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Black Panther (T'Challa by Hudlin) (Marvel Comics) with the armored costume

Black Panther

(T'Challa) (Hudlin era)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

This profile directly follows our , which you should read first. It is followed by the entry.

It corresponds to the Panther’s appearances from 2005 to 2008. The core of that was the 38-issue Black Panther written by Reginald Hudlin , back then a higher-up with the Black Entertainment Network (BET), a major African-American TV channel.


Background

  • Real Name: T’Challa
  • Former Aliases: Luke Charles, The Black Leopard
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Known Relatives: Orore Monroe (Storm, wife), Shuri (half-sister), T’Chaka (father, deceased), N’Yami (mother, deceased), Ramonda (step-mother), S’Yan (uncle), Khanata, Joshua Itobo, lshanta, Zuni, M’koni/Mary, T’shan (cousins), Jakarra (half brother, deceased), Hunter (adopted brother), Asiri the Wise (grandfather, sometimes referred to as Azzari), Bashenga (ancestor)
  • Group Affiliation: Former member of Avengers, Fantastic Four
  • Base Of Operations: Wakanda
  • Height: 6’0” Weight: 185 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

See previous profile.

His costume is now insulated (as soon as he got engaged to Storm). He’s seen using a yellow(ish) energy dagger which can paralyze, or partially paralyze, a target.

He has a larger array of Gadgets, described in our game stats, that he occasionally uses (and most could well have abilities that haven’t yet been shown).


History

(See the Black Panther (T’Challa) (Christopher Priest era) entry for his earlier history.)

Retcons

This period starts with some awkward retroactive continuity patches which seem to want to keep his previous history while also completely nullifying them. The first story arc was intended to be a retelling of his origin (originally intended as a separate mini-series), but following stories are tied into current continuity, acting as though the initial story only just happened.

While certain retcons are unavoidable (he now has a sister), I’ve tried keeping the history to the main points, with some vagueness where necessary, so it can be easily integrated into his existing history.

Marriage

With concerns growing in Wakanda about the line of succession, T’Challa came under pressure from many areas, including his step-mother, to find a wife. However, he was reluctant to accept a political marriage.

Armored Black Panther on a flying bike

He came to investigate trouble in neighbouring Niganda, which had been without a government since US assets tried invading Wakanda with the aid of its government. Discovering the Red Ghost’s genetic experiments, T’Challa worked with the X-Men again, including Storm.

Possibly influenced by thoughts of succession, T’Challa took steps to rekindle the spark between them from when they were teenagers. After a while proposed to her. Storm accepted.

The announcement wasn’t greeted warmly by all Wakandans, some of whom were offended by a foreigner marrying into the royal family. But most were happy with it.

Civil War

The marriage was slightly marred by the super-hero civil war waging in America. T‘Challa tried reconciling Captain America and Iron Man, but failed.

After a short while to themselves, the pair embarked on a diplomatic tour of various states, the primary topic being the Civil War in America. He met with Doom in Latveria, and they fought. He met with the Inhumans on the Moon, and they fought. He met with Namor in Atlantis, and they had a surprisingly peaceful conversation.

Arriving at the White House for a meeting with the President, they were ambushed with a copy of the Superhuman Registration form. Storm, an American citizen, was required to sign before she could meet with the President. They left without meeting him, further straining relations with the country.

Following the death of Bill Foster, T’Challa and Storm sided with Captain America’s anti-registration forces. They assisted their raid on the Negative Zone prison. During the final battle, the Wakandan embassy in Manhattan was destroyed, with no loss of life.

Fantastic Four

Following the Civil War, Reed and Sue Richards, who’d been on opposite sides, took time off to work on their marriage. They asked T’Challa and Storm to take their place in the Fantastic Four while they were away. They were also given use of the Baxter Building while the embassy was being rebuilt.

Black Panther leaping over a fence

Their first mission saw them face the Silver Surfer and Galactus in deep space, forcing T’Challa to use part of his Galactus contingency plan. When an unbeatable alien broke through the portal from the Negative Zone, the Four battled it, but had to use King Solomon’s Frogs to take it somewhere it could do less damage.

They ended up on a distant Skrull world, which turned out to be in an alternate reality. It also was in the path of Galactus-powered super-hero zombies from that reality’s Earth.

They worked out the Frogs were sentient and messing with them, and eventually got them to transport the team back to their own reality. They ended up on another Skrull world, but eventually found their way home.

After helping Reed and Sue against an attack by the Frightful Four, they all teamed up to deal with an alien menace before Reed and Sue resumed their places on the team.

Killmonger

By the time T’Challa returned to Wakanda, his sister Shuri had been captured sneaking on board a US battleship. This threatened Wakanda due to the tensions caused by T’Challa’s stance on the Civil War. She was captive of Erik Killmonger, who had taken over in neighbouring Niganda, building up a child army around himself.

