For a lot of fans of the MCU, Captain America: Civil War was their introduction to Black Panther. The first thing they saw of this hero was his ability to handle himself when fighting other heroes, seeing as how Civil War was primarily about the divide between Captain America and Iron Man and their respective allies. Even though Spider-Man joining the MCU was the biggest attention grabber heading into the movie, the cinematic debut of Black Panther had people talking too. A lot of fans left impressed with what King T'Challa could do against the other, established superheroes of Marvel's Cinematic Universe.
It turns out it was actually pretty fitting for Civil War to be Black Panther’s entry point into the MCU, because he’s also pretty used to fighting other heroes in the comics. In fact, he’s got a pretty decent list of victories to his name to gloat about.
We'll see King T'Challa next in Avengers: Infinity War (out May 4, 2017), where he'll be teaming up with pretty much every other MCU hero introduced in the movies to protect the world from the evil, insane Thanos.
If you’ve been craving another look at what he can do against the good guys, here are 16 Superheroes Black Panther Has Beaten.
While Civil War II did not make anywhere near the impact the original Civil War storyline did, there were some memorable moments. Plus it was definitely fun for characters who had not had an opportunity to get in on the action last time to cross paths now.
This particular encounter occurred due to Deadpool breaking into the base of some of his fellow heroes to get a closer look at Ulysses, who was capable of seeing future events before they transpired.
Black Panther wasn't happy about Deadpool's intrusion and decided to express that using his claws.
The two battled down a hallway and into a bathroom, with Deadpool taking most of the damage. The most significant thing Wade did was irritate Black Panther by spoiling the A Song of Ice and Fire books. Eventually Deadpool got tossed out a window and landed on the ground below with broken bones, and shattered glass in his body. Deadpool made the wise choice to run off rather than continue getting hurt.
In the lead up to Logan's stint of a couple years being dead by being covered in adamntium, he was still playing the hero and refusing to slow down just because he had lost his healing factor. So it wasn't the best idea when Logan decided to investigate a force that was mind-controlling superheroes and making them attack innocent people. But Logan did it anyway, and it led him to Wakanda.
Naturally, once there, Logan quickly encountered Black Panther, who wasn't happy about Logan showing up unannounced. Logan assumed the frosty reception was just due to Black Panther being under mind control, so they clashed.
Black Panther has better hand-to-hand combat skills, so Logan began taking damage like he always does, except he was unable to recover.
Black Panther pointed out that Logan's fighting style is basically a war of endurance, which was a strategy that wouldn't work with no healing factor. T'Challa convinced Logan to give up the fight and just tell him what was going on.
14 IRON MAN
Pretty much everyone knows about Iron Man’s Hulk Buster armor by now thanks to its appearance in the Avengers movies, but that’s far from the only specialty armor Tony uses. In fact, it’s not even the only armor he’s made specifically designed to combat another hero.
It turns out Black Panther is a dangerous enough threat to warrant his own special armor from Tony.
Just like against the Hulk, that armor doesn’t have what it takes to keep this hero down.
We saw the armor showcased in the “Enemy of the State II” storyline, which came to a head with a battle between Iron Man and Black Panther. T'Challa was not afraid to endanger Tony’s life in this fight, and that seemed to be what gave him the edge. For all his weaponry, Tony doesn’t typically try to kill his fellow heroes. Fortunately, T'Challa had no such qualms holding him back, and it led to Tony being defeated.
13 FANTASTIC FOUR
The Fantastic Four are one of the most iconic superhero teams in all of comics, so you’d think they’d be pretty adept at handling their opponents. They are actually famous for getting beat down in a couple big debuts. In the Amazing Spider-Man # 1 Spidey tries to join the Fantastic Four in his series debut, but they mistake him for an enemy and attack him. Peter easily makes fools of them, and even decides against joining them once he finds out they don’t pay.
That wasn’t the only time the Fantastic Four didn’t look so dominant in a debut.
Black Panther debuted in Fantastic Four #52, as an antagonist to the superhero group. Much like Spidey, Black Panther managed to keep one step ahead of his adversaries, using a variety of traps to keep them off balance and neutralize them. The group was so outmatched that they had to depend on their friend Wyatt Wingfoot to save them.
