crimes. From what's been seen of his solo film, the experience also made him considerably more cautious, less likely to charge into situations without full knowledge, an attribute which will serve him well.
    • In his own film, he has the same isolationist policy as his own nation, and is set on keeping it that way whenever it's brought up. Learning about T'Chaka and Zuri's hand in creating Killmonger had shaken his beliefs and he calls out his father in the afterlife, pointing out how Wakanda's policies had resulted in creating its worst enemy yet. By the end of the film, he announces his intention to unveil Wakanda's technology to the rest of the world, and had set up National Relation Centers in California.
  • Clashing Cousins: His main antagonist in his namesake movie is his previously unknown cousin Erik.
  • Combat Parkour: His fighting style heavily incorporates jumping and clinging.
  • The Comically Serious: T'Challa has wit, but is almost always a serious and dignified warrior who nonetheless wears one of the most faithfully fantastic-looking costumes and set of armaments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and entertainingly chafes against the more lighthearted characters therein.
  • Cool Big Bro: T'Challa is extremely close with his baby sister, sharing a Secret Handshake with her and relying on her science skills to supply him with his costume and tech.
  • Cool Mask: T'Challa's costume has been near-universally acclaimed, thanks to its badass design. Though Shuri then criticizes said mask because it's a helmet separate from the Black Panther suit, so T'Challa will lose time having to put on the mask if he's ambushed.
  • Cool Plane: The stealth jet he uses to follow Tony and Steve to the Siberian base. There's also the Royal Talon Fighter from the Black Panther teaser trailer.
  • Covert Pervert: When his female bodyguard threatens to fight Black Widow, he admits with a huge grin on his face that as entertaining it is to let it happen, now isn't exactly the time or place.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Deliberately seeks to defy this once he learns that he and Zemo both lost loved ones and are thus Not So Different by saving his life and sparing him.
    T'Challa: Vengeance has consumed you. It's consuming them. I am done letting it consume me.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Defied. He initially goes through this after his father's death but the shock at discovering he was nearly manipulated into killing an innocent man snaps him out of it when he opts to not kill Zemo.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: As the Black Panther. He wears a black and silver costume with a full-face mask and claws, along with black royal suits when not in costume... and is one of the most noble characters in the whole MCU.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A minor one, but he has his moments, such as his response to Hawkeye's introduction.
    Black Panther: I don't care.
  • Decomposite Character: Most of his role regarding the science and technology of Wakanda is given to his little sister Shuri.
  • Deer in the Headlights: Or more accurately, antelope in the headlights. In Black Panther, he suddenly freezes upon encountering his ex-girlfriend after he'd singlehandedly beaten up a human trafficking ring.
  • Determinator: When T'Challa believes in something, he commits. His standout examples of this in Civil War is that he will stop at nothing to kill the Winter Soldier and avenge his father's death, even yelling "Barnes is mine!" during the airport fight. When Cap and Bucky make their escape, he powers through several of Natasha's electric stings and resorts to clinging to the underside of the Quinjet before being shaken off. Of course, once he finds out Bucky is innocent, he's just as determined to protect Bucky, even hiding him in Wakanda.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: In Civil War, after his father is killed in the U.N. bombing he goes after Bucky Barnes who is believed to be responsible for it. This leads to a chase that creates collateral damage and eventually ends with Captain America and Falcon placed under arrest for obstructing the government while Black Panther gets off scot-free because he's the King of Wakanda.
  • Disney Death: Erik tossed him off a waterfall in Black Panther and T'Challa was explicitly stripped of the Heart-shaped Herb's benefits at that point, but he was nonetheless found barely alive by a fisherman.
