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|“||Vengeance has consumed you. It's consuming them. I am done letting it consume me. Justice will come soon enough.||„|
|~ Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War|
|“||You were wrong - all of you were wrong - to turn your backs on the rest of the world! We let the fear of our discovery stop us from doing what is right. No more! I cannot stay here with you. I cannot rest while he sits on the throne. He is a monster of our own making. I must take the mantle back. I must! I must right these wrongs!||„|
|~ T'Challa to his father and ancestors in Black Panther, determined to take down Erik Killmonger.|
T'Challa, also known as Black Panther, is a major character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is the titular main protagonist of Black Panther, a major character in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, and a supporting character in Avengers: Endgame. He will return in Black Panther II.
T'Challa becomes the leader of the Kingdom of Wakanda, assuming the throne and the role of Black Panther, after his father's murder. The new monarch set out to kill Bucky Barnes, who was widely believed to be responsible. After discovering the truth, he granted Bucky asylum in Wakanda in hopes of finding a cure for his mental programming.
After his coronation, T'Challa began hunting down Ulysses Klaue, only to be confronted by his cousin Erik Killmonger, who sought the throne for himself. After a lengthy campaign, T'Challa defeated Killmonger and decided to introduce Wakandan technology to the United Nations.
Two years later, he and Wakanda's army aided the Avengers in trying to stop Thanos from obtaining the Infinity Stones. They ultimately failed and Thanos erased half of all life from existence, with T'Challa being among the casualties. He was eventually resurrected five years later and joined the Avengers yet again for the final defeat of Thanos.
T'Challa is portrayed by the late Chadwick Boseman in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and What If...? (with What If...? being Boseman's last role before his death).
T'Challa is shown to have high respect towards other people, especially towards his father, T'Chaka. He honors the tradition and principles of Wakanda and is willing to take action whenever it is necessary. When his father died, he was willing and ready to take his rightful place as king of Wakanda. While he does not seem to favor fights, he was very quick to try and avenge his father's death. An honorable fighter, T'Challa respects his opponents and is willing to spare his enemies' lives. That being said, he is not opposed to killing his opponents in a fight and does not always try to avoid lethal measures of disabling them, such as when he threw a gunman under a moving car. Though he mortally injured Erik Killmonger, he still offered him the chance to heal his wounds and even granted his wish to see Wakanda's sunset before dying. When M'Baku challenged T'Challa for the throne, T'Challa focused on forcing M'Baku to yield rather than trying to kill him.
Despite shown to be too action-oriented and had too much of a shoot-first-ask-questions-later attitude early in his introductions, he is, however, not incapable to see reason and was level-headed enough to know when to keep his emotions in check, shown when he finally had the chance to avenge his father, he ultimately chose not to, knowing that doing so would make him fall as low as Zemo, and would go against what the Black Panther stands for. As he stood by Zemo, the latter explained to him about how he had also lost his loved ones too, and that he and T'Challa were not so different, as they both are in pursuit of revenge.
It was at this moment that T'Challa realized that revenge has completely consumed Zemo, and he realized that this is not what his father would have wanted for him, he even offered to heal Erik Killmonger despite wanting to kill him initially due to the multiple atrocities he committed, and for killing Zuri who was a friend and a mentor to him. In the end, he agreed to help Captain America and Winter Soldier by granting them asylum in Wakanda, despite their status being international criminals now, as he was able to empathize with the pain both went through. He also displays a strong resolve, as when Captain America warned him the world might declare war on his country for housing Winter Soldier, he confidently stated to let them come.
According to his father, T'Challa tends to disapprove of diplomacy but was nevertheless supportive of the Sokovia Accords, showing that he is more a warrior at heart than a politician.
Since ascending to the throne as King of Wakanda, he is constantly torn between honoring the traditions of Wakanda and helping the wider world. T'Challa personally questions Wakanda's isolationism, yet unable to find any solid reasons to take a stand on the issue other than traditions. While he agrees that Wakanda, as the most advanced country in the world, can and should do more to help the world, he is unwilling to revise the country's isolationist policies.
It isn't until T'Challa has been dethroned by his corrupted and very destructive cousin, learning about his father's mistakes and the country is on the brink of declaring war against the rest of the world, that he realizes that Wakanda's isolationism had caused, and will eventually cause, more harm than good to the nation's interests, and that of the world's at large. His epiphany on the matter becomes so firm that he berates his father's and his predecessors' insistence on isolationism in the spirit realm, and vows to make Wakanda truly a part of the world.
To that end, T'Challa initiates a variety of programs dedicated to providing aid to the needy in foreign countries, and promote exchanges in a variety of fields, as early steps to break Wakanda's isolation in a very cautious manner, as it is impossible to fully share Wakanda's wealth, technological advancements, and vibranium resources, without causing worldwide chaos.
T'Challa is not a very talkative person, as he usually stays silent during conversations and often talks in short sentences. Even though T'Challa almost always shows a mostly serious demeanor, he is actually quite humorous and sarcastic around his family and friends. He jokes and playfully interacts with his sister Shuri, his lover Nakia, and bodyguard Okoye. He also had a good friendship with his best friend W'Kabi and advisor Zuri until the former lost faith in him for his failure to capture Klaue.