Before Spidey and Panther were vying for the most anticipated role in Captain America: Civil War, they were fighting in the world of the comics. T’Challa really seemed to have Peter’s number, though, because it was Peter who was surprised by the ability of his opponent. T’Challa doesn’t just have claws, after all. The King of Wakanda also has incredible strength and speed, plus a background in martial arts.
All those skills together make him quite capable of giving Spidey a challenge.
One such incident occurred in Marvel Team-Up #87 where Spider-Man snooping into T’Challa’s life landed him in some hot water. Panther immediately made it clear that Peter’s attention was not appreciated by slamming him through some furniture like some wrestlers in the WWE. Suffice to say, Spidey got banged up, and the message was clear after that for Peter to stick a little closer to minding his own business.
Storm and Black Panther seemed like one of those superhero couples that could be a really good match for years to come.: a super-rich king with the power of his people, and a mutant whose control over the weather has led to her being worshipped as a god. If that's not a power couple, what is?
Unfortunately the marriage wouldn't last, possibly due to Marvel not wanting Black Panther married to a character they didn't own the cinematic rights to at the time.
They split up in superhero fashion with a big fight.
In the Avengers vs X-Men storyline Storm gave her allegiance to her old mutant buddies over her own husband. They clashed about it and things began to get physical. Black Panther used a contingency plan he had made to disable Storm's powers, effectively leaving her helpless. It was the end of the fight, and the end of the marriage.
10 CAPTAIN AMERICA
Even though everyone remembers the Civil War storyline being about the animosity between Captain America and Iron Man, it embroiled pretty much all the big heroes at that time. While Black Panther was still a long ways from breaking out on the big screen, he was definitely a major player in the comics.
T'Challa was the kind of ally both sides could have used, as evidenced by his clash against Captain America.
Black Panther #24 saw Panther take on Cap, and it didn’t go so well for the latter. Captain America had even attended Panther’s wedding not long before this, but that friendship was put aside here. T'Challa quickly defeated his opposition and stated he could have killed Captain America had he wanted.
Cap claimed he had been holding back to find out whose side Black Panther was really on. Even if that’s true, getting beaten up probably wasn’t part of the plan.
9 LUKE CAGE
Luke Cage typically isn’t a hero you want to mess with since he has an exterior that is practically impervious to weapons. It serves him well fighting street crooks armed with knives and guns, and it definitely comes in handy even when dealing with supervillains. Since Black Panther utilizes claws in his fighting style, you wouldn’t think he would have much he could do to Cage.
T’Challa isn’t just a guy with a claw gimmick, and can actually be pretty resourceful.
It went down in Black Panther, Man Without Fear #516 where the odds were even further stacked against Panther because he was working in a downgraded suit. However, when he got into a tussle with Luke Cage he still managed to come out on top, immobilizing the hero with a nerve hold like Captain Spock. It wasn’t anything Cage expected, and it wasn’t something he could counter, which is pretty impressive.
8 SILVER SURFER
Under normal circumstances Black Panther wouldn’t stand a chance against the Silver Surfer. There's not shame in that, as the herald of Galactus is a powerful foe for just about anyone to face. In fact, this fight still rankles with some fans who feel it was set up for T'Challa to win too easily and wasn’t a demonstration of the Surfer’s true potential. Regardless, Black Panther came out on top in the events starting with Fantastic Four #545.
Naturally T'Challa needed an outside advantage to get the edge, and wound up using a machine designed to debilitate those with special abilities. This left the Surfer without the Power Cosmic to aid him. Surfer still thought he could win the fight in his weakened state, but Black Panther quickly dispelled that misconception. A full-powered Black Panther versus a powerless Silver Surfer gave the latter a quick lesson in humility.
It’s not often you see Cyclops getting into fights by himself. He typically sticks to fighting as part of a team with the rest of the X-Men. On this occasion, he did not have much choice since his fellow mutants had been captured by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Cyclops escaped and went to get some help for his friends when he ran into the Avengers. Except the Avengers thought that Cyclops was the one attacking people without cause, leading Black Panther to confront him.
Maybe his time under the watch of the Brotherhood left his speed a bit dulled, but Cyclops did not even have time to fire off one of his optic blasts. As soon as he tried, T'Challa saw what was about to happen and sprang forward with incredible speed to knock Scott down and subdue him long enough to find out what was really going on.
