What can we say about Chadwick Boseman‘s T’Challa that you don’t already know? We can think of a few things!
Black Panther has finally premiered and waves of melanated viewers are coming out to support the film. Whether they’re doing it because they
By now, you know the basics about T’Challa: He’s a genius. He rules a wealthy and uncolonized African nation. He’s fine AF. He’s a cunning and incredibly tactical warrior. His family is basically Black Excellence personified. There’s not much we can add to his character profile without giving something away.
Instead, we’ll just hit a few interesting facts about the Wakandan King that you might not already know.
T’Challa’s Got Two Jobs!
Not only is T’Challa the King of Wakanda, he’s also the Black Panther. To be clear, those are two separate roles. A Black Panther is the sworn protector of Wakanda; while many kings have also served as the Black Panther, one need not be a king to take up the mantle.
Call Him Doctor
When we say that T’Challa is a genius, that is something of an understatement. The Wakandan king holds PhDs in engineering, economics, physics, political science, and psychology. According to Time magazine, he’s also the wealthiest superhero ever with an estimated net worth of $90.7 trillion. In the Marvel Universe, Tony Stark is the next richest hero.
What Came First?
Many critics of Blackness have conflated T’Challa’s role as Black Panther with the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Although the comic and political party were created around the same time, the world was introduced to the superhero first. Marvel debuted the Black Panther in July of 1966. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense was founded a few months later. T’Challa came first.
Marvel Tried To Re-Brand Black Panther
A few years after the rise of the Black Panther Party, Marvel was looking for a way to differentiate their revolutionary superhero from the political group. So, History.com reports that in the early 1970s, Marvel renamed him “Black Leopard” and had him operate under the new moniker. The name change was ultimately short-lived, but the Black Panther idea was later used for T’Challa’s arch nemesis, Erik Killmonger.
The Girl Who Would Be Black Panther
It’s no secret that T’Challa is only the most recent Black Panther, but in comic canon, he has shared the title during his tenure. None other than his sister, Shuri, has slipped into the suit. We’re not sure if Marvel Studios plans to do anything with this tidbit, but it would be dope to see Shuri’s Black Panther on the big screen.
Find out more about T’Challa when you go see Black Panther. It’s in theaters right now! Go get your life.