Powers and Abilities
Heart-Shaped Herb Enhancement: After having consumed the Heart-Shaped Herb, T'Challa's physical attributes have been greatly enhanced to levels comparable to a super-soldier. The herb grants him enhanced strength, mobility, stamina, endurance, and instincts.
- Enhanced Strength: After having consumed the Heart-Shaped Herb, T'Challa's strength is tremendously enhanced beyond the peak of human potential, moving into the early levels of superhuman condition. He could overpower Winter Soldier despite the latter's own strength and fighting ability, able to send him flying through the air with his attacks and is strong enough to push back Winter Soldier's bionic arm. He can also duel Captain America on equal grounds, even managing to knock back the super-soldier while battling him. Furthermore, he was able to swiftly tackle down a charging rhino and destroy a Wakandan plane using a vibranium spear. T'Challa was able to overpower the Outriders and even topple down the Cull Obsidian during the Battle of Wakanda.
- Enhanced Durability: T'Challa is much more durable than a normal human being. Even when not wearing his Panther Habit, he can survive blunt force trauma such as being hit with the Winter Soldier's bionic arm and surviving the explosion at the Vienna International Centre despite being right next to the blast's epicenter, both with minor injuries. While wearing the Habit, T'Challa's durability is increased to superhuman levels thanks to the Vibranium composition, which allows him to withstand bullets and explosions while being completely unfazed.
- Enhanced Speed: T'Challa can run and move at speeds beyond the peak of human potential, moving and running into the early levels of superhuman condition. He was able to reach the second floor of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre Building using his acrobatics before Barnes could walk up a set of stairs. He is able to catch up to and outrun speeding vehicles and outpace the running pace of Captain America and Winter Soldier respectively, eventually overtaking the Winter Soldier's motorcycle by using the vehicle Captain America hijacked as a springboard. T'Challa has proven to be slightly faster than Captain America, as shown during the Battle of Wakanda when he ran at almost superior speeds with him when rushing towards the Outriders.
- Enhanced Agility: T'Challa's agility is outstanding, far greater than Olympic athletes. He can coordinate his body with perfect balance, equilibrium, flexibility, and dexterity. His movements are akin to an actual panther, being capable of crawl and climb through walls and leap great distances with accuracy. He was able to lunge several feet when attempting to shield his father from the explosion in at the Vienna International Centre and could reach the second floor of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre Building faster than Barnes could walk up a set of stairs. After being propelled into the air by a kinetic pulse, T'Challa was able to contort his body mid-air and land on the roof of a vehicle while it was traveling at high speeds.
- Enhanced Stamina: T'Challa's musculature produces fewer fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human and his body eliminates the excessive build-up of fatigue-producing chemicals in his muscles. This allows him to exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before tiring or slowing down, granting him exceptional endurance and lung capacity greater than normal humans. He was able to intensely pursue the Winter Soldier on foot without any signs of fatigue and battle Killmonger for an extended period of time, ultimately defeating the latter.
- Enhanced Reflexes: The Heart-Shaped Herb enhanced T'Challa's reflexes to be superior to those of the finest athlete, allowing him to effectively process the world at an accelerated rate to more efficiently find solutions using his sense and strategies. T'Challa was able to catch Hawkeye's arrows with ease. He was also fast enough to evade a blast from Ulysses Klaue's Prosthetic Arm and cover a grenade using his body as soon as he saw it.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: T'Challa's fast healing capabilities allow him to have a conditioned metabolism that enables an extraordinarily efficient recovery. After having consumed the Heart-Shaped Herb, T'Challa has suffered blunt force, cuts, and bruises due to fighting for the Black Panther monarch. Afterwards, T'Challa recovered from many of the damages he endured and was healed in a matter of hours. This even enables him to fully recover from being on the brink of death in mere hours.
- Genius-Level Intellect: T'Challa has a very high intellectual mind that is on par with some of the greatest scientific pioneers in human history, as seen by him being smart enough to hand-craft his own Panther Habit using his country's greatest resource with his own two hands.
- Master Tactician: T'Challa is a master in strategy and tactics. Due to his desire for revenge on the Winter Soldier, T'Challa has been shown to be capable of planning an attack on Barnes in the short time the latter was on the run. When battling Killmonger, he was able to use his knowledge of the flaws in the Vibranium suits and had Shuri utilize the Wakandan Maglev Train's sonic stabilizers to disrupt the vibranium technology in the habits to get the edge on his opponent in their rematch, ultimately defeating him and even impressing the latter. During the Battle of Wakanda, T'Challa was able to use his battle strategies to lead an army against Thanos' Outriders.
