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Comic Book / Black Panther

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"The thing people keep forgetting about my client is, well, he's a KING. He's not just another nutjob in tights. He's a full-bird monarch from one of the most technologically advanced nations on the planet. And, somehow, we keep forgetting that."
Everett K. Ross

Marvel's Black Panther was created in 1966, before even the formation of the Black Panther party, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and debuting in the pages of Fantastic Four. He is one of the earliest and most popular black superheroes in American comics.

For generations, Wakanda has been ruled by the Black Panther Kings. All was well until the treacherous Ulysses Klaw discovered the infinite potential of its large deposits of the mysterious vibranium ore, which is found nowhere else on Earth. Klaw then tries to lead a band of invaders to overtake the country and kills King T'Chaka in front of his son T'Challa. The grieving young T'Challa, however, wasted no time attacking and maiming Klaw soon afterward, forcing Klaw and his forces to retreat.

Young T'Challa would later be educated and trained abroad, before finally attaining the full title of Black Panther. Soon afterward he invited the Fantastic Four to Wakanda to see if they were worthy of being allies against the now sound-powered Klaw and to prove himself. After that adventure, he soon began to meet various individuals within the Marvel Universe, eventually becoming a member of The Avengers, along with having his own solo adventures.


T'Challa made major headlines with his marriage to popular X-Men character Storm, along with his sister Shuri taking over the mantle of Black Panther. He also took on the role of protector of the Hell's Kitchen area from Daredevil a.k.a. Matt Murdock, the original Man Without Fear and his comic book numbering and subtitle. Until Daredevil got another ongoing series, Black Panther's series was then subtitled The World's Most Dangerous Man Alive! until it was cancelled. Following the Marvel NOW! relaunch of several Marvel comics, Black Panther appeared in the third volume of New Avengers as a member of the Illuminati.

After Secret Wars (2015), T'Challa will be a prominent component of the All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative, featuring in The Ultimates—a new take on the Ultimate Comics team title set in the main Marvel universe— as well as a new ongoing series by Ta-Nehesi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze.


After appearing in a number of animated series (including his own animated mini-series on BET, co-created by Reginald Hudlin) Panther made his movie debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe feature Captain America: Civil War, as a lead-in to Black Panther. He was played by 42 star Chadwick Boseman.

On July 23, 2016, Marvel revealed that Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates were selected to co-write a Black Panther spin-off comic, World of Wakanda. World of Wakanda focused on Ayo and Aneka, the Dora Milaje warriors who became the Midnight Angels.



  • The Avengers (1968)
  • Jungle Action (1973)
  • Black Panther (1977)
  • Black Panther Vol. 2 (1988)
  • Black Panther: Panther's Prey (1990)
  • Black Panther Vol. 3 (1998)
  • Black Panther Vol. 4 (2005)
  • The New Fantastic Four (2007)
  • Black Panther Vol. 5 (2009)
  • Black Panther: The Man Without Fear (2011)
  • New Avengers Vol. 3 (2013)
  • Black Panther Vol 6 (2016)
  • Black Panther: World of Wakanda (2016)
  • Black Panther and the Crew (2017)
  • Black Panther Vol 7: The Intergalactic Empire Of Wakanda (2018)


Video Games

Western Animation

Black Panther provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Afrofuturism: Probably the most prominent example in mainstream comics; Wakanda is the most technologically advanced society on the planet.
  • Age of Reptiles: The Simbi, a race of snake-like beings with multiple arms, ruled Wkanada in the ages before humans arrived there.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Dora Milaje are a small all-female army of well-trained and dedicated bodyguards.. These gals have fought such highly trained and powerful individuals as Black Widow and Storm to a standstill.
  • And Then What?: It's revealed that Zenzi and Tetu's benefactor is the Iron Monger. However, Stane then points out something to Tetu:
    Tetu: It is not fear of my death that brings us together, Ezekiel Stane. It is fear of losing. Fear of tyranny extending itself, unchallenged, even one more day.