Black Panther using the Silver Surfer's board

He’d deviated from the US plans, so they sent Pulsar (Monica Rambeau) to stop him. Having allied himself with a genius baboon, an abandoned result of the Red Ghost’s experiments, Killmonger was able to capture her. T’Challa led Wakandan forces to recover them, and was forced to face Killmonger in single combat.

Killmonger was on the verge of winning again when Pulsar fought her way free and shot through him in a rage. He fell, with his child soldiers swearing revenge on Black Panther. The captives saved, the Wakandans left Niganda.

Secret Invasion

When the Skrulls infiltrated human society in preparation for invading, their technology and magic allowed them to completely fool even Wakanda’s advanced technology. They could not, however, prevent the Panther God from detecting their non-human souls.

Black Panther clawing away bonds

While some infiltrators were executed, and their heads displayed when the invasion forces finally reached Wakanda, a couple were programmed to impersonate T’Challa and Storm. The Wakandans faced the Skrulls in a large battle, from which they retreated when T’Challa and Storm appeared to be captured.

The real T’Challa and Storm, disguised as Skrulls, infiltrated the Skrull ship. They used the distraction of their impersonators’ torture to get close to the commander. They executed all aboard, used their blood to write a warning not to invade Wakanda again, and programmed the ship to return home.


Personality

T’Challa has become notably lighter by this point, possibly due to Ororo’s influence on him. He occasionally even makes jokes in private, although his official persona remains inscrutable.

He remains a strategist, and can still be manipulative, but he doesn’t seem as affected by the knowledge of how long he has (although since there’s no further mention of his aneurism, it could well have been retconned away).


Quotes

Klaw: “So what are you waiting for, T’Challa ? Do it !”
Black Panther: “Or what ?”
Klaw: “What do you mean ’or what ?‘ I told you —”
Black Panther: “That you would kill my mother ? You will anyway. That you would destroy my kingdom ? You will do that anyway, too. It doesn’t really matter what you do — I’m still going to kill you. So what’s your leverage ?”

Storm: “I forgot how much you liked to talk, Panther.”
Black Panther: “Only when I’m having fun.”

Dr. Doom: “Light armor ? Neat trick. I built one just like it at 15.”
Black Panther: “I designed this one when I was 12.”

“Preparation is the father of success.”

Michael Collins (former Deathlok): “You’re going to beat Galactus with the stuff in here ?”
Taku: “Actually, as conceived, the plan also requires the entire Wakandan air force, a shape-shifter, and the cooperation of the Hulk.”
Black Panther: “Obviously, these are less than optimal conditions.”

A Super-Skrull: “You are the true Black Panther. I can tell. I have trained my entire life to face you.”
Black Panther: “Then you have already lost. For I have trained my entire life to face the unknown.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Black Panther

Dex: 10 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 11 Wil: 09 Min: 08 Occupation: King of Wakanda
Inf: 10 Aur: 08 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 024
Init: 035 HP: 100

Powers:
Analytic Smell/Tracking Sense: 08, Directional Hearing: 02, Extended Hearing: 02, Super Hearing: 02, Ultra Vision: 06

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 10, Animal Handling: 06, Charisma*: 10, Detective (Clue Analysis): 08, Gadgetry: 08, Martial Artist*: 10, Medicine (First Aid): 04, Military Science (Tracking): 10, Military Science (other subskills): 06, Scientist: 10, Thief*: 10, Vehicles: 07, Weaponry*: 10

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Wakanda), Connoisseur, Special Credentials (Diplomatic Status), Genius, Iron Nerves, Languages (Arabic, Egyptian, French, Hausa, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Wakandan), Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Scholar (Physics), Scholar (Vibranium), Sharp Eye

Connections:
Avengers (High), Fantastic Four (High), Wakanda Ruling Council (High), Falcon (High), Captain America (High), Luke Cage (High), Monica Rambeau (Captain Marvel/Photon/Pulsar, High), Namor (Low), Black Panther II (White Tiger, Kasper Cole) (High), Super-hero Community (Low)

Drawbacks:
Authority Figure, Dependant (Storm, 0pts), Public ID

Equipment:

