With the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the Polynesian island of Tuvalu released a series of one ounce silver rounds featuring these beloved superheroes. The latest release features Black Panther, one of Marvel’s lesser known heroes who recently came into the limelight with his live action debut in Captain America: Civil War in 2016, played by actor Chadwick Boseman. Black Panther will return in his own solo movie on February 16, 2018, and will be seen in Avengers: Infinity Wars later this year.
But how well do you know Black Panther? Avid readers of Marvel Comics might know Black Panther’s first appearance was in 1966 in Fantastic Four issue #52. However, newer fans—particularly those who watch Marvel movies over reading comics—may be unfamiliar with the character and his origins. How about a quick crash course before the movie is released?
Black Panther, created by Marvel writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Jack Kirby, is a superhero who hails from the fictional African nation of Wakanda, where he is king. T’Challa—Black Panther’s real name—is the first African superhero in mainstream American comics. His origin stems from the rituals of his tribe, which pass the ceremonial title of Black Panther to the chief of the Panther Tribe within Wakanda.
Following the death of T’Challa’s father (and after a brief ruling by his uncle until T’Challa came of age), he became the leader of his people. With that role came the Black Panther hereditary title, yet T’Challa still had to earn it by defeating champions of the various Wakandan tribes. As Black Panther, T’Challa experienced a mystical connection to the Wakandan panther god, Bast. This entitled him to eat a heart-shaped herb that imbued him with superhuman strength, speed, and agility, along with sharpened senses, quick reflexes, enhanced stamina, and healing powers. With these abilities also came T’Challa’s right to don the sacred vibranium costume of the Wakandan Panther Clan.
In addition to T’Challa’s Black Panther powers, he is also a highly intelligent inventor and scientist with a PhD in physics from Oxford University. He spent time rigorously training in acrobatics, gymnastics, and various form of martial arts. And as if his collection of skills wasn’t enough, his status as king also granted him access to advanced technologies thanks to the Wakandan wealth that is attributed to a meteorite of vibranium that crashed down nearby. The rare metal is the strongest on earth, and is what was used to create Captain America’s iconic shield.
In the Marvel comics, T’Challa (as Black Panther) journeyed from Wakanda to New York, where he joined The Avengers to help them fight off foes. He eventually went on to don the mantle of Daredevil for some time, before returning home to Wakanda. T’Challa’s first starring feature in Jungle Action #5 in 1973—a self-contained multi-issue story arc—began a new series that many comic enthusiasts consider to be Marvel’s first graphic novel. Black Panther is also known for his relationship with fellow superhero, Storm, of Marvel’s X-Men series.
With the addition of Black Panther to the highly-popular Marvel movies, it gives more fans a chance to get to know this character on a grander scale. Are you a silver stacker who also enjoys superheros? The 2018 1 oz Tuvalu Silver Black Panther coin might be a great addition to your collection!
Are you looking forward to seeing the Black Panther movie next month?