    Stane: Have you ever actually seen someone drawn and quartered? (Pauses) Okay, here's the thing, you say you want a revolution, but are you ready for the future, friend? Let me tell you what is coming. Panic in the streets. Fire in the sky. Casualties. Agony.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: As the name may indicate, his theme is a panther.
  • Animated Adaptation
    • Not exactly, but he appeared in Iron Man: Armored Adventures as an incredibly badass and very broken teenage version of himself.
    • There is also the animated mini-series produced in the 2010 where he was voiced by Djimon Hounsou.
    • The fifth season of Avengers, Assemble!, launched in 2018 is dedicated to the Black Panther and Wakanda.
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: Kasper Cole briefly took the name Black Panther for some reason or other, and fights crime and junk and stuff. Used guns for awhile.
  • Arc Words: Ta-Nehisi Coates' "A Nation Under Our Feet" arc has "No One Man", a phrase originally used by the Midnight Angels to protest that no one man should have power over all. It's later adopted by the philosopher Changamire. At the end of the arc, it's adopted as the creed of the new Wakandan government.
  • Arch-Enemy: Ulysses Klaw
    • Erik Killmonger could also qualify. And as of Avengers vs. X-Men and the Incursions Saga in New Avengers, Namor is quickly gaining footing as T'Challa's arch-enemy.
    • Achebe and White Wolf both have extremely strong cases as well, particularly during Priest's run. They haven't shown up much since, though.
  • Badass Boast: More than a few spring to mind.
    • First:
      Black Panther: To live... to die... to rule again... The Panther walks alone!
    • And:
      White Wolf: I rarely move suddenly, but when I do, it's a sight to behold.
    • Not to mention:
      Super-Skrull: I have trained my entire life to face you.
      Black Panther: Then you have already lost. For I have trained my entire life to face the unknown.
  • Badass Bookworm: He has a PhD in Physics from Oxford, and is a master of several African martial arts.
  • Badass Cape: T'Challa wore one during the Priest run, drawing some comparisons to Batman, especially in that it had varying lengths (the length is actually adjustable).
  • Bald Women: The Dora Milaje, T'Challa's personal bodyguards.
  • Batman Gambit: Most notable include tricking the Fantastic Four to his country to beat them up and get their help with Klaw, tanking the World Economy to put the screws to Killmonger, joining the Avengers originally to spy on them, and faking the death of one of Kasper Cole's friends and having them appear to him as a ghost in order to test him.
  • Battle Butler: Omoro, the butler at the Wakandan Consulate in New York, is also secretly the Head of Security there.
  • Blood Bath: His enemy Man-Ape gained his Super Strength by eating the flesh and bathing in the blood of a rare white gorilla.
  • Body Horror: From Hydro Man's point of view after Black Panther uses electrolysis to make his all water body into composite hydrogen and oxygen molecules which are fused, making him useless.
  • Bodyguard Babes: Again, the Dora Milaje.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Okoye, Nakia, and all of the Dora Milaje, T'challa's personal guard and tribal fiancées who since childhood have been raised/trained to be loyal to the Black Panther.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Zuri. He hits it off with Thor right away.
  • Brought Down to Badass: The entire point of the take over of The Man without Fear comic book. T'Challa was stripped of all his resources as king, Vibranium-based technology, even his super-powered wife, leaving him with his own regular skills and super-human abilities, trying to make like any other hero with no safety net. Panther fans did not like the new direction, with many saying Panther had lost his intelligence as well. The direction was abandoned after the book's cancellation.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Despite often taking Heavy Battle Damage, regular bullets only tickle Panther's basic vibranium-laced costume. Which he, for some reason, only wears when Priest is writing him. Mostly because most writers haven't read Priest's run. Or they just don't care.
  • Butt-Monkey: Everett Ross, a White House stooge assigned to T'Challa during Priest's run.
  • Catchphrase: Everett K. Ross: "But, as usual, I'm geting ahead of myself."
