When you see this week's latest Marvel release, Captain America: Civil War, you'll have the most questions about one certain Avenger, even though this movie is packed full of 'em. Black Panther is a character who brings with him multiple firsts — most importantly, that he is the first black superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to get his own movie, but he is also the first character who's being introduced in another MCU movie before we see him in his stand-alone feature. Last Summer, I got a lot of insight about the character when I visited the set of the movie and interviewed Chadwick Boseman, but there is still a lot to know about the new character. Find out the basics for the groundbreaking Avenger from the comics lore and his movie debut.
Image Source: Disney
Who He Is
Black Panther is the alter ego of T'Challa, the son of T'Chaka, the king of African nation Wakanda. Interestingly, the name "Black Panther" is not associated with the political group, though both the character and party arose in the late '60s. Instead, the name references the Panther Tribe of Wakanda.
Where He's From
No, you didn't just forget about the African nation of Wakanda; it's a fictional country, invented by Black Panther creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. You already know about Wakanda's most famous export: it's where you get vibranium, the precious metal that Cap's shield is partially made of.
Who's Playing Him
American actor Chadwick Boseman has been coming up over the last few years, playing the leads in biopics about James Brown (Get on Up) and Jackie Robinson (42). He's poised to break out big, since he's not only starring in one of this year's biggest potential blockbusters, but he's also slated to reprise his role in his own Black Panther movie and at least four other Marvel movies (presumably, that includes the next Avengers sequels, Infinity War — Part I and Part II).
Image Source: Getty
Black Panther doesn't have a superpower, per se, but he's gifted in the way other human Avengers are. Boseman's take on Panther's abilities are that "He's not necessarily the fastest, but he's strong and he's fast. He has a wit, a wisdom, and a plan — an overarching plan." The comics have an explanation for Panther's enhanced abilities, but we'll have to see the stand-alone movie for more insight on that.
When His Own Movie Is Coming
The Black Panther stand-alone movie is slated for release in 2018.
Connections to Other Well-Known Comic Book Characters
We don't yet know which storylines Marvel will follow for Black Panther's story arcs beyond Civil War, but it's interesting to note which other comic book characters he crosses over with in the comic books. In the comics, Black Panther falls for Storm of the X-Men when they're young, and he has associations with the Fantastic Four (he is introduced in a Fantastic Four comic). Interestingly, the X-Men and Fantastic Four have been rumored to show up in Infinity War. Based on Spider-Man's appearance in Civil War, it's clear that anything can happen in the MCU.