  • COSTUME [/BODY/ 07, Insta-Change, Claws: 07, Cling: 05, Detect (Energy Dagger marks): 14, Energy Absorption (Electricity): 10, Invisibility (Sound): 01, Jumping: 03, Kinetic Absorption: 06, Sealed Systems: 08, Sharpness (Claws): 07, Swimming: 02, Ultra Vision: 08, R#00; Limitations: Cling cannot be used to remain stationary (-1); Jumping has the Catfall bonus (+1) but only allows him to fall safely from heights (-2); Detect is limited to line of sight (-1); Kinetic absorption does not protect against blades (-1)]; Swimming is limited to the water surface; Sharpness (Claws) only works to rend metals]
  • The Panther’s energy daggers all have the following 5 pts Advantage: successfully hit targets are marked by specific energies, and can be tracked by Kimoyo Cards and seen by his costume lenses. The various settings for the daggers are:
    • BLUE ENERGY DAGGERS [Energy Blast: 08, Limitation : Energy blast is Bashing]
    • GREEN ENERGY DAGGERS [Flash: 08, Bonus: Flash is not visual, doesn’t emit light and ignores Shade (+2)]
    • RED ENERGY DAGGERS [Energy blast: 08, Sharpness (Energy blast): 08, Limitation: Energy blast is Lethal]
    • YELLOW ENERGY DAGGERS [Paralysis: 08 Bonus: Paralysis can be Partial (+1)]
  • KIMOYO CARDS [BODY 03, Detect (Energy Dagger marks): 14, Interface: 08, Radio Communication: 20, R#02]
  • These are some of the Gadgets he uses less often:
    • Ebony Blade. The blade was stolen by a fake Black Knight, who was part of an invasion of Wakanda. T‘Challa seized and kept it, using it on occasion. When the real Black Knight (Dane Whitman) learned he was wielding a fake, he asked T‘Challa for the real one back, and was allowed to take it. [The details of when T‘Challa acquired it are part of the retcon mess at the beginning of this period, so best left vague.]
      Ebony Blade [BODY 20 INF 04 AUR 04 SPI 06, EV 04 (05 w/STR), Sharpness (EV): 08, Force shield: 15, Magic blast: 06, Personality transfer: 04, Neutralize: 15, Security systems: 14, Catastrophic Rage. Bonuses & Limitations:
      • Force shield is effective against physical, energy, mystical and occasionally psionic attacks – as long as they have visible effects such as a beam (+2)
      • Force shield can only be used through a Block manoeuvre with the sword
      • Magic blast has No Range and is only triggered by the sword’s Security systems – when some foe tries to wield it
      • Personality transfer can only be attempted by the sword if all three Mystical stats of the wielder are below it’s own. A single RAP is sufficient to turn the wielder into a blood wraith controlled by the sword.
      • Neutralize has No Range and only works against pure energy and pure mystical barriers, constructs and fields (-1)
      • Security systems is bypassed via Occultist, not Gadgetry (-0)
      • Catastrophic Rage only becomes active when the wielder takes a life using the Ebony sword (reducing the Drawback to a 20pts value)].
    • King Solomon’s Frogs. He used this pair of artifacts in emergencies only, until realizing they were probably sentient, and jerking him about with their apparently random destinations (see entry for their stats).
    • Light Armor [/BODY/ 09, Insta-Change]. This appears to be a suit of solid light armour which he can summon from somewhere in his suit (possibly a separate gadget). He used it when fighting Dr. Doom.
    • Thrice Blessed Armor [/BODY/ 09, Magic Field (No Range): 06, Miscellaneous Advantage (Blessed by the Panther God)]. This suit of armour has been blessed by the Panther God, making it holy and therefore avoided by vampires and suchlike. It’s also strong enough that he’ll wear it when facing Iron Man.
    • Vibranium earplugs [BODY 02, Sound Nullify: 10]. These earplugs offer a degree of protection from Klaw’s attacks.
    • Weapon Disabler [BODY 02, Neutralize (guns only, 1AP Range): 06, Miniaturization]. He has some kind of small Gadget which can disable all firearms in a limited range (and more exotic types of hand-held firearms, such as alien beam weapons) if he’s prepared for them.
    • He has a range of other devices and vehicles available to him (see also the It’s Good To Be King section in the earlier WU), which he can call on, or have on hand if it’s an eventuality he’s prepared for.
      He’s had his aircrafts fitted with an EMP which knocked out most of the power to Latveria without affecting itself or T‘Challa’s worn technology; he’s had a magnetic wave spaceship available for a quick jaunt to the moon; and he had a device to drain the Power Cosmic from the Silver Surfer (as part of his Galactus Protocols).
      These are in addition to the smaller devices such as some of those shown above. He can generally be considered to have 3 10 AP ABCD Omni-Gadget, and 1 Serious Marginal 20 AP ABCD Omni-Gadget.

Design Notes

While he’s stated as being able to speak Egyptian, it’s unclear whether this is the old Egyptian language spoken thousands of years ago, which eventually turned into Coptic, or whether it’s supposed to be the modern Egyptian Arabic.

The situation would allow for the former, although T’Challa would probably be more likely to know the latter (or both). It’s been listed as Egyptian, but can probably be interpreted as either.

It’s also unclear which Arabic he knows. He likely reads Modern standard Arabic (aka standard Arabic aka Literary Arabic), and speaks at least one, probably a few, major regional variants (such as Egyptian Arabic).


By Gareth Lewis

Source of Character: Marvel Comics (mainly volume 4 of Black Panther, 2005 to 2008)

Helper(s): Ebony Blade stats taken from Black Knight (Dane Whitman) entry, Peter S Piispanen, Frank Murdock

Writeup completed on the 19th of May, 2012.

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