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: T'Challa changes into his Panther uniform at times is done at the drop of a hat.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: A lot of the supporting cast (especially Queen Divine Justice) vanished when the writers switched.
  • Close on Title: "Seduction of the Innocent" does this at the end of every part.
  • Color Animal Codename: The various characters who have held the title of Black Panther combines this with Captain Ethnic, as does the supporting character White Wolf.
  • The Cowl: Very much so, though his future self is very much The Cape.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Black Panther is pretty much Marvel's Batman in this regard. T'Challa himself lampshades this in his Secret Invasion tie-in when going toe to toe with a Super-Skrull, who brings up he has the powers of Earth's most powerful warriors, and has trained his entire life to kill him. Panther simply replies, "Then you have already lost. For I have trained my entire life to face the unknown."
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Killmonger's plan to take over Wakanda via the economy. It works, too.
  • Deadpan Snarker
    • Ross' coping mechanism to all the crazy involved in handling T'Challa.
    • White Wolf. So much.
      White Wolf: C'mon, T'Challa... Let me kill him. Please.
      Killmonger: You!? Kill me?!
      White Wolf: In a heartbeat. On my lunch break.
  • Death by Origin Story: T'challa's father T'Chaka.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Everett Ross spends a good chunk of time of the story arc, "The Client", sitting in his living room on his couch next to Mephisto on a flaming throne of skulls.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?
    • The entire sequence begins with T'challa kicking in a door, knocking out Mephisto with one punch, and then tearing out his heart. And then he tries to interrogate him. Of course, this doesn't perturb Mephisto in the slightest.
    • In Dwayne McDuffie's F4 run, he does this to the Silver Surfer... with an armbar. Though to be fair, he was using tech that Doom used when Doom faced the Surfer.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?
    • Black Panther in order to free his people and nation from the influence of Mephisto's servant Achebe, makes a deal with the devil for his soul. Mephisto gets more then he bargained for.
    • Panther makes a pretty regular habit of this. Other victims include Nightmare, Black Dragon, and Apocalypse. He's also scammed "mortals" like Doctor Doom, Reed Richards, and Tony Stark.
  • Divine Right of Kings: T'Challa rules Wakanda under this edict. Ta-Nehisi Coates' run promises to deal with the tensions within a technologically advanced nation existing under this form of government, and whether it can be sustainable, especially given Namor's and Doom's attacks on Wakanda which T'Challa failed to protect his people from.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. Malice's actions are treated as very much not OK.
  • Dumb Muscle: Lampshaded and Discussed during "Who is the Black Panther". After talking to the Rhino, Batroc asks why The Big Guy on every team must be dumb. Klaw tells him to imagine how dangerous Rhino would be if he had a brain.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In his debut, the Black Panther was referred to as a chieftain rather than a king and rather than "Wakanda", a nation, he ruled "the Wakandas", a tribe. Of course, it should be noted that he was a "hereditary chieftain."
  • Empowered Badass Normal: T'Challa himself; although he gained genuine superpowers after taking the heart-shaped herb, he underwent significant physical and mental training in martial arts, science, leadership... generally, he would easily qualify as being as much a Badass Normal as Batman even before he took the heart-shaped herb.
  • Enhanced Archaic Weapon: Wakanda specializes in making these weapons due to being a tribalistic hunter society combined with advanced technology by harnessing their massive Vibranium deposits in various ways over the centuries. Warriors can be seen equipped with spears and shields made from Vibranium that are more effective than any modern weapon.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Ross toys with it: "Cripes, you believe that guy?" *beat* "Magnificent, isn't he? Huh! What a man. I tell you — if I was black — and gay — well, there you go."
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In Black Panther (2016), T'Challa ignores the advice of evil foreign advisors who encourage him to brutalize the Wakandan people into submission. Kroawl concludes that T'Challa did so out of weakness, but Zenzi knows better.
    Kroawl: Of course, T'Challa refused all our advice, as we all knew he would. The man is a poor excuse for a king.
    Zenzi: That is because he does not want to be a king. He wants to be a hero.
