Black Panther, one of Marvel’s greatest martial artists, has achieved renown not only for his intellect and nobility, but also for his combat prowess. The heart-shaped herb’s powers only augment what the bearer of the Black Panther identity already possesses, allowing the ruler of Wakanda to be on the front lines of the country.
In the tumultuous world of the Marvel Universe, T’Challa has had to do it many times. In addition to fighting his own personal enemies, T’Challa has fought a myriad of enemies, ranging from the enemies of the supergroups she has joined to acting as a pawn to cosmic beings.
10/10 Black Panther and Wolverine’s first meeting was a fight
Marvel Super Heroes Contest of Champions #3: Written by Mark Gruenwald, pencils by John Romita Sr., inks by Pablo Marcos, colors by Don Warfield and Carl Gafford, and lettering by Joe Rosen
1982 Marvel Super Heroes Contest of Champions It was the company’s first miniseries. The series saw Elder of the Universe the Grandmaster wager against the cosmic incarnation of Death. Rather than fight physically, the two forced Earth’s multinational superheroes to fight each other for the fate of their Universe.
The fairly simple series ran for three issues, the third of which saw Black Panther and Wolverine meet for the first time. Ironically, even though the pair were on the same team, Wolverine immediately assaulted Panther. The fight had no true winner (due to the Thing’s timely interruption), but it was an exciting first meeting for two iconic heroes.
9/10 T’Challa and Klaw’s initial fight saw the young king rise
Rise of the Black Panther #1: written by Evan Narcisse, pencils and inks by Paul Renaud, colors by Stéphane Paitreau, and lettering by Joe Sabino
Ulysses Klaw is one of Black Panther’s greatest villains, a colonialist arms dealer who has sought the conquest of Wakanda and the ownership of the nation’s vibranium time and time again. Klaw’s clinging to Wakanda is closely tied to his relationship with T’Challa, and his first attack on the country saw the two meet.
After T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka, refused to sell Klaw vibranium, Klaw and his mercenaries opened fire on the assembled Wakandans. Although T’Chaka lost his life in the attack, the young T’Challa defeated Klaw with his own sonic weapon, starting a rivalry that has persisted for years.
8/10 Captain America and T’Challa’s grandparents went from enemies to allies
Black Panther/Captain America: Flags of Our Fathers #1: written by Reginald Hudlin, pencils by Denys Cowan, inks by Klaus Janson, colors by Pete Pantazis, lettering by Joe Sabino
Although the modern era has seen Captain America and Black Panther as close allies, T’Challa’s grandfather, Azzuri, was initially not as warm to Steve Rogers. Black Panther/Captain America: Flags of Our Fathers The miniseries saw the two meet for the first time in World War II when both the Allies and the Axis were seeking the power of vibranium.
Captain America’s insistence combined with Azzuri’s protection led the two to fight each other as the Howling Commandos looked on. The battle was close and Cap earned Azzuri’s respect, leading the two to team up against a group of Nazi invaders led by Baron Strucker.
7/10 Beating The Grim Reaper got T’Challa to join The Avengers
The Avengers #52: Written by Roy Thomas, pencils by John Buscema, inks by Vince Colletta, and lettering by Sam Rosen
While Black Panther may be synonymous with the Avengers brand today, it wasn’t always the case. The Wakandan Warrior did not join the team until issue 52, when current members Wasp, Hawkeye, and Goliath were captured by the scythe-swinging Grim Reaper in his first appearance.
Furious at the Avengers’ responsibility for his brother’s death, the Grim Reaper had induced the trio into a coma. Fortunately, Black Panther broke into the mansion and took out the villain, saving the other heroes and prompting them to offer him membership.
6/10 T’Challa and Shuri wiped out an army of supervillains
black panther vol. 4 #6: Written by Reginald Hudlin, pencils by John Romita Jr, inks by Klaus Janson, colors by Dean White, and lettering by Randy Gentile
Ulysses Klaw’s fascination with Wakanda has never faded (except perhaps when it became sound), leading the supervillain to take the country by storm in a variety of ways. The closest he got to a total takeover was when he was at the head of a joint group of supervillains, Nigandan soldiers, and US special forces.