  • Dramatic Unmask: He takes his mask off in front of Captain America during his arrest, who at that point had no idea that T'Challa was the Black Panther.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He's been a long time coming in the MCU. Vibranium and Wakanda have been established parts of the MCU since The First Avenger, when Cap gets his shield. The first reference to the character proper (or more likely, his father) came from a Freeze-Frame Bonus in Iron Man 2, where it was shown that Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. were monitoring an unknown superhuman in Africa. Then in Avengers: Age of Ultron, we have mention of a past incident where Klaue ran into trouble during a vibranium heist in Wakanda. The same movie has an additional Freeze-Frame Bonus where a document about Klaue mentions the Black Panther lineage, and that a previous Panther had killed Klaue's great-grandfather.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: He has the same "peak human and then some" powerset as Steve, although his abilities come from the Heart-shaped Herb rather than a Super Soldier Serum. Even without the Herb's power, T'Challa is a skilled warrior, successfully fighting off a challenge from M'Baku and putting up a respectable, if losing fight against a similar challenge from Killmonger.
  • Enemy Mine: He's not too interested in the Avengers and actually helps draft the Sokovia Accords, but ends up allying himself with Iron Man in order to take down Bucky.
  • Energy Absorption: Not on his own, but rather through his suit. Vibranium totally absorbs any kinetic energy exerted on it, and the Black Panther suit's technology allows that energy to be violently released, either by contact or into the surrounding air.
  • Field Promotion: He becomes King of Wakanda when his father is killed in a bombing on a United Nations summit, though his official crowning happens much later (and he already has the full Panther power set).
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Everett Ross in his solo movie. Though the two butt heads at first on how best to deal with Klaue, T'Challa starts warming up to him when he saves Nakia's life at the cost of his own.
    • In a deleted scene, Ross voices his concern for Wakanda's fate should T'Challa reveal its true potential to the world. When T'Challa decides to go ahead with his announcement anyway, Ross admits that he knew T'Challa would say such a thing and promises to keep everyone else "off [their] backs." T'Challa, who is clearly touched by the other man's promise, thanks him sincerely and even laughs when Ross bids him good luck in (slightly butchered) Xhosa.
  • Friend to All Children: One of T'Challa's rules involves a strict Wouldn't Hurt a Child policy.
    • Despite his annoyance with sixteen-year-old Shuri, it's quite obvious that T'Challa dotes on his baby sister and would do just about anything for her, even if it means humiliating himself for her amusement.
    • At the end of his solo movie, he calls forth one of his jets to amaze the local children in Oakland and answers one child's questions with a patient smile.
    • In a Missing Trailer Scene, T'Challa and Nakia are seen interacting with some children in Wakanda's streets, with T'Challa gently patting a boy on the head as he passes.
  • Foil:
    • To Tony Stark. Like Stark, he discovers the truth about who killed his father (Tony learns the Winter Soldier killed his parents, while T'Challa learns that Zemo was responsible for the explosion that killed T'Chaka). Unlike Stark, who immediately launches into a vicious attack on both Bucky and Steve, T'Challa decides to spare Zemo's life and bring him to justice, preferring to end the Cycle of Revenge which began the whole tragedy.
    • To Steve. Both are Captain Patriotic characters with similar power sets. In addition, they both use Vibranium equipment (the shield for Steve, the Panther Habit for T'Challa). However, there are some interesting differences. Steve grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Depression-era New York, while T'Challa grew up as the Crown Prince of a technologically advanced African nation. Furthermore, Captain America wears a bright red, white and blue outfit, while the Black Panther wears a black outfit. Steve believes fervently in Bucky's innocence, while T'Challa is determined to bring Bucky to justice until the end of the movie. In addition, their new status quos at the end of Civil War are quite different: Steve ends up on the run from his own country, having renounced his Captain America persona. T'Challa, on the other hand, has now become King of Wakanda.
    • Captain America: Civil War frames him as a joint foil to both Steve Rogers and Tony Stark with him simultaneously being a patriotic super soldier idol of his people and a son of privilege who uses a suit of extraordinary armour to protect the weak and punish evil.