  • Evil Counterpart
    • Erik Killmonger and White Wolf. Magneto was called out as this in-story during the Priest run.
    • Since he's originally a Fantastic Four character, one could call T'Challa a Good Counterpart to Doctor Doom: a brilliant scientist with a costume motif who rules a wealthy fictional country.
    • The American Panther from Fear Itself was created as a xenophobic answer to the Black Panther, though he later turned out to be a victim of Brainwashing.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: He is a black superhero and his motif just so happens to be an African black panther.
  • First-Person Smartass: Ross' narration.
  • Foil: Man-Ape to Black Panther. Both of them are super-beings based around an African animal, but while Black Panther is more athletic and agile, Man-Ape is raw strength. Both also have religious and cultural aspects to their mantles, but while Black Panther's is the official religion of Wakanda, Man-Ape's is a forbidden cult.
  • Freudian Excuse: The White Wolf's bitterness and slip into villainy came about due to the people of Wakanda being unable to accept a white orphan as a legitimate son of the Wakandan royal family.
  • Fun Personified: Future Panther
  • Gambit Pileup: Constantly during Priest's run. At one point, Panther, Stark, Hunter, another Panther, and another Stark are all trying to outwit one another.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: In Black Panther (2016), Tetu believes himself to be an emissary of nature spirits who are offended by the environmental harm inflicted by humans.
    Tetu: Once when I was Tree, African sun woke me up green at dawn. African wind combed the branches of my hair. African rain washed my limbs ... Now Flesh comes with metal teeth, with chopping sticks and fire launchers. And Flesh cuts me down and enslaves my limbs to make forts, ships, pews for other gods. Flesh has grown pale and lazy. Flesh has sinned against the fathers. Now Flesh listens no more to the voice of spirits talking through my limbs. If Flesh would listen, I would warn him that the spirits are displeased and are planning what to do with him ... It is time that Flesh bow down on his knee again.
  • Girl Friday: Sofija in the most recent series.
  • Green Rocks: Vibranium, although it is mostly Unobtainium for all those outside of Wakanda.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Black Panther (2016) depicts the struggle for control of Wakanda in this light. Zenzi's revolutionary group, The People, provides for its members and longs to free Wakanda from the monarchy. However, their tactics involve a miner's riot, suicide bombers, and other acts of terrorism. T'Challa wants to restore peace and order to his country, but to do so, he consults evil men in issue #5.
  • Guile Hero: Priest's interpretation of the character.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Kevin "Kasper" Cole, who gets the nickname Kasper because of his light skin tone.
  • Happily Married: With Storm. Averted, ironically; the AvX event retcons them having more serious problems and seeing a marriage counselor prior to the eventual breakup later in the event.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Wakanda, Depending on the Writer, is extremely isolationist.
  • Humongous Mecha: Wakanda fields gigantic mechanical panthers as part of their armed forces. They have not yet been seen to combine.
  • Jail Bait: The Dora Milaje ("adored ones"), are the wives-in-training of the Black Panther. Nowadays, however, being his wife is a traditional role. Ross explicitly notes it's amazing Black Panther can keep off them.
  • Joker Immunity: Klaw and Killmonger especially. Malice has a little bit of this, too. Klaw and Killmonger are both kind of interesting cases, though, as they do frequently get killed, and it's almost never retconned... they just have a tendency to come back from the dead. Killmonger's racked up three or four resurrections and Klaw's well on his way to double digits; it helps that he's not really human.
  • Kid Sidekick
    • Queen Divine Justice
    • Technically, all the Dora Milaje qualify. It's just hard to notice because they're generally about six feet tall, and the most famous two (Okoye and Nakia) look like Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, respectively.
  • Knight Templar
    • White Wolf and at times T'challa himself.
    • W'Kabi and Zuri occasionally flirt with this territory, as well.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In Christopher Priest's run, Nikki constantly berates Ross for his jumbled narration and inability to stay focused on one story-thread. This was actually an early criticism of Priest's run.
