Black Panther hit the box office with a huge bang. The movie debuted with a hefty $25 million in Thursday preview showings and became the fourth biggest pre-seller according to Fandango. It has broken a lot of records and is expected to shatter some more.
Based on these numbers, hundreds of thousands of people rushed to their local theater to watch the mighty King of Wakanda light up the screen. He created a massive cultural movement and filled movie theaters everywhere. So, by now the entire world should know all there is to know about Black Panther, right?
Not exactly. Black Panther is a multi-dimensional superhero with way too many aspects to fit into two hours. Therefore, despite all the hype and everything you saw on the screen, you may not know everything there is to know about our beloved Wakandan ruler.
Don’t sweat, though. If you’re looking to find out more about Black Panther and become a Wakandan expert, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will help you sort through the lies and myths about T’Challa and help you understand what it truly means to be the Black Panther.
So, grab a heart-shaped herb and get ready to start learning the truth, because here are the 15 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Black Panther.
15 He's the First Black Superhero
Black Panther is generating a lot of buzz as the first black superhero. However, we seem to have forgotten every other black hero who came before him.
Back when Marvel was known as Atlas Comics, there was a superhero called Waku, Prince of the Bantu that debuted in September 1954 – twelve years before Black Panther.
There was also Lothar from Mandrake the Magician which debuted in 1934, Lion Man in 1947, and Jackie Johnson from DC Comics’ Our Army at War #113 (1961). However, since the public barely remembers these superheroes, people have deemed Black Panther the first mainstream and popular black superhero in a comic book.
Black Panther also isn't the first black superhero to make his way to the big screen.
We’ve seen Falcon and War Machine in the MCU, and other bigger names such as Blade, Cyborg, Storm, Spawn, Steel, and Hancock.
14 Civil War Was the First Time He Was Brought Out of the Comics
We all remember Chadwick Boseman’s debut as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War. However, this wasn’t the first time that the character has been brought out of the comics.
In 2010, Black Panther was voiced by Djimon Hounsou in an animated series on BET. The show went on for six episodes and was co-produced by Stan Lee.
This isn’t even the first time Black Panther was considered for a movie. In the early 1990s, Wesley Snipes was linked to a potential Black Panther movie from Columbia Pictures. However, the plans fell through. He was hit up again in 2004 for another run, but alas we never got to see Wesley Snipes as theKing of Wakanda.
Black Panther has also already appeared in 11 video games, showing his vast influence on the entertainment industry.
13 He Was Always Known as Black Panther
When Black Panther’s original comics hit the shelves, he was introduced in the sleek, black Vibranium suit we’re used to seeing today. However, he wasn’t always dressed in all black.
Jack Kirby originally envisioned Black Panther as a flamboyant adventurer.
Therefore, Kirby dressed him in bright yellow and black stripes with a red cape. He even had his face exposed and called himself the Coal Tiger.
Although the design for T’Challa’s outfit was ultimately changed, Coal Tiger made his way into a couple of comics. He appeared in Avengers Vol 1 #355 as an alternate universe version of T’Challa and a member of the Gatherers.
The Coal Tiger is also mentioned in Captain America Vol 1 #389 and in Black Panther Vol 3 #60.
12 He Was Inspired by the Black Panther Party
Some people believe that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were inspired by the Black Panther Party and decided to create T’Challa and the Black Panther as a politically motivated story about the activist organization. However, this is completely wrong, and the similar names are just a coincidence.
Black Panther was actually released six months before the official formation of the Black Panther Party in 1966 and had no connection to the party in any way.
However, the Black Panther name did cause contention for Marvel in 1972, as the Black Panther Party started to reach their height. This is why T’Challa calls himself the Black Leopard in Fantastic Four #119 and started to ponder whether or not he should return to the United States with a name that had such “political connotation.”
11 He Only Protects and Rules Wakanda
T’Challa is known as the King and protector of Wakanda. In the movie, he makes a point to say that Wakanda has to stay under the radar of the rest of the world and should only be concerned with protecting their own. However, he hasn’t always stuck to this mantra and sometimes he goes on to protect other areas of the world.
