The History of the Black Panther: 2001-2002
By Jim Beard
T’Challa travels to 1875 Texas, tangles with Wolverine and Iron Man, and much more!
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!
The Black Panther joined forces with Storm of the X-Men in BLACK PANTHER #26 to search for a missing Lemurian child while his former protégé Vibraxas made his return to Wakanda. In BLACK PANTHER #27, full-blown hostilities broke out between the small African nation and Lemuria, prompting T’Challa to open negotiations with both Doctor Doom and Namor the Sub-Mariner.
Juggling dealings with Doom, Namor, and Magneto in BLACK PANTHER #28, the Panther confronted an attempt by his long-time enemy Klaw to disrupt the fragile peace. T’Challa’s friend Everett Ross secured a more solid truce in BLACK PANTHER #29, while the Panther battled Klaw and once defeating him traveled to New York City with Namor.
Back in the U.S., The Black Panther faced a Senate intelligence committee over recent events in BLACK PANTHER #30, but stepped back to allow Everett Ross to defend him and his actions. Malice lured T’Challa into a devious trap in BLACK PANTHER #31, and sent her slaves to seize the Panther’s friend Monica Lynne in BLACK PANTHER #32. Her final defeat came about in BLACK PANTHER #33.
T’Challa and Vibraxas entered the dreaded Crystal Forest of Wakanda in BLACK PANTHER #34 to find Queen Divine Justice, but found the Man-Ape instead. Government operative Henry Gyrich became involved in the struggle against Man-Ape in BLACK PANTHER #35, while Vibraxas found himself lost in the Crystal Forest.
Beyond all this, a resurrected Erik Killmonger captured Everett Ross in BLACK PANTHER #36, and T’Challa’s daughter teamed with the White Wolf for an adventure.
The Black Panther gathered with Earth’s heroes to address the problem of twisted versions of the original Defenders in THE ORDER #5, and when those former champions returned to the planet in THE ORDER #6, T’Challa and the others stood ready to contain them at any cost.
When the world’s capital cities disappeared into strange maelstroms in AVENGERS #57, the Panther answered the call to investigate with his teammates. They discovered the capitals merged into one strange environment in AVENGERS #58, a situation brought about by the villainous Scorpio and prompting a response by Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in AVENGERS #59.
In BLACK PANTHER #38, T’Challa discovered that Nightshade somehow resurrected The Black Dragon in friend Everett Ross’ body. The Dragon mind-controlled hero Iron Fist in BLACK PANTHER #39 to attack the Panther but found himself unable to fully control the rapid mutations in his own form. He took on his own body again in BLACK PANTHER #40 to battle both T’Challa and Iron Fist, while Nightshade revealed another Panther.
The real King of Wakanda investigated the tyrannical aspirations of the global spy organization called XCon in BLACK PANTHER #41, but even with the aid of Wolverine in BLACK PANTHER #42, he ran up against heavy-duty resistance from Iron Man. While the three heroes fought, the other Panther sought one-half of the fabled Brass Frog device on Kiber Island in BLACK PANTHER #43.
XCon replaced the presidents of both the United States and Canada in BLACK PANTHER #44, and T’Challa discovered the organization’s head to be none other than his half-brother The White Wolf. The real Panther tried to set everything right in BLACK PANTHER #45 before the Brass Frog unexpectedly transported T’Challa and the others to the Old West.
In 1875 Texas, Black Panther met that era’s Thor and Loki in BLACK PANTHER #46, and he helped the Thunder God stop his mischievous brother from conquering Asgard in BLACK PANTHER #47. Back in the present day in BLACK PANTHER #48, both Panthers suffered from the same aneurysm, a situation complicated by the release of T’Challa’s foe the Man-Ape by Queen Divine Justice in Wakanda.
The real Panther became increasingly ill and delusional in BLACK PANTHER #49, and after a tense struggle with the Man-Ape, T’Challa disappeared. A new Black Panther, New York City cop Kasper Cole, took his place in BLACK PANTHER #50.