  • Legacy Character: The title of Black Panther is usually passed on only to the ruler of Wakanda. Although it should be noted that Kasper Cole, Eric Killmonger, and Shuri have gone under the title of Black Panther. As has Everett K. Ross. Shuri is acting ruler, though. As were (technically) Killmonger, and Everett K. Ross.
  • Low Culture, High Tech: Played with and sometimes played completely straight. Wakanada is a sometimes warring tribalistic society that functions under Divine Right of Kings and worship of an animalistic deity with the Panther tribe having complete control over religion, wealth, and military. They have arranged marriage traditions, primitive looking weapons, and many more hunter-gatherer traits. However they have massive levels of technology growth due to access to large amounts of Vibranium and their tendency to send Wakandans out to schools abroad to learn and bring back their knowledge to increase Wakanda’s own knowledge.
  • Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness: Future Panther is right out of Jack Kirby's Black Panther run. Compared to the contemporary Black Panther, he speaks a lot more bombastically, has the ESP powers that he very briefly had during that run, and is drawn in a style right out of the 70's.
  • Mighty Whitey
    • Deconstructed with Hunter, the White Wolf, T'Challa's white foster brother.
    • Unfortunately played straight in a lot of the older Avenger stories featuring Panther.
  • Mini-Mecha: T'Challa built his own version of Iron Man's Hulkbuster armor to be able to fight Amadeus Cho on even footing.
  • My Future Self and Me: One long-running subplot involved such, although in a number of ways the Future Self was a throwback to earlier characterization. Essentially, the future self was the "Jack Kirby" Panther, and the then-current version was Priest's interpretation. Hudlin's interpretation is somewhere in between the two, and Liss' is completely disconnected from both.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Some people such as Hunter are not thrilled with T'Challa's actions to end the "Doom War".
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Future Panther (and his former companions Abner Little and Princess Zanda) are drawn in a distinctly Kirbyesqe style.
  • No One Could Survive That!
    • Black Panther once went up against a mind-controlled Iron Fist and took multiple Iron Fist attacks. Kind of a subversion, as the attacks did cause a fatal brain aneurysm that would have eventually killed Panther had Priest stayed on the book. Hudlin never addressed it in his run, and it appears forgotten.
    • The same story arc had him swallowed by a dragon soon after that and then claw his way out.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Henry Gyrich. "I'm the government, mister."
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Played straight and subverted with "Kasper" Cole, subverted in that he has yet to keep a superhero identity without someone else taking it after two attempts. Technically he's still going by White Tiger (as far as we know), and unlikely to change as there are tribal implications to the name, and it could tick off the Wakandans if he did change his heroing name. That's part of why he changed from Black Panther in the first place.
  • The Plan
    • Constantly during Priest's run. T'Challa still pulls them off occasionally, though they tend to be less complex/convoluted these days.
    • During Priest's run, T'Challa was far from the only one doing this. Hunter, Killmonger, Tony Stark, Black Dragon, Achebe, Mephisto, Junta, and even Man-Ape all tried their hand at the gambitting. Some of them were better at it than others. Panther was still better at it than they were.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Dora Milaje, also an Amazon Brigade.
  • President Superhero: Black Panther is the state leader of the fictional country of Wakanda in Africa. He's a genius inventor and mechanic, is knowledgeable with his tribe's mystcism, and he kicks ass as a side job.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: T'Challa exiled and disband White Wolf and the Hatut Zeraze for their use of torture and secret assassinations in service of the crown. But throughout the earlier sections of Priest's run, he showed NO reservation of using kinetic persuasion on gang members. Although Panther's tactics were nowhere near as severe as Hunter's. T'Challa also has no problems holding economic markets and entire villages hostage to end conflicts. In his defense, he usually cleans up after himself in these situations.
    • Years and several creative teams later, the Hatut Zeraze are later shown active working under the royal family.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Wakanda has the cure for cancer, and other resources which could change the Marvel Universe drastically in ways the writers don't want. Unfortunately, in having him choose not to instead of letting it just never come up, The Powers That Be make him look less than heroic. Worse than that: T'Challa was in the room when the original Captain Marvel died. OF CANCER. To be fair, the Captain Marvel story was written (and took place) over a decade before the story where Hudlin decided that Wakanda had cured cancer.
