Portrayed by Djimon Hounsou
|Known Aliases:||Black Panther|
|Affiliations:||King of Wakanda|
|Socked By:||Socker required|
|Introduction:||July 16, 2007|
Aliases: Black Panther (not used oncamera)
Occupation: Tribal king of Wakanda, hydrologist.
First appearance: July 16, 2007
Family: Nyami (mother)
While Wakanda is a democracy, it is also a highly traditional society. As the head of the Panther tribe T'Challa is the tribal king of Wakanda, and while he has no official political role, socially speaking he has enormous status among his people. As the Black Panther, the latest in a long line of quasi-religious figures who serve as the traditional protectors of the Wakandan people, T'Challa takes direct action against threats that cannot be addressed in conventional ways. Cambridge-educated, he works as a hydrologist, primarily in Wakanda (although he occasionally lends his expertise to neighboring countries on good terms with his own). He also engages in mostly informal humanitarian work, trading on his status and contacts.
When a mutant arms dealer, William Moses, began to successfully smuggle vibranium out of the country, T'Challa assisted the Wakandan military in tracking and intercepting the shipments. His success provoked Moses to hire mercenaries, including other mutants, and begin launching retaliatory attacks against Wakandan villages. T'Challa managed to track down Moses, who was accompanying one of the shipments, and the two fought; Moses came out the victor, nearly killing T'Challa.
After time recovering in the hospital, T'Challa returned to the hunt, encountering Ororo Munroe and a group from Elpis in a Tanzanian village, by chance. They were drawn into the conflict, and helped T'Challa take Moses and his men into custody. After that, T'Challa believed that he owed Ororo, Nathan, and the other members of their group a great debt, and before they left, made it clear that the X-Men could rely on having a friend in Africa, whenever they needed him.
When he was invited to speak at a hydrology conference in New York, T'Challa arranged to meet Ororo and Nathan for dinner. An attempt was made on his life by William Moses, who had been broken out of custody in Africa and sent to the US specifically by his unknown rescuers to kill T'Challa. Ororo and Nathan helped him escape and get safely to the mansion, where he could make arrangements for a more secure way home than a commercial flight.
Over the course of the next several months, T'Challa worked with Elpis to start two projects in Wakanda: one was a small hospital specializing in mutant medical issues, while the other was a DDR centre, part of Elpis's child soldier project. He invited Nathan, Ororo, and Jean to come to Wakanda to take a look at these projects, but his plans were thwarted when two 'gods' from ancient Wakandan history threw Wakanda into a dreamscape as they fought for dominance. Though normality was restored, T'Challa was shaken by his possession by the Panther God, and left uncertain what direction his country would take in the aftermath.
When the X-Men returned to the country, to try and avert a second assassination attempt against him, they found themselves caught up in a wider-ranging plan of Tara Trask's, and T'Challa's country was invaded by rogue elements of the Kenyan and Tanzanian armies. Though he survived the assassination attempt with the help of Marius Laverne and Domino, he later tried to surrender to the invading troops in hopes that it would prevent them from moving into the Wakandan capital. He was saved by the intervention of Nathan and Jean, but in the aftermath of the crisis, made the decision to leave Wakanda, hoping that his absence would allow his people to recover from the year's events instead of turning to him as a religious figure.
T'Challa is a mutant with massive physical enhancements, similar to that of Nimrod (but more limited in scope). He has super-strength, as well as enhanced durability, agility and speed. His senses are also far sharper than the baseline human norm.
PB: Djimon Hounsou
Formerly socked by Alicia