The battle for country was heated and saw T’Challa and his sister Shuri defeat the likes of Batroc, Rhino, and even a Vatican version of the Black Knight before besting Klaw. The bloody battle is notable not only for its size, but also for T’Challa’s tactical prowess.
5/10 Black Panther outclassed Doctor Doom
Astonishing Tales #7: Written by Gerry Conway, Pencils by Gene Colan, Inks by Mike Esposito, Letters by Jean Izzo
While Black Panther is Marvel’s heroic monarch, Doctor Doom is the most devious. The ruler of Latveria has sought more and more power in the Marvel Universe since his debut, and in amazing tales #7, Doom made his move for Wakanda’s legendary vibranium mound.
Doom played on T’Challa’s honor by making Panther believe himself to be unarmed, using the element of surprise to take down Black Panther. After escaping his shackles, T’Challa stepped between Doom and the vibranium mound and turned an energy weapon on him, preferring to destroy his country rather than enslave him. Doom conceded and left the country.
4/10 T’Challa’s first fight against the Fantastic Four introduced him to MU
Fantastic Four #52: Written by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Pencils by Jack Kirby, Inks by Joe Sinnott, Colors by Stan Goldberg, Letters by Stan Rosen
The original career of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Fantastic four it was one of the largest comic runs in history, introducing multiple characters and creating the MU as readers know it today. When Stan and Jack introduced Black Panther as the antagonist of issue #52, they began building the world’s first great black superhero.
T’Challa lured the Four to Wakanda and set a trap for them, testing himself in combat against Marvel’s First Family. Though the Fantastic Four ultimately prevailed, the battle gave readers an exciting introduction to the capable king and introduced one of comics’ greatest characters.
3/10 M’Baku’s betrayal of T’Challa was the beginning of his downfall.
The Avengers #62: Written by Roy Thomas, pencils by John Buscema, inks by George Klein, and lettering by Artie Simek
M’Baku, the ape-man and leader of the White Gorilla tribe, has long been one of T’Challa’s main rivals. However, Panther also felt that his rival would be a good substitute while he was a member of the Avengers. Unfortunately, M’Baku betrayed T’Challa.
After drugging the Avengers and trying to crush T’Challa by toppling the Panther Idol on top of him, M’Baku was struck down first by T’Challa himself and then by the combined might of the Avengers. M’Baku and T’Challa’s relationship would take a decidedly antagonistic return after this, with the leader of the White Gorilla Tribe becoming a bona fide supervillain.
2/10 Jungle Action saw Black Panther take on the Klan
Jungle Action Vol. 2 #19-22.24: Written by Don McGregor; pencils by Billy Graham, Rich Buckler, and Keith Pollard; inks by Bob McLeod, Jim Mooney, and Keith Pollard; various colors and inks
As one of the rising stars of Fantastic four Y the AvengersBlack Panther found his own book in the early ’70s titled Jungle action. Although the series was popular with college students, some Marvel publishers wanted the Panther-centric book to incorporate more white people to appeal to a broader base. Writer Don McGregor’s solution? Have T’Challa take on the KKK.
“Panther Vs. the Klan” saw the king of Wakanda venture to the American South to investigate the murder of his partner’s sister. The multi-issue arc contained a variety of exciting fights as Panther battled the group, but the clarity and precision of its writing had a profound impact on creators like Dwayne McDuffie and Grant Morrison and further demonstrated Panther’s impact.
1/10 T’Challa got his first rematch with Klaw in his second appearance
Fantastic Four #53: Written by Stan Lee, Pencils by Jack Kirby, Inks by Joe Sinnott, Letters by Artie Simek
As Black Panther, T’Challa has made a number of enemies for himself, but Ulysses Klaw remains the most determined of all his foes. After T’Challa befriended the Fantastic Four in issue #52 of their self-titled series, he recounted his past problems with Klaw to the team.
Klaw attacked soon after, using his mastery of sound to shock the Four, the Panther, and his friend Wyatt Wingfoot. T’Challa tracked down Klaw to his hideout and brought him down on top of him, winning a decisive victory over Klaw and cementing himself as a hero.
NEXT: Namor’s 10 Biggest Enemies, Ranked