In the Shadowland comic arc, Daredevil loses his soul and sense of morality, causing him to leave Hell’s Kitchen unprotected. Therefore, in Black Panther: Man Without Fear, T’Challa adopts the persona of diner manager, Mr. Okonowo, sets up a shop in Hell’s Kitchen, and becomes New York's defender.
Black Panther has also traveled to Georgia to fight against the KKK in Jungle Action #19.
With a striking image of Black Panther tied to a burning cross, the comics show the evolution of Black Panther and the expansion of his protectorate out of Wakanda.
10 He is Still Married to Storm
Most people know that Black Panther was married to X’Men’s Storm. However, some don’t realize that they’re now divorced.
T’Challa and Storm met as teenagers and eventually reunited as adults. Their marriage was the wedding of the year and everyone came to watch the "match made in heaven." However, looks can be deceiving, and Black Panther eventually ripped out Storm’s heart and tore it to pieces.
After six years of marriage – or four months in comic book time – the two lovers found themselves on opposite sides of a fight. Storm supported the X-Men over the people of Wakanda and Black Panther found her act unforgivable.
So, he secretly ended their relationship and asked the high priest to annul their marriage without telling her. Eventually, he broke the news to her during a face-to-face battle in AVS: VS Vol 1 #5.
9 Chadwick Boseman Auditioned for the Role of Black Panther
You may think that the search for the Black Panther was a long, arduous process that included many A-list actors. However, it was actually barely an inconvenience at all.
Chadwick Boseman never auditioned for the role.
Kevin Feige was inspired by Boseman's role in 42 and simply called him on the phone.
The producer said, “We just called Chadwick. He was the only choice. He had just done the red carpet, and instead of going into the theater, he went back into his car because we had a call scheduled with him, and we said, ‘Have you ever heard of this character Black Panther, and do you want to do it?’ And he said, ‘Yes!’ and it was done.”
It was definitely a good call for Marvel – literally. Chadwick fully embraced the role of Black Panther and once again, captivated the audience with his performance.
8 Wakanda Was Colonized
In Black Panther, Agent Ross originally describes Wakanda as “a third world country [with] textiles, shepherds, cool outfits.” Since it’s a remote country deep within Africa, this is exactly how some people in and out of the movie picture the nation. However, it’s so much more.
Marvel’s version of Wakanda shows a country in Africa that was never colonized by Europeans. This is why Wakanda was able to become a leader in science and technology. It is also the reason why Chadwick Boseman has an African accent.
According to Boseman, “Colonialism in Africa would have it that, in order to be a ruler, his education comes from Europe. [Wakanda] is not supposed to have been conquered – which means that advancement has happened without colonialism tainting it, poisoning the well of it… then there’s no way he would speak with a European accent.”
7 Black Panther is Not a Team Player
Many people see Black Panther as a loner, especially since he didn’t choose a side in Captain America: Civil War and because of his infamous “Wakanda first” mantra. However, this is entirely false.
Black Panther has actually been on almost every Marvel super team that exists in the comics.
Black Panther debuted alongside the Fantastic Four and then wandered from Wakanda to New York City to join the Avengers in The Avengers #52. He also has been a part of the X-Men, the Ultimates, the Illuminati, and the Defenders.
Black Panther’s inclusion in so many different teams could eventually be a way to introduce them into the MCU. Fans are all hoping that Black Panther 2 will bring in members of the newly acquired X-Men.
6 Storm Was His First and Only Love
Storm is known as the love of T’Challa’s life. However, she wasn’t the first person who held his heart.
Black Panther’s first love was a woman named Monica Lynne. Lynne was living in New York when T’Challa saved her from a racist plot of the Sons of the Serpents. After that, it was love at first sight and the two lovebirds started dating.
They were so in love that T’Challa eventually proposed to her and the two became engaged. However, unfortunately for Monica, T’Challa called off the engagement without giving her any reason why. Monica never fully recovered from their relationship and is even shown singing a sad love song when Black Panther gets married to Storm.