    • As explained below, Wakanda is a heavily isolated country with little desire to interact with the outside world. It would take severe changes in cultural thinking for them to think beyond their country and market the cure for cancer.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • Shuri, never mentioned until her debut. Who knew T'Challa had a hot younger sister?
    • T'Challa's adopted brother, The White Wolf, as well. However, his absence was explained much better (read: at all) than Shuri's.
    • What far fewer people remember is that the same storyline that introduced Shuri also established that T'Challa also had a little brother who was killed by Klaw. Said brother is almost never mentioned or remembered by the characters or writers.
    • As mentioned below, the Dora Milaje didn't exist before Priest's run, and yet are still featured in flashback stories dealing with the previous Black Panthers.
  • La Résistance: The Midnight Angels and their Dora Milaje allies lead a revolution in Wakanda in Black Panther (2016). They kill Man-Ape, raze the citadel of the White Gorilla's worshipers, and placed several Jabari tribesmen on trial. Afterwards, the Midnight Angels call for elections and write and enforce their own laws.
  • Retcon
    • The biggest being T'challa and Storm's mutual past. It began with a brief short story about the two meeting in their youth in the pages of Marvel Team Up; 20 years later it was expanded upon to use as the basis for the two to get married.
    • The exact circumstance of T'Challa and Storm's first meeting has changed as well. In the original story, a young Ororo Munroe first met T'Challa when she saved him from some kidnappers while he was Walking the Earth in the aftermath of his father's death. The later Storm mini-series completely flipped things around so that now it was T'Challa who saved Ororo from being kidnapped. Amazing X-Men Annual #1 then brought back the original version of their meeting, with Ororo being the rescuer.
    • Most of Priest's run is either ignored or retconned by Hudlin's run, most notably Panther's fatal brain aneurysm and friendship with Everett K. Ross. Ross appears, but doesn't share a single scene with Panther or make any references to their shared adventures. Despite being Panther's best friend, he's basically the only guy in Marvel who ISN'T at his wedding with Storm.
    • Covered above, but the sudden existence of Panther's sister Shuri probably qualifies.
    • Similarly, the Dora Milaje flat out didn't exist before Priest's run, but are treated as though they've long been part of Wakandan tradition.
    • In the original telling of T'Chaka's fight with Captain America, the fight ends as a draw (though Cap had the advantage). In the Hudlin telling, T'Chaka knocks Cap out cold.
    • Wakanda itself has been RetConned a number of times, namely how it became so high tech. From Stan Lee and Jack Kirby up through Priest's run, the story was that Wakanda gained super-tech only after Klaw's attack that killed T'challa's father, and it acquired its advanced technology by sending out its best and brightest to study overseas and then come home to cheaply share the fruits of their labor (similar to how Japan modernized). Later authors stated it had always had super high tech, thanks to the presence of Vibranium.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Black Panther (2016) has several examples.
    • In issue #1, T'Challa faces off against rioting miners from Wakanda's vibranium mines, which ends with several miner casualties. The scene brings to mind the protests and violent clashes at South African mines in 2012, including the Marikana massacre.
    • In issue #2, the Midnight Angels discover a militia group that has been kidnapping women and girls for use as sex slaves. The atrocities of Boko Haram immediately come to mind.
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: In Priest's run, T'Challa fought the likes of Hydro Man and Alyosha Kraven (son of the first Kraven the Hunter, who was still dead after Kraven's Last Hunt), both of them being Spider-Man villains.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: And how! This king actually has political power, but he can be head of state and act as a Reed Richards or Daredevil substitute at the same time.
  • Running Gag
    • Ross was assigned to keep an eye on Panther for four days. Four. Days.
    • "My loyalty is to Wakanda." "And its king?" "Him too."
    • "No, I am the king of a small African nation."
    • "But of course, as usual, I'm getting ahead of myself."
