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 discovered something incredible in NEW AVENGERS #1: the incursion of an entire universe upon his own, and a woman named Black Swan who seemed to be facilitating the event.
In NEW AVENGERS #2, T’Challa played host to members of the so-called “Illuminati,” high-profile heroes self-tasked to protect their world. He relayed his findings of the incursions to them, and they in turn suggested gathering the Infinity Stones to stop their progress. Despite his desire to kill Namor, a member of the Illuminati who was also responsible for past destruction in Wakanda, the Panther joined with his fellows to hunt for the Stones in NEW AVENGERS #3. Once assembled into the Infinity Gauntlet, Captain America used them to halt an incursion, and in doing so, shattered the Stones.
T’Challa and the others decided to seek more Infinity Stones in alternate universes in NEW AVENGERS #4, but ran afoul of a variant Galactus and his herald, Terrax. The Black Panther disagreed mightily with his companions in NEW AVENGERS #5 over their willingness to work with Black Swan, a decision that led them to Latveria to stop another incursion.
Strange blue skies met the Illuminati in NEW AVENGERS #6, and T’Challa mourned the loss of the man he used to be as he himself pulled the trigger on the death of another universe. Back in Wakanda, Namor asked for peace between his Atlantis and the African nation in NEW AVENGERS #7, and T’Challa sought advice from his friend Reed Richards before his sister Shuri officially refused Namor’s entreaty and declared war.
In NEW AVENGERS #8, Wakanda attacked Atlantis, a preamble to the mad space tyrant Thanos’ invasion of Earth to find his lost son. While the main team of Avengers made plans to travel into outer space to stop an alien invasion in INFINITY #1, Black Panther helped his people fight off the Black Order’s invasion of his beloved country in NEW AVENGERS #9.
The Inhumans’ king, Black Bolt, summoned the Panther and the Illuminati to Attilan in INFINITY #2 to inform them of Thanos’ purpose on Earth. The heroes left to seek that individual in NEW AVENGERS #10, which put T’Challa on his trail at the Caalsberg Ridge. The quest continued in INFINITY #3, while Black Bolt tried to stop Thanos by himself.
The Black Order returned to Wakanda in NEW AVENGERS #11, while the Illuminati met the Builders, an ancient race of aliens with designs on Earth. The Black Panther witnessed Wakanda in flames in INFINITY #5, a result of the Black Order’s attack, and joined with the Illuminati to defend Necropolis and its cache of incursion-stopping bombs from Thanos’ lust for power.
When Shuri believed T’Challa to be conspiring with Namor, Wakanda’s greatest enemy, she banished him to the Necropolis in NEW AVENGERS #12. Later, the Illuminati built a device to view incoming “incursions,” invasions by other universes, in NEW AVENGERS #13, and the Panther saw the death of two alternate versions of himself.
Armed with more information about The Black Swan, gleaned in NEW AVENGERS #15, T’Challa discovered a group of champions not unlike him and his fellow Illuminati in NEW AVENGERS #16. Called the Great Society, the Panther and Namor observed the team in NEW AVENGERS #17, and realized that fate intended them to meet. The Illuminati flew off to Egypt to confront the latest incursion in NEW AVENGERS #18, but Black Panther cautioned his comrades of the evil in destroying other heroes.
Upon the Illuminati meeting the Great Society in NEW AVENGERS #19, both groups debated their ability to work together to stop the clash of universes. Ultimately, the Society decided to battle the Illuminati, and T’Challa entered into combat with the hero called The Rider in NEW AVENGERS #20, while Doctor Strange cast a dark spell to summon a horrific creature. In the middle of it all, the ghost of the Panther’s father appeared in NEW AVENGERS #21 to urge his son to detonate the bomb to destroy the Great Society’s Earth, but when T’Challa refused, his father stripped him of his kingdom and status.
After Namor destroyed the alternate Earth, the Black Panther attacked The Sub-Mariner in NEW AVENGERS #22. Namor declared his action to be inevitable and also admitted he’d sent Thanos and his Black Order to Wakanda, which prompted T’Challa to promise to kill him. Just then, another incursion alert sounded, but the Illuminati would not rise to meet it. With the ultimate end for Earth approaching, the Panther visited his former queen Storm in NEW AVENGERS #23, but the time of incursion passed without incident, mystifying the heroes.
A shadowy figure enlisted The Black Panther to follow a trail of clues identifying the Watcher’s murderer in ORIGINAL SIN #1. Together with other heroes, T’Challa tracked the mystery to chambers below the Earth and to a satellite in orbit. There he learned of Nick Fury’s involvement in the case in ORIGINAL SIN #5, and of a secret he and Doctor Strange vowed to keep in ORIGNAL SIN #8.
Namor freed the villains held captive by the Illuminati and joined with them in NEW AVENGERS #24 to block incursions. T’Challa and Shuri attempted to seize the Illuminati’s world-destroying bombs from the Necropolis, but when the Cabal stood in their way, the Panther reluctantly left his sister behind to face certain death at their hands. In their new hideout, the Illuminati welcomed T’Challa, but the Panther brought only the bad news of Wakanda’s fall to the villains.
Caught up in the impending incursions of entire universes with his own, The Black Panther and his fellow Illuminati clashed with Captain America in Spain in AVENGERS #39, but discovered it to be trap. Faced with multiple teams of Avengers, T’Challa and his comrades tried to fight their way out of the noose in NEW AVENGERS #28 until stopped by Sue Richards.