    • To a lesser extent, he's also a foil to Peter Parker in Civil War. Both are independent superheroes who initially have no connection to the Avengers, but end up getting involved in the conflict. However, whereas T'Challa is very reserved, serious, and distrusts the Avengers, while Peter is mouthy, jokes around, and hero-worships the Avengers.
    • He and Erik Killmonger are both deadly warriors and royalty of Wakandan descent whose goals are shaped by the past actions of their fathers and sought vengeance for their deaths, but are complete opposites in both the ways they handle it and in their backgrounds. T'Challa grew up well adjusted with a loving family in the nation he was born in. Killmonger, an outsider of mixed descent, had lost his father at a young age and lived through an unprivileged childhood. T'Challa has a strong moral compass and is devoted to doing what's best for the people around him, even beyond his status as King. Erik, despite his claims what wanting to help other people of African descent, is ultimately driven by his hatred and willing use or kill anyone in his way to achieve his goals. By the climax of the film, T'Challa not only overcame his quest for vengeance for his father's death, but had realized that his father's abandonment of Erik and why was wrong and sought to open Wakanda to the rest of the world on beneficial terms. Erik, however, blindly followed his father's legacy and let his own need for vengeance consume him to the end by seeking to wage war against the rest of the world with Wakanda on top, never reconsidering his actions to be in the wrong at any point.
  • Frontline General: Being the King and protector of Wakanda, Black Panther will personally lead the army and fight if the country goes to war. In fact his speed makes it inevitable that he'll find himself at the forefront of the army during a charge.
  • Genius Bruiser: T'Challa is an accomplished warrior and is also technologically savvy enough to have designed his own Black Panther suit, which is the one seen in Civil War. Shuri remarks that it's utilitarian but not as advanced as it could be.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: When Black Panther is first introduced in-costume in Captain America: Civil War, he jumps at a fleeing Winter Soldier from out of nowhere. For viewers unfamiliar with the comics, there's not any obvious indication that he's T'Challa until after the battle ends, even though T'Challa was shown going after Winter Soldier after the Frame-Up. In the midst of battle, Captain America and Falcon (who were both chasing after Winter Soldier) mention that they have no clue who he is or where he came from.
  • Gibberish of Love: Downplayed, but Okoye teases him for "freezing" in front of his ex Nakia, which mostly consists of him being unable to do much more than say "hi" and smile at her. He's able to articulate his feelings better later on.
  • The Good King: Wakanda's most competent king who, unlike the previous rulers, is willing to show to the world Wakanda's true nature in hopes that the tragedy that happened to Erik will never be repeated. As such, all of Wakanda loves him for it.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: T'Challa prefers melee and Combat Parkour while his sister Shuri fights using her dual Arm Cannons.
  • Happy Ending Override: Shortly after his cathartic triumph in his own film, Wakanda is invaded by Thanos during Infinity War and he is forced to evacuate the city before fighting the Mad Titan alongside the Avengers. And then he finds himself erased from existence after they fail to stop him completing the Infinity Gauntlet.
  • Heel Realization: When he finds out that Bucky didn’t kill his father, he realizes that vengeance blinded him and decides to spare his father’s true killer, Zemo.
  • Hero Antagonist: Towards Captain America and his Anti-Registration team, but more on the personal level with Bucky, when he thinks he killed his father. Black Panther managed to realize Bucky was innocent, track down his father's actual killer and overcome his quest for vengeance to take him in alive.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Averted and discussed. Of his two new suits, T'Challa chose the purple one, contained in a simple necklace with silver claws, because it would supposedly provide more stealth than the yellow one, contained in a golden collar that stands out for miles.
  • I Am Not My Father: In Civil War, in wake of his father's death at the UN, he said this word for word to Black Widow as while his Reasonable Authority Figure father can let things go, T'Challa could not and vows to avenge him. At first, this was framed as a negative portrayal that relates to the film's He Who Fights Monsters sub-theme, but then in Black Panther, this trope has an alternative and more positive meaning when it's revealed T'Chaka had killed his own brother and abandoned his nephew Erik Stevens for the sake of Wakanda's isolation policy, which finally prompts T'Challa to pull a Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! and revokes his country's isolation policy to help outsiders, which ironically made him a better Reasonable Authority Figure than his father was.
