Marvel Comics The History of the Black Panther: 1997-1998
By Jim Beard
T’Challa experiences a reality-warping adventure with the Avengers and meets Everett Ross!
For more than 50 years, the Black Panther has stood at the forefront on the Marvel Universe. With T’Challa appearing on the big screen again this year in both Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” take a look back at over five decades worth of comic book adventures for the King of Wakanda!
Trapped on “Counter-Earth” and initially unaware of his prior existence, T’Challa investigated an object falling from the sky in Wakanda and met the Fantastic Four all over again in FANTASTIC FOUR #4. After being captured by Dr. Doom alongside Reed Richard and Sue Storm, T’Challa escaped in FANTASTIC FOUR #5, only to be caught in the middle of a struggle between the Super-Skrull and Silver Surfer in FANTASTIC FOUR #6. T’Challa would then join the fight against Galactus and his heralds in FANTASTIC FOUR #12, and finally returned to his true Earth with his fellow heroes in HEROES REBORN: THE RETURN #4.
Attacked unexpectedly by Asgardian creatures in AVENGERS #1, the Black Panther sought out his former teammates to join them in battle against Mordred and the evil Morgan le Fay. The wily sorceress whisked the heroes away to a world of her creation in AVENGERS #2, and shorn of his memories of Earth, T’Challa became the Nubian Prince, a warrior in Morgan’s personal guard, the Queen’s Vengeance.
Captain America regained his proper memories and attempted to convince the Panther and the others of their rightful places. When Wonder Man reappeared to turn the tide in AVENGERS #3, T’Challa and his comrades returned to their own true selves upon Morgan’s defeat. Later, at Avengers Mansion, he witnessed Cap’s awkward try-out of his new shield in CAPTAIN AMERICA #3.
Ultimately, T’Challa declined membership in the newest incarnation of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in AVENGERS #4, citing his important Wakandan duties. Not long after, he aided Ka-Zar in returning to the far-off Savage Land in KA-ZAR #17, and upon his own return to his native Wakanda, the Panther accepted help from Cable in a battle against Klaw in CABLE #54.
His beloved country in turmoil, T’Challa reluctantly left it behind to fly to New York City in BLACK PANTHER #1 to open an investigation into the Tomorrow Fund, a non-profit charitable organization to which Wakanda contributed. There, the Panther made the acquaintance of Everett Ross, his American liaison to Wakanda, in BLACK PANTHER #2, and continued his investigation while Ross dallied with the demonic Mephisto.