Unless you’re a die-hard Marvel fan, you probably didn’t know much about Black Panther until he started scrapping with Captain America on the big screen. The Black Panther is, however, one of the most important heroes in Marvel’s stable, and with this list, you get to know the King of Wakanda.
Though he’s been a part of Marvel Comics for decades, Black Panther (aka T’Challa) is not a well-known hero to mainstream audiences. But he is incredibly important and his introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the mainstream in general, is well overdue. He’s going to become vital to the world of The Avengers and everything Marvel, so now is the time to learn all you can about this complex, one-of-a-kind superhero.
So just who is Black Panther? What is Wakanda? How does he interact with and impact the Marvel universe as we know it? With this list of Black Panther trivia facts, a whole new corner of the Marvel Universe will open up before your very eyes! This is your crash course on everything about the Monarch of Wakanda, the Black Panther!
Most assume the moniker and invention of Black Panther were prompted by the Black Panther movement of the late 1960s, but the character actually hit just before the Black Panther Party was founded in 1966 (though he did come well after the WWII Black Panther's Tank Battalion).
He even went by Black Leopard for a short time in 1972, when Marvel was looking to avoid any controversial association with the movement.The Best Black Panther Storylines in Comics
Legendary actor Robert De Niro married actress Grace Hightower in 1997. The couple has two children, Elliott, born 1998, and Helen, born in 2011.
De Niro has four other children: Drena (b. 1971) and Raphael (b. 1976) with first wife Diahnne Abbott and twins Aaron and Julian (b. 1995) from a long relationship with Toukie Smith.
Birthplace: Greenwich Village, New York City, New York, United States of America
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Wakanda is a technologically advanced African nation. An exceedingly rare metal called Vibranium is mined there, making it one of the richest and most technologically advanced nations on Earth. The worthy men and women of Wakanda are all trained as warriors to protect their homeland.
If Vibranium sounds familiar it's what Captain America's shield is made from, and it was a major plot point in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which actually introduced Wakanda in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Chef Wolfgang Puck married his third wife, designer Gelila Assefa, in 2007. The couple has two sons, Oliver (b. 2005) and Alexander (b. 2006).
Puck also has two sons from his second marriage to Barbara Lazaroff, Cameron and Byron.
Birthplace: Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria
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A proper king needs a squad of impossibly badass warriors to watch his back, right? For Wakandan royalty, those impossibly badass warriors are the Dora Milaje, also known as the Adored Ones. This fighting force consists exclusively of women, usually with their martial arts skills polished to a high sheen and their heads shaved to an equally shiny degree. They're recruited from every different sect in Wakandan politics and they're meant to represent potential queens.
The Dora Milaje are a late addition to the Black Panther's mythology, appearing for the first time in Black Panther Vol. 3 #1 in 1998. They've proven popular, however, and the Panther even formed a supergroup of elite Adored Ones known as the Midnight Angels.
In 2013, Star Wars creator George Lucas married his second wife, Mellody Hobson. Their daughter, Everest, was born via a surrogate in 2013.
Lucas has three other children: Amanda (b. 1981) with first wife Marcia Lou Griffin and Katie (b. 1988) and Jett (b. 1993), whom he adopted as a single parent.
Birthplace: Modesto, California, United States of America
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A Black Panther must train for many years before taking up the mantle. T'Challa possesses Olympic-level strength, speed, agility, stamina and reflexes, and superhuman senses. In addition he's a trained acrobat, gymnast, and martial artist. He's also a skilled hunter, tracker, strategist, politician, and scientist with a genius-level intellect
A Black Panther wields a nigh-impenetrable Vibranium uniform, claws, boots, equipment as well as other advanced tech, reflecting Wakanda's position as a cutting edge industrial powerhouse.
Singer Robin Thicke married model & actress Paula Patton in 2005. Their son, Julian, was born in 2010. Patton filed for divorce in 2014.
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Something as simple as a character's accent might appear – on the surface – to be of little importance, but Black Panther's star (Boseman) would argue the exact opposite. When asked in an interview about his decision to use an African accent in the film, Boseman gave an extremely thoughtful and powerful response:
"Colonialism in Africa would have it that, in order to be a ruler, his education comes from Europe. I wanted to be completely sure that we didn't convey that idea because that would be counter to everything that Wakanda is about. It's supposed to be the most technologically advanced nation on the planet. If it's supposed to not have been conquered – which means that advancement has happened without colonialism tainting it, poisoning the well of it, without stopping it or disrupting it – then there's no way he would speak with a European accent."
Often, it takes a little while for a new superhero to get their very own title. Even Spider-Man debuted in Amazing Fantasy #15. The Black Panther was no exception. His first appearance was in the tried and tested (and then highly selling) Fantastic Four, way back in issue #52 in 1966.
Matt Stone married Angela Howard in 2008. The couple has two children.
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States of America
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That's right. He predates DC's Green Lantern (the John Stewart version), Tyroc, and even Black Lightning. On the Marvel side, he was debuted well before Luke Cage or Falcon!
Think the upcoming Marvel film is Black Panther's first time leaping off the printed page? Nope.
He's been in quite a few of Marvel's animated Features and TV Shows. He was in an episode of the Fantastic Four cartoon back in 1994. He even popped up on the '90s X-Men show for a small cameo, he appears in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and he even had his own Prime Time cartoon on BET for a time. On that show, he was voiced by Djimon Honsou, who played Korath in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
NBA star Dirk Nowitzki married Jessica Olsson, sister of twin Swedish footballers Martin and Marcus Olsson, in 2012. Their first daughter, Malaika, was born in 2013.
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
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This guy has been on most every Marvel superhero team! He's been an honorary X-Men due his marrying Storm. He's taken over for Sue and Reed Richards, alongside Storm, to fill out the rest of the Fantastic Four, not to mention his stints as a member of the Fantastic Force and the Defenders!
Justin Chambers married his wife Keisha in 1993. They have five children: Isabella (b. 1994), twins Maya and Kaila (b. 1997), Eva (b. 1999), and Jackson (b. 2002).
Birthplace: Springfield, USA, Ohio
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Yup, that Storm. The sometimes leader of the X-Men and the ruler of Wakanda were married in a huge Wakandan ceremony surrounded by their superhero friends and allies. They immediately went on a diplomatic tour (she was now queen after all), meeting with Dr. Doom in Latveria, the President of the United States, Namor in Atlantis, and others. Then for a short time they even filled in for Sue and Reed Richards as members of the Fantastic Four.
Eventually the marriage was annulled when Namor attacked Wakanda and T'Challa felt he had to focus more on being a king than a husband. Ain't that always the way it goes?
Adam Housley married actress Tamera Mowry in 2011. Their son Aden was born in 2012.
Birthplace: Napa, California, United States of America
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Two of the greatest minds in comics created Black Panther. Writer/editor Stan Lee and penciller/co-plotter Jack Kirby (the duo behind Fantastic Four, X-Men, Hulk, and more) introduced the character to the masses way back in 1966. Then he bounced around, guest starring in other heroes' publications, until he got his own starring title with Jungle Action #5 in 1973.