- Master Martial Artist: T'Challa is an extremely skilled martial artist, having been trained vigorously from childhood to become the greatest warrior and protector of Wakanda, the Black Panther. His unique Wakandan fighting style is very acrobatic and heavily attack-oriented, primarily utilizing powerful sweeping kicks, aerial takedowns, and slashing attacks with hooked and clawed fists, reminiscent of the manner in which a panther strikes. His attacks are fluid and swift, allowing him to transition from attack to defense rapidly. Black Panther's techniques combine African oriented martial arts and other styles, including Zulu Stick Fighting, Tiger Style Kung Fu, Wushu, Dambe, Laamb, Capoeira, Taekwondo, and Muay Thai. His resulting skill rivals the likes of Captain America, Winter Soldier, and Black Widow. T'Challa has displayed the sufficient level of skill that in his fight with Winter Soldier after the latter had swiftly beaten Tony Stark, Sharon Carter, and Natasha Romanoff, he could fight on par with and even pressure Barnes, forcing him to flee eventually. While wearing his suit, T'Challa is skilled enough to fairly quickly overpower and knock out Hawkeye using his staff unarmed, best and almost kill Winter Soldier and even fight on par with Captain America himself, briefly knocking him down, as well as contend with Erik Killmonger while wearing his own Panther Habit and boosted by the Heart-Shaped Herb and eventually defeated him, although not without extreme effort. Even without the herb's power, T'Challa's skill and rigorous training in martial arts make him highly formidable and he is also accomplished with the use of Wakandan weapons, as displayed when he fought for the Black Panther monarchy. He was able to best M'Baku, the leader of the Jabari Tribe, and go up against Erik Killmonger, initially having the upper hand, only losing due to the fact that he was hampered by his mercy and indecision to kill his cousin. T'Challa also managed to defeat hordes of the Border Tribe during the Battle of Mount Bashenga and bested and killed many Outriders during the Battle of Wakanda, although he was still no match for Thanos.
- Master Acrobat: T'Challa is a professional gymnast and acrobat, which allowed him to quickly catch up to and cut off the Winter Soldier mere seconds after being knocked down, and the latter having gone up several flights of stairs. The Heart-Shaped Herb enhances his agility further to allow him to effortlessly outrun and vault over moving vehicles, perform aerial wheel kicks while fighting Captain America, and lunge forward several feet to knock Winter Soldier off his motorcycle.
- Pilot: T'Challa has shown to be a skilled and elusive pilot, managing to tail Iron Man all the way to Siberia without the latter knowing.
- Multilingualism: T'Challa speaks his native Xhosa, as well as fluent English; albeit with a thick Wakandan accent.
- Panther Habit: As the Black Panther, T'Challa dons a uniquely crafted Vibranium-weave combat suit that, like Captain America's Shield, is lightweight, nigh-indestructible, and renders him immune to most physical damages, especially from collisions and conventional firearms, though the Habit was notably susceptible to the electrical charges of Black Widow's Bite and vibranium weaponry. After his return to Wakanda, T'Challa received an updated version of the Habit designed by Shuri to be more advanced than his traditional Habit, capable of absorbing and manipulating energy for various purposes. The updated version also facilitates extreme ease of storage, due to being constructed from vibranium nanites embedded in his necklace.
- Sneakers: The Panther Habit is also included with sound-absorbent shoes, letting T'Challa be unable to make noises while taking a step.
- Jet: T'Challa utilized an advanced personal jet to follow Iron Man from the Raft to Siberia in his pursuit of the Winter Soldier. The jet was able to follow Stark undetected and could facilitate the transportation of Helmut Zemo after his capture.
- Wakandan Royal Ring: The Royal ring worn by T'Challa is one of a set originally worn by Azzuri, passed down to T'Chaka and N'Jobu, and later their sons. T'Challa obtained the ring following T'Chaka's death in Vienna.
- Kimoyo Beads: Vibranium technology used by T'Challa to communicate and control any system they're interfaced with. T'Challa was able to stabilize the condition of Everett Ross by placing one of the beads into a bullet wound in his back. When needed, they are able to be deactivated, allowing T'Challa and Nakia to speak undisturbed.
- EMP Beads: T'Challa used EMP Kimoyo Beads to disable a human-trafficking convoy's vehicles in the Sambisa Forest during the Rescue of Nakia.
- Implant: T'Challa possesses an implant behind his right ear, which allows him to mentally communicate with Kimoyo Beads as well as control his second Panther Habit, using it to manifest the suit or remove his helmet mentally.
- Vibranium Iklwa Dagger: T'Challa used a cut-down Wakandan spear during the ceremonial duel for the monarch against M'Baku and later Killmonger.
- Wakandan Short-Spear: During the Duel in the Great Mound, T'Challa stole Killmonger's spear and stabbed him in the heart to kill him.
- Wakandan Communicator: T'Challa was given a small communication device prior to his departure for Busan to capture Ulysses Klaue. The device is small enough to be placed behind the ear for concealment and can be placed on others for surveillance purposes, such as when T'Challa placed one on Everett Ross to listen in on Ross' interrogation of Klaue.
- Executive producer Victoria Alonso confirmed they would not use CGI for a stunt double of Chadwick Boseman to play T'Challa in the next Black Panther film. According to the producer, Marvel is taking their time to decide how to continue the story, honoring the character and the franchise.
- Kevin Feige has officially confirmed that Marvel does not intend to recast T'Challa and that instead, the film will focus on expanding upon the world of Wakanda and its people.
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