  • I Gave My Word: He gives W'Kabi his word that he will kill or recapture Klaue (in this version, Klaue's actions have hurt W'Kabi far more personally than T'Challa). When Klaue escapes, it's a Broken Pedestal moment that leads to W'Kabi siding against him.
  • Immune to Bullets: His suit, which has vibranium incorporated into it, can withstand gunfire from attack helicopters. He later uses it to stop Zemo from shooting himself to prevent his capture by calmly placing a hand over the gun's barrel a second before it fires.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • During his challenge with M'Baku for the crown, T'Challa gets stabbed in the shoulder by the sharp end of M'Baku's cudgel, but he shrugs it off like it was nothing.
    • When Killmonger duels with him, T'Challa later gets stabbed in the mid-section by his spear.
  • Inspector Javert: He spends most of Civil War trying to hunt down and kill Bucky, who's been framed for killing his father, taking Bucky running after being caught once as a sign of guilt. Once the truth comes out, he's shaken at how close he came to killing the wrong man and offers him asylum.
  • Instant Armor: The upgraded Black Panther costume that Shuri designs for T'Challa incorporates Nanomachines that allow it to instantly form over his body at a moment's notice.
  • A Lady on Each Arm: He invokes this imagery when infiltrating a South Korean casino in his movie. However, since the ladies in question are Okoye and Nakia, they are far as possible from mere eye candy, helping him fight Klaue and his goons.
  • Last of His Kind: Of the mystically empowered Black Panthers as Killmonger destroyed the sacred orchard where their Super Serum is cultivated.
  • Legacy Character: According to a Freeze-Frame Bonus in Age of Ultron, there have been many Black Panthers throughout history. T'Challa is simply the latest one to use the name, as he confirms in Civil War. This is further explained in Black Panther: the first Black Panther and leader of Wakanda was centuries, if not millennia ago, and every king since - including T'Chaka - has taken up the mantle.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He is on the same level of strength as Captain America, and considerably faster.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Even before the revelation that T'Chaka abandoned his nephew, T'Challa already shows that he is vastly different from his father in one regard; he will not leave behind a person he could save, Wakanda's secrecy be damned. He brings Everett Ross with him to Wakanda to save his life, whereas his father didn't even bring his blood relative home, leading to that relative becoming Killmonger.
  • Longing Look: Before they get back together at the end of his movie, it seems like T'Challa is only capable of looking at Nakia like this. It's especially adorable when one compares the stoic and regal mask he wears while serving his people to the soft, fond looks he reserves only for her.
  • Loophole Abuse: He tries to have a rematch with Killmonger and Killmonger alone during the climax to prevent unnecessary blood from being shed by pointing out that since he neither died nor yielded at the end of their succession battle, it's still technically in progress. The gambit fails to convince the Border Tribe but turns the Dora Milaje to his side.

    Tropes M to Z 
  • Made of Indestructium: T'Challa's suit is made of Vibranium, which allows him to be unfazed by attacks that would leave a normal person heavily injured if not outright dead. He doesn't even flinch when hit with machine gun fire or explosive arrows, and seems only mildly perturbed at almost getting hit with a flying bus. Zigzagged in that it can be overwhelmed by some attacks of sufficient power, and is specifically weak to being disrupted by sonic attacks.
  • Made of Iron: Even without his suit, he can take quite a beating. During his duel against M'Baku, he gets stabbed repeatedly yet manages to shrug it off and continue with the crowning ceremony. Later, Killmonger cut him twice with his weapon, punched him in the face repeatedly and tossed him from a waterfall, and T'Challa still survived. Keep in mind this was after he took the concoction to strip away his powers!