    • When Ross is unsure of another character's origin story, he claims that they fell into a (sometimes radioactive) vat of Cream of Wheat. He does this several times in quick succession in issue 17 of Priest's run.
  • Scandalgate: The Wakandan consulate sponsored a children's charity which was later revealed to be involved in embezzling and drug-running; one of the charity's wards ended up mysteriously dead. The resulting scandal was dubbed "Wakandagate".
  • Schiff One-Liner: T'Challa's last line to Wilson Fisk at the end of Kingpin of Wakanda arc: "You can have your girlfriend back when we're done questioning her."
  • Shout-Out: Tetu's internal monologue in Black Panther #3 (2016) is from poet Henry Dumas' "Rootsong"
  • Smug Super: Downplayed. T'Challa knows where he stands in the bigger picture of things and is extremely respectful of his alies, but he isn't shy about letting people know he believes Wakanda has the rest of the world beat in terms of military and economic might. Thing is, he probably isn't wrong, either.
  • Sinister Minister: Achebe. Man-Ape could probably qualify on a technicality, but Achebe's textbook.
  • Soap Opera Disease: T'challa's brain aneurysm was this for a while, causing him to have hallucinations and a deteriorating mental state, until he got better. Amusingly, even delusional Panther is a badass. He beat up a (probably) imaginary Magneto, using his usual "super smart and over-prepared" tactics.
  • Spin-Off: Priest's next project, The Crew, could be considered this, as two of the four main characters (Kasper Cole and Junta) were created during his Black Panther run, as was the primary villain, Triage.
  • Spirit World: Black Panther (2016) explores Djalia, the plane of ancient memory. Shuri finds herself there, learning about the ancient ways of the Wakandans.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Nakia/Malice, which grows to its natural heavy extreme.
  • Super Serum: The "heart-shaped herb" that is consumed as part of assuming the role of Black Panther, which drastically increases physical strength, reflexes, agility, speed, mental acuity, perception, and generally boosts up all traits to roughly Captain America-ish levels.
  • Supersoldier: Despite what you'd expect, averted. The heart-shaped herb used within the Ascension ritual for all Black Panthers is only compatible with certain individuals, namely T'Challa's genetic relatives. For anyone else, attempting to consume the herb brings death. Or not; T'Challa gave a bit to Spider-Man when Spidey was dying during "The Other" storyline, and the warrior woman Zawadi of the Monster Hunters was said to have gotten her abilities from it (though whether she might be of royal blood is never specifed).
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Occasionally averted. The Avengers have had a few adventures in Wakanda over the years, as have the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Justified, as Wakanda is highly xenophobic and isolationist (and, sometimes, more than a little arrogant) and has extremely advanced technology of its own; it doesn't want outside superheroes running around, it usually doesn't need them, and the majority of superheroes both know they're unwelcome and have much bigger concerns in their own territory.
  • Technical Pacifist
    • T'Challa does not approve of killing. Usually. But he's pretty willing to make decisions that get people killed (Q'noma valley), which makes sense, as he's the leader of a country, and all. And he occasionally threatened to kill people during the Priest run (although mostly only after he started going insane). But he prefers not to.
    • His teenage self considers it when he confronts the man who killed his father, but ultimately can't do it.
  • Temporary Substitute: Recently has done this for one or two heroes to varying results
    • Kasper Cole is the most famous of several temporary Panthers.
    • They attempted the same thing with Shuri years later.
  • Those Two Guys: Tayete and Kazibe, constantly beat-up Killmonger henchmen.
  • Token Evil Teammate
    • The White Wolf, for the brief time he was a supporting cast member as opposed to a villain.
    • The trope was all over Priest's run, and applied at various times to Nakia, Erik Killmonger, Henry Gyrich, and Nightshade.
    • Also during Priest's run, Killmonger was briefly this to the Avengers.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: How T'Challa deals with a giant dragon.
  • Unfortunate Names
    • Vibraxas: Master of Vibration! Lampshaded by his later girlfriend Queen Divine Justice after she first heard the title.
