T’challa has always been something of an enigma to me. The king of Wakanda is recognized as one of the most powerful and influential men in the Marvel universe, who – for a long time – we rarely heard anything from or about.
He’s often lurked in the background, even when he was a semi-regular in the Avengers lineup, and he’s had his own series, but somehow he’s always come across as something of a B-Lister. I think a part of that is that despite his position in global politics, his personal prowess and intelligence, the resources available to him, the Black Panther is somehow still a very humble individual when compared to some of the more bombastic mainstays of Marvel.
T’Challa knows who he is. He knows what he’s capable of. He wears the crown of his people with dignity and pride, but is also with full awareness of the responsibility it brings. He is – notably among a universe of heroes with significant character flaws – an incredibly admirable individual. I don’t doubt in the slightest that this in part led to his involvement and influence among Marvel’s Illuminati – the secret alliance of powerful individuals that uncovered the Secret Invasion and ultimately led to the World War Hulk event. Now, that’d be a team to field in Crisis Protocol…
Painting the Black Panther was fairly straightforward, but that’s in part because his costume, in my old-man-been-reading-comics-forever mind, his costume has very little adornment. A full black bodysuit is all he really needs… but I picked out some of the silver bits anyway. True to comic form from the 80’s, I highlighted the black with blue, but only faintly so. He’s the Black Panther, not the Blue Marvel.
On the table, Black Panther’s abilities very much reflect what we saw in the movies. He is fast and agile with Pounce, his Vibranium Armor is almost disturbingly resilient and only serves to power up his Kinetic Blast, and this is a highly trained combatant who knows where to strike for maximum effect, which is why he wears the Mantle of the Black Panther.
On top of all that, T’Challa is a very capable strategist and battlefield commander. The King of Wakanda grants access to rerolls for those under his command if the team meets the affiliation requirement. At this time that includes Killmonger, Shuri, Okoye, and sneaky sods like Winter Soldier, whose Rogue Agentability lets him sidle into any roster… but we’ll get to that next week 😉
Black Panther hit shelves packed with his rival, Killmonger, and is available through your FLGS or preferred online retailer. Yibambe!