Sometimes it feels like characters are forgiven for pretty much anything since comic storylines only have characters remember as much as the writer wants to deal with. So it's a testament to the story of Black Panther that it dealt with the atrocity committed by Namor.
While being possessed by the Phoenix Force, Namor made a tsunami that wound up levelling Wakanda and leaving many of T'Challa's people dead. Sure, Namor was under the influence of something destructive at the time, but that excuse didn't get Hal Jordan total forgiveness after the whole incident with Parallax.
Namor's actions put him on Black Panthers's enemy list, and a feud ensued between them that wouldn't end until one of them was dead. Panther got his revenge in dramatic style, leaving Namor to die on a planet destined to explode so he could savor the death of Namor. It was cold-blooded, but also pretty understandable given what Namor had done.
Karnak is not a hero you typically hear a whole lot about, and judging by his showing here, there might be a pretty good reason for that. The warrior looks tough, but apparently can’t back it up since he was made to look pretty weak in Black Panther #20. Is it possible Karnak would have had a better showing had this fight not happened in Black Panther’s book? Maybe, but it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing that rematch.
The fight is pretty much a "blink and you’ll miss it" kind of battle.
Karnak talked tough, but when it came time to back up the words, T'Challa knocked out his opponent with one strike. That’s a hard loss to live down. Just think of how often Batman knocking out Guy Gardner with one punch is brought up.
Ka-Zar probably is not the kind of hero who would be able to defeat Black Panther even under the best of circumstances, but he was at a particular disadvantage on this occasion since he was being brainwashed. Being mentally controlled does tend to leave heroes at less than their optimum ability since they are not thinking like they usually would. Ka-Zar wasn’t really an exception to this trend since he got beat down by Black Panther when it came time for them to fight.
Ka-Zar honestly wasn’t much of a challenge at all for T’Challa.
The martial arts abilities of Black Panther neutralized the strength of Ka-Zar quite easily. In fact, T’Challa even had to save Ka-Zar since the big guy wound up falling into quicksand during the fight, so he clearly was not seriously trying to hurt the hero. It was a pretty definitive showing for T’Challa, though.
3 THE NEW WARRIORS
This was a pretty definitive victory for Black Panther, but also one of the most ambiguous that we are going to discuss. That's because the reader gets to know almost nothing about how the fight goes down, instead merely seeing the end result.
It occurred in the second Clash of Champions storyline, which was basically just an excuse to have heroes fighting against each other since everyone likes to debate which character could beat which. Some of the fights were more lengthy and close-matched, but others were handled in a single panel.
The fight for Black Panther versus the New Mutants merely shows T'Challa landing some blows on his opponents.
The caption for the panel makes it very clear that Black Panther is the victor in this confrontation. It's actually kind of a shame this was one of the abridged fights since it would have been cool to see how Black Panther managed dealing with multiple opponents at once. That's just a story we'll have to do without, though.
This situation is a bit iffy since while this was Beast fighting, he was technically being mind-controlled by Magneto at the time, so there is no telling how that hampered his fighting abilities. Still, Beast has never exactly been known for being a top-tier fighter, so it wouldn’t be that surprising if, even without the mind control, this fight had turned out the same. Despite his appearance, Beast is really more of an intellectual kind of guy.
As the Avengers showed up to deal with the brainwashed X-Men, they couldn’t help holding back at first because they didn’t want to hurt their fellow heroes. Black Panther realized this was costing him the fight, so he forced himself to treat the situation like any other encounter.
Beast was the stronger of the two, but thanks to Black Panther’s martial arts background, he was simply able to redirect one of Beast’s blows and send him flying to the ground for the victory.
1 IRON FIST
Superheroes getting mind controlled is nothing new, but it never stops putting their friends in a difficult spot. It’s a common trope and can make for some pretty wild battles, like this one between Black Panther and Iron Fist. The latter was acting against his will and became so intent on beating T’Challa that they battled through a city, even crashing through several vehicles.
Black Panther did a good job of containing the damage while simultaneously avoiding much damage against himself.
He put a device on Iron Fist that would neutralize the mind control, but before it took effect, Iron Fist finally started getting his shots in. The Black Panther costume and his skin were shredded from the attacks. Fortunately, Panther’s device suddenly caused Iron Fist to pass out, ending the fight. Which was good, since T’Challa passed out from his wounds moments later.
Which battle do you think was Black Panther’s best fight? Share your thoughts in the comments!