¿Quién es Black Panther?
T’Challa is the first and only biological son of T’Chaka, King of Wakanda. His mother N’Yami, dies during his birth and his adopted brother (Hunter, the White Wolf) blames him for it. Wakanda is an African country in where western colonisers never stepped. It is extremely advanced technologically and culturally, as well as extremely rich in natural resources. By that I mean gold, diamonds, uranium and other rare and precious materials, but especially Vibranium, the strongest and most expensive material in the world (€10,000 a gramme) and of which is made Captain America’s shield and Vision itself are made.
This material is only found in Wakanda. It is precisely the exploitation of this material that results in the Bilderberg Group inviting T’Chaka to one of their conferences. When he refuses the companies entry to Wakanda or to share the Vibranium with them, the club sends Ulysses Klaue to kill T’Chaka and only a young T’Challa enables him to escape from the African country.
After demonstrating leadership and combat skills, he passes his tribe’s rite of initiation, overseen by the king and the goddess Bast, represented as a panther. He is considered worthy to lead and appointed as the new Black Panther, Wakanda’s protective warrior. It is during this rite of initiation that he meets meet Ororo Munroe, better known as the X-Men member Storm. But his responsibilities as king of Wakanda keep them apart for a while. In his own country he faces coups, foreign invasions, Dr Doom, divine interventions, the god Leon, and other dimensions and legends such as King Solomon.
Despite the isolationism of Wakanda, T’Challa is a cosmopolitan leader who travels all over the world and participates in most world events. After all, and in spite of his initial reticence, he is part of the Illuminati, the group of superpowered beings that de facto control the world, as well as the Avengers.
In fact, it is important to emphasise his importance and especially his wedding with Storm (if they do actually marry) in the Civil War, in which Wakanda becomes a neutral territory. He also plays a key role in a truce during his honeymoon on a world tour in search of peace, visiting Latveria, Atillan and Atlantis.
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Personalidad de Black Panther
T’Challa is the descendent of a long line of ancestral warriors, he is the king of the most technologically and socially advanced nation in the world and his powers have been bestowed on him by a god. As you might expect, having these attributes T’Challa is quite arrogant and always seems to be absorbed in his own thoughts and machinations. Moreover, his morality sometimes makes him feel above others, as he is accustomed to being the judge in his own lands.
He needs to keep everything under control and his goal is the well-being of his people, but he understands that global events also affect him. Although he is not ruthless, he will do what he has to do and manipulates even his closest friends if he believes it will allow him to save his people or the world from any threat.
Amigos y Enemigos de Black Panther
Being an international politician who also likes to roll up his sleeves and solve things personally, T’Challa has a more than extensive set of friends and enemies. He has been part of the Avengers under the pseudonym of Luke Charles, his American identity, on more than one occasion.
As I said, he is also part of the Illuminati, the group formed by Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Charles Xavier, Namor, Dr Strange and Black Ray. He has a special affinity with Black Ray since both are the proud heirs of a people’s long tradition. Black Ray is the king of the Inhumans, so a great deal of responsibility rests on both their shoulders.
His relationship with the Fantastic 4 is also worth noting, the first team of superheroes he finds himself with, along with Daredevil, with whom he patrols the streets of New York, as well as Storm, his wife and companion.
As for his enemies, Ullyses Klaue repeatedly insists on seizing the riches of Wakanda, as well as Killmonger who vows revenge, considering T’Challa responsible for the death of his parents when exiling his family from Wakanda.
Black Panther en el Universo Cinemático de Marvel
Although Black Panther is one of the most iconic characters in the Marvel Universe, the truth is that at no point was it clear that he would have a place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The announcement of his film was greeted with surprise and, although with some reasonable doubts, also with joy. It’s difficult to do justice to a character as complex as T’Challa and even more so to a futuristic, dream nation such as a Wakanda, especially when we consider that Hollywood has not done so with characters and stories about Africa on many occasions.
His presentation in Captain America: Civil War (played by Chadwick Boseman) was positive and intriguing, with a final scene that seemed to be set in Wakanda and leaving us eager for more. However, with 89 million of views in 24 hours the Black Panther trailer has shown that there is strong interest in this film directed by the fantastic Ryan Coogler and with a superb cast, including Andy Serkis – yes, Gollum – returning as Ulysses Klaue after Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Michel B. Jordan as the villain Erik Killmonger, Forrest Whitaker as the spiritual leader Zuri, and Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia.
This is really quite an all-star cast coming to our screens in early 2018 and we’ll see how many come back for Infinity War, as Black Panther himself is confirmed to make an appearance.
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¿Qué poderes tiene Black Panther?
T’Challa was already an exceptional human being before passing the Bast rite. His mental capacity has nothing to envy to that of Tony Stark, Reed Richards or Hank Pym, his training equals Black Widow, Gamora or Daredevil and his suit is made of Vibranium, the toughest material in the world. He also wears an exoskeleton made of Captain America’s shields.
To this we should add that all these abilities have been increased to superhuman levels – strength, agility, endurance, the complete package – and he has all of Wakanda’s resources at his disposal. For all these reasons, Black Panther is one of the most powerful and important heroes of the Marvel Universe.
#EnPocasPalabras: Una conclusión de Black Panther
Ahead of his time
If the Marvel Universe wants to connect with its readers it must be, by necessity, representative of the world in which we live, present stories that are intimate and topical and have characters that one can identify with. Black Panther and, above all his inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe represents Marvel’s determined and necessary commitment to represent and do justice to diversity. After the success of Luke Cage it has been shown that it is not necessary to be white and blond and live in New York, although Luke Cage does live there. But seeing him top the bill in a superhero movie, after Wakanda and Black Panther should be another success for Marvel and Disney, who continue doing justice to the original material.
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