  • Modest Royalty: When not in costume, he tends to dress casually. This also applies to his Black Panther suits, which tend to be Simple, yet Opulent. He is also quite approachable in person as shown in Infinity War when he interacts with his friends in the Avengers, who are non-royalty and when Bruce bows to him in reverence, T'Challa tells him this is unnecessary — a sharp contrast how even his uncle N'Jobu was expected to bow before T'Chaka when he was king.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • He has this reaction when he learns that Zemo framed Bucky and that as a result, T'Challa was trying to kill an innocent man. He's visibly shaken when he overhears Zemo's confession, and it's actually the first thing he confronts Zemo with when they finally meet.
    • In his own movie, T'Challa realizes that Killmonger had a point when he pointed out how Wakanda was complicit in the suffering of their fellow Africans, even if he went about it in completely the wrong way. Part of T'Challa's character development is getting over the isolationist thinking that could prevent Wakanda from helping those in need.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: The Black Panther has an enhanced physiology granting superhuman agility, speed and strength. However, his vibranium laced suit will shrug off bullet and deliver supercharged waves of kinetic energy.
  • Nanomachines: His new suit in Black Panther (along with the one Killmonger acquires) is composed of Vibranium nanomachines, which means the suit assembles on him nigh-instantaneously. Even better, it's all contained in his collar, somehow.
  • Nice Guy: T'Challa has a warm and kind heart matched only by Captain Steve Rogers, and a moral integrity matched only by Peter Parker. Even though driven down the path of vengeance briefly by grief over his father's murder, having both qualities allowed him to forgive said murderer on his own accord. Said Moment of Weakness aside, T'Challa consistently and selflessly places the needs of his people and the world first, and is torn with guilt and grief whenever the inevitable compromises one must make as a politician causes suffering and sadness in the few sacrificed for the greater good, such as when he is confronted with the truth of how T'Chaka orphaned and destroyed the life of Erik Killmonger, his cousin.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His adoption of Thou Shalt Not Kill bites him in Black Panther. During his duel with Killmonger, he actually manages to knock him down first and has a chance to finish him for good. His decision to not take it and offer mercy instead allows Killmonger to get the upper hand, kill Zuri and win the fight, giving him right to rule Wakanda. Through that, Killmonger is able to cause serious destabilization of Wakanda, most notably burning all the Heart-shaped Herbs and with them the legacy of the Black Panthers.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: His costume is made with Vibranium, which renders him Immune to Bullets in ways not even this setting's version of The Hulk is.
  • No Badass to His Valet:
    • T'Challa may have become king and the most physically gifted man in Wakanda, but his family and general entourage still treat him as a family member from Shuri constantly teasing him to Okoye acting like a big sister to him.
    • Subverted when T'Challa asks Zuri to reveal what he knows about Killmonger. Zuri says the king has sworn him to secrecy, but T'Challa loudly reminds him that he is now the king of Wakanda and orders him to reveal everything.
  • No Body Left Behind: Is disintegrated along with half the universe after Thanos completes the Infinity Gauntlet. He and the rest of the deceased are restored by Bruce performing the snap shortly before Thanos’ army arrives.
  • Not So Different: He realizes that he and Zemo are both men who lost their loved ones and were consumed by their thirst for vengeance. Thus, he decides to break the Cycle of Revenge by stopping his attempted suicide before turning him into prison.
  • Not So Stoic: T'Challa usually has an Angst? What Angst? attitude and is The Stoic to show that he can be introverted and quiet, but there are intense moments where he finally breaks character.
    • He's seen crying over his father's death when the Vienna Bombing occurred and constantly called out his name while holding his cadaver.
    • When Zuri dies in an effort to save his life, T'Challa does not take it well.
    • The Ancestral Plane has two dramatic moments. Him breaking down after seeing his father, and him calling out his father and ancestors over the consequences of their isolationalism.
    • On a lighter note, his playful side tends to come out whenever his little sister, Shuri, is around, as evidenced by their banter in her lab and T'Challa mischievously admitting that he wore sandals on his first official day as king to butter up the Elders.