    • Ross makes fun of more of the goofy superhero names that appear than not. Special mention for Man-Ape.
    • Black Panther himself. Marvel briefly changed the hero's name to The Panther and Black Leopard to keep him from being identified with the controversial Black Panther Party even though Black Panther the superhero actually predated the BPP.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: So many subtle and drastic variations of his costume that the only set standard is usually the color and the cat ears.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension
    • With Susan Richards. They've gone as far as skinny dipping together, but cut things short before it became a Two-Person Pool Party. "Anything said or done cannot be unsaid or undone," T'Challa insisted. Reed is obviously clueless, but was left wondering what Sue meant when she said Ororo was a lucky girl.
    • Even after her Face–Heel Turn, Panther has loads of this with Nakia/Malice. Arguably, he also some with Nightshade and Queen Zanda.
    • There's a tiny bit of this between Panther and Monica Rambeau during the New Orleans arc by Hudlin. His relationship with Storm started out this way, then Priest had them kiss (once), then Hudlin decided they should get married.
    • Kasper and Okoye had a bit of this as well.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Black Panther (2016) depicts Wakanda as a nation torn by internal struggle. T'Challa must cope with mining strikes, militant groups, Zenzi's cult, and the increasing number of Wakandans who question the relevancy of their king. Also, the Midnight Angels oppose his rule and seek to protect the Wakandan people, believing that he cannot. Issue 3 reveals that they've recruited several dora milaje warriors to their side.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist
    • White Wolf and the Hatut Zeraze use extreme methods to protect Wakanda, despite being exiled at the start of T'Challa's reign they continue in this role without T'Challa's approval. Considering T'Chaka, Hunter and T'Challa's father, approved of Hunter's methods, its easy to see T'Chaka in this light as well.
    • You can make a case for this with a lot of the Priest-era villains. Killmonger's a pretty well-meaning guy when it comes to absolutely everything except T'Challa. Magneto and Doom are both presented this way when they show up (and more than a few parallels are drawn between Panther and Magneto). And even Man-Ape only wants what's best for his people.
    • The antagonists of Black Panther (2016) can be characterized as such. Zenzi and Tetu genuinely believe that they are acting in Wakanda's best interest by undermining its king.
  • The Western: A late Christopher Priest story involved Panther and most of the supporting cast (including crazy future Panther) being sent back to the old west to team up with Marvel's Western Characters, and all the Asgardians (disguised as cowboys) against Loki.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Deconstructed in Black Panther (2016) whenever T'Challa attacks his fellow Wakandans. After T'Challa neutralizes a miner's riot, readers see the unconscious bodies of miners littering the ground. Later, when T'Challa defeats the guards at Zenzi's hideout, he discovers that the guards' wives, children, and elders are now bereft of their providers.
    T'Challa: These men are responsible for crimes against your country. They will be brought to justice. Your king will provide for you.
    Woman: These men were providing for us.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Geoff Johns' and Christopher Priest's depictions of the character. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee's version as well.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Wakanda's canonical location has varied over the years. Black Panther (2016) indicates that it shares a border with Nigeria.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: Black Panther (2016) gives us Aneka and Ayo, the Midnight Angels. Aneka killed a tribal chieftain who had been sexually abusing girls in his village. In another issue, Aneka and Ayo slaughter a group of militants who had been kidnapping women and girls for use as sex slaves.
  • Withholding the Cure: When Reginald Hudlin was writing the title, it was revealed that Wakanda has had a cure for cancer for centuries.
  • Worthy Opponent
    • Doctor Doom to Black Panther.
    • Another one that was very prevalent in Priest's run: Panther and Hunter definitely feel this way about each other, as do Panther and Killmonger. For a while, this was how T'Challa and Tony Stark saw each other was well. T'Chaka and Captain America started out this way, but quickly became friends. There was even a little bit of this starting to show between Killmonger and Kasper, but the book got cancelled before it could really blossom.
    • Triage feels this way about Kasper, but the feeling is very much not mutual.


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