Interestingly, though, neither Monica nor Storm are in Black Panther and instead, T’Challa has a new love interest. So, just how long will his relationship with Nakia last?
5 Wakanda is Completely Made Up
Wakanda is not a real country, but it’s not entirely made up either. The directors, producers, and writers pulled from many African traditions and cultures to create the kingdom of Wakanda.
The language that is known as Wakandan in the movie is actually Xhosa, one of the official languages of South Africa.
John Kani, the actor who plays T’Challa’s father, taught it to Chadwick Boseman during filming for Civil War.
Also, the Warrior Falls set where the Wakandans conduct their ceremonial fighting is an exact replica of the rocks and canyon known as Oribi Gorge in South Africa.
When the cast and stunt team practiced their stunts, there were African drums playing in the background so that their movements reflected many of the moves found in African-based martial arts.
Lastly, T’Challa’s suit in the movie is made up of pyramid patterns taken from designs in Mali.
4 There is Only One Black Panther
Unlike most superheroes, Black Panther isn’t the name of one specific hero, but rather a hereditary title given to the Chief of the Panther Tribe. Therefore, there are multiple people who have once carried the rank of Black Panther.
To be a Black Panther, one has the become the ruler of Wakanda, the chief of multiple tribes, and vow to protect its border at all costs. Only after these requirements have been met can the Black Panther truly carry on his title.
However, despite fulfilling the requirements, the Panther God can reject the transfer of power. This happened to T’Challa’s sister Shuri in the comics. She was deemed too arrogant and selfish for the role but eventually proved the God wrong with a selfless act. Shuri has actually held the role of Black Panther on multiple occasions.
3 Quinjets Were Created by Tony Stark
The Quinjet is a highly advanced jet that is used by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers for transportation. The Avenger’s Quinjet has been featured in many different movies and was most recently shown in Thor: Ragnarok.
Many people believe that the jet was developed by Iron Man, particularly because it’s extremely advanced. However, it was actually built by Wakandans.
The Wakanda Design Group built the Quinjets and the development was overseen by T’Challa himself.
T’Challa and his family have also been behind the creation of many different shields that Captain America has used in the comics. However, sometimes these are also mistakenly attributed to Tony Stark.
Although Tony Stark does have an impressive lab and amazing intelligence, the technology of the Wakandans are no match for anything he’d be able to create in the United States.
2 Black Panther Doesn't Have Super Powers
Black Panther is sometimes seen as just a suit. However, he is so much more than his suit and actually has some pretty cool superpowers.
He has superhumanly acute senses, much like a Panther. Therefore, he can see with greater clarity and distance than a regular human. He can also detect sounds that a normal human can’t and can memorize thousands of scents to track hidden objects or people. The Black Panther can even smell fear and therefore detect whether someone is lying.
The Black Panther also has extremely fast healing capabilities and enhanced speed, agility, stamina, endurance, and reflexes.
Furthermore, the Black Panther is given the title of “King of the Dead” and can visit Necropolis, the Wakandan City of the Dead.
Each of these superhuman powers is bestowed upon the Black Panther by eating a local, heart-shaped herb mutated by Vibranium.
1 Black Panther is Done After Infinity War
As you’ve probably heard by now, all of our Marvel superheroes are not expected to survive Infinity War. Kevin Feige is calling the next Avengers movie a true finale, and the Marvel Universe as we know it will come to an end.
This has caused many fans to start speculating about which of their favorite Avengers will meet their end, and which will survive. Most of this speculation has been centered around the actors' contracts and based on Chadwick Boseman’s contact, we can expect to see a lot more of Black Panther in the future.
Boseman signed a contract with Marvel Studios for at least five movies as Black Panther.
With Civil War being the first, Black Panther as the second, and Infinity War as the third, we can expect to see him in at least two more movies.
So, Thanos better watch out for Black Panther.
Are there any other facts about Black Panther that you notice everyone getting wrong? Let us know in the comments!
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