  • Oh My Gods!: During the chase for Klaue in South Korea, T'Challa orders Shuri to drive faster with the expression "For Bast's sake!". Since he and his people have worshipped the goddess presumably for their entire lives, it makes sense that he'd say it instead of "Oh, My God".
  • One-Man Army: Takes down over a dozen rifle-toting slavers with ease, overwhelms Bucky in hand-to-hand combat more than once, and matches Captain America and the Winter Soldier in separate (inconclusive) fights.
  • Out of Focus: Invoked due to Chadwick Boseman’s death, with the upcoming Black Panther sequel now focusing on his supporting cast, though it remains to be seen how his absence will be addressed.
  • Outside Ride: Seems fond of this, as he's seen riding atop cars both in Civil War and Black Panther.
  • Panthera Awesome: His animal totem is the panther, which dates back to the kings who founded the kingdom.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Okoye. Bonus content on the video release reveals that they were practically raised together, and she's not unlike a big sister to him.
  • Power Incontinence: The suits Shuri gives him in his movie give him the ability to absorb and redirect kinetic energy. However, the process is not instantaneous and there is only a finite amount he can store at a time. Once a certain threshold is breached, the suit's reserves will be purged all at once, blowing him back with the detonation.
  • Princeling Rivalry: He and N'Jadaka / Killmonger, the son of the former king's younger brother contest for the throne of Wakanda. T'Challa has no idea his rival even exists after his father has killed Killmonger's father and has covered it up. Killmonger challenges T'Challa to a ritualistic duel, nearly kills him and seizes the throne. In the end, T'Challa returns, mortally wounds his rival and reclaims his place as the rightful king.
  • Privileged Rival: A heroic version. He is the wealthy king of Wakanda and Killmonger was a poor kid from Oakland. He even calls T'Challa out on his background, lambasting him for having lived "safe and protected".
  • Purple Is Powerful: Black Panther's new suit has shades of purple in it, and the kinetic energy he absorbs and releases is colored purple.
  • Put on a Bus: Due to Chadwick Boseman's death and the decision to not recast him.
  • The Quiet One: As noted under The Stoic, he's probably the single least-quippy superhero in the setting, even beating out Groot and the Hulk.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite earlier proclaiming to Black Widow in the the wake of his father's death that he's not his father, at the end of Civil War, this trope has been passed down from his father to him when he gives asylum to Bucky in Wakanda and promises to help undo his brainwashing to atone for almost killing him in the mistaken belief Bucky was behind the UN bombing. Then in his solo film, he then shows himself as a Nice Guy and The Good King in his position as the King of Wakanda. In fact, he even proves himself as this more than his father due to the latter having abandoned his nephew who become Killmonger, prompting T'Challa to finally drop his country's isolationist policy to help outsiders.
  • Red Herring: With his success at staying his hand while defeating Zemo, Klaue, and M'Baku, it looks like that he'll be able to vanquish Killmonger without having to kill him. His cousin chooses death over the indignity of imprisonment and lets himself bleed out in front of T'Challa.
  • Revenge Before Reason: During Civil War, he breaks international law to hunt down Bucky after believing he was the murderer. Bucky even says he didn't kill T'Chaka because he remembers all the people he kills while brainwashed, and T'Challa doesn't believe him. When T'Challa learns that another man impersonated Bucky and framed him, he follows Iron Man to Siberia so as to find Zemo rather than help stop the threat of super-soldiers. While this means that he delivers Zemo to justice, he's unable to tell Iron to Man to stand down because of the distance.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The stoic and regal blue to extroverted and energetic Shuri's red.
  • Rightful King Returns: Right after Killmonger takes the king's throne and has his forces prepared to spread Wakanda's weapons across the globe to enact his plan, T'Challa returns after having been revived by his mother via the herb. He comes to reclaim his throne and defeat Killmonger, citing that he neither forfeited the ceremonial challenge nor died and was thus still technically the king since the challenge technically never ended.
  • Royal Blood: He is heir to the throne of Wakanda. Defending his claim to it and becoming a worthy king are important themes of his story.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: He is a member of the Wakandan royal family, first as a Warrior Prince and then as the king, but is also tasked with defending the country and eliminating threats to his people, and appears to serve as Wakanda's emissary to the United Nations as well, despite not enjoying diplomacy.
  • Ruler Protagonist: He becomes this his own movie, and the politics and hardships of being king are a key theme of the plot. His character arc consists of his struggle to choose between keeping or ending Wakanda's isolationism and there is great significance in his appearance the United Nations at the end, officially opening up his country to the world.
  • Save the Villain: He develops a habit of this after foregoing his revenge.
    • He stops Zemo from committing suicide, if only to deliver him to prison instead.
    • After fatally wounding Killmonger, T'Challa offers to heal him with Wakandan medicine. Killmonger declines.
  • Scary Black Man: A heroic version. As the Black Panther, it becomes a Mook Horror Show for any unlucky punk who dares opposes him. However, he's still a good-hearted Reasonable Authority Figure who protects the innocent.
  • Science Hero: Downplayed. He designed his own suit and is dangerously intelligent, but his inventiveness pales in comparison to his sister's.
  • Splash of Color: At the beginning of Black Panther, he is dressed in black, white, and gray symbolizing both his mourning for his father and his discomfort in his new role as king. At the end of the film, when he's truly ready to step up and be King of Wakanda, his clothing begins incorporating bits of bright color.
  • Stealth Expert: He's able to track Tony, Bucky, and Steve to the Siberian Compound, sneak around the base and observe them. He somehow avoids the destruction when all three start fighting and even manages to find and apprehend Zemo. All without any of them noticing that he was even there at all.
  • The Stoic: Rather serious and introverted compared to the rest of the cast. At most he gets this Pre-Asskicking One-Liner at Clint:
    Clint Barton: We haven't met yet. I'm Clint.
    T'Challa: I don't care.
  • The Strategist: In addition to being a skilled combatant and athlete, he is a gifted tactician who takes a cerebral approach to fighting.
  • Strong and Skilled: In order to become the Black Panther, T'Challa has to earn that right by being a very skilled warrior in case he's challenged for his title. He's capable of fighting on par with Captain America for an extended period of time, and is considered one of Wakanda's greatest warriors. (Okoye is considered to be Wakanda's absolute best warrior in terms of pure skill, but only compared to a non-superpowered T'Challa.) It is mentioned he has trained for the royal title his entire life.
  • Super Reflexes: Catches two arrows Hawkeye fires at him from only a few meters away and negotiates climbing over a moving truck and jumping onto a speeding motorcycle without difficulty. And as you would expect for a cat, he almost always lands on his feet after falling or being knocked over, unless something's really serious.
  • Super Speed: He's able to run at speeds in excess of 40 mph (he's outpacing cars on the highway while chasing Bucky), and manages to climb two flights of stairs before the Winter Soldier has managed even one.
  • Super Strength: Holds his own against Cap and Bucky, nearly forcing the former to bring down his shield and overpowering the latter's metal arm, thanks to his suit. His solo film further shows his Cap-level strength, with him kicking a mook hard enough to send him flying several meters and into a car hard enough to dent it.
  • Super Toughness: Even without his Nigh Invulnerable suit of Vibranium, he's considerably tougher than the average human. A large explosion that killed his father, who was not too much closer only sent him flying, after which he gets back up more or less unharmed. He can also take a direct punch from Bucky's road-cracking metal arm and is barely even winded. Plus, he was able to shrug off several shots from Black Widow's stun gun with only a few seconds of paralysis each and some pain, while normal humans hit by it are usually immediately incapacitated and drop like a ton of bricks, similar to a real taser. However his greatest examples of Super Toughness are getting back up in few minutes after being blasted by Klaue's sonic weapon (which can reduce a bulletproof car to smithereens with a single shot) with nothing but a knee height wooden cabinet to block it, and then shrugging off being hit by a train when sonic waves were suppressing his suit's vibranium.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Civil War follows Black Panther's part in this Cycle of Revenge arc as much it follows Captain America and Bucky trying to stop Zemo and Iron Man's allegiance to the Sokovia Accords over his friendship with Captain America.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Has this for Erik "Killmonger" Stevens a.k.a. N'Jadaka, his cousin. When a grief-stricken Killmonger shouts about how the world took everything he loved away T'Challa simply gives him a look that says he understands.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Like his father before him, T'Challa—who stands at 6'0, has dark hair, and has a long-standing flirtationship/relationship with Nakia—fits the trope to a tee.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: His character arc in his own movie revolves around the hardships of being king. When meeting his father on the spiritual plane, he learns that being a good man and a good king may not always be the same thing.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: After Civil War T'Challa has adopted this mentality when it comes to his enemies, something that doesn't exactly endear him to some of his more conservative people. Though he drops it in the end of Black Panther and lethally wounds Erik, although this is a justified case as there was no other way to stop him and he offers unsuccessfully to save Erik with Wakandan medicine.
  • Three-Point Landing: He's fond of doing this. Justified as landing heavily while punching the ground is a pretty effective way of releasing his suit's energy and taking out any Mooks dumb enough to swarm him.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Downplayed. He was always a very goodhearted person but his grief over his father's death gave viewers an introduction to a much more vengeful, snarky, and even abrasive Black Panther. His shock at discovering he nearly murdered an innocent man snaps him out of it, and by the time Black Panther rolls around, his Nice Guy nature shines through.
  • Unexplained Recovery: He is thrown off a cliff into a icy cold river. Later, he was revealed to have been recovered by the neighboring tribe, and placed in ice. It's not actually explained how the ice prevents him from dying, but whatever.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He enacts Cruel Mercy and prevents Zemo's suicide, then takes him into the authorities to be imprisoned. However, this instead leads into Zemo going full-on villain as Baron Zemo, foreshadowed at the end of Civil War and made completely clear in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
  • Warrior Prince: He's the prince of Wakanda, and this title comes packaged with another, "Black Panther".
  • What's Up, King Dude?: In his own movie, it is shown that T'Challa has no problem with walking through the streets of Wakanda, among the common populace. He is also clearly uncomfortable with people bowing to him, telling Bruce Banner "We don't do that here" when Rhodes tricks him into doing it in Infinity War.
  • Wolverine Claws: In addition to his second suit's regular claws, he has a set of retractable spikes on his knuckles in his gloves, much like his Ultimate Universe counterpart. However, he only pops them out briefly to intimidate Klaue further before retracting them and settling for his regular ones.
  • Working with the Ex: For most of the plot of his movie, he gets to act alongside Nakia, who used to date him. Despite the teasing of his closest allies, they're Amicable Exes who work well together and resume their relationship at the end.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: He displays this mentality through his own movie. Though he kills a group of African terrorists in the beginning, he refrains from slaying a Child Soldier with them, and is horrified at what he almost did. Also, one of the things that shocked him the most about Killmonger's backstory was that he was only a child when it all happened.
  • You Are in Command Now: Ascended to the throne after his father was killed.
  • You Killed My Father: The reason he fiercely targets Bucky in Civil War is due to the death of his father during an attack on the United Nations council in Vienna, which the Winter Soldier is framed for. Later, after T'Challa realizes that Bucky's innocent, he agrees to hide him in Wakanda until he can be freed from the remains of HYDRA's programming.
  • Younger and Hipper: This version is a bit younger than he usually is when he sides with the Avengers.


Video Example(s):


Killmonger's Death

Despite all Killmonger did, T'Challa still allows him a moment to enjoy a Wakandan sunset.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / AlasPoorVillain

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Main / AlasPoorVillain