Powers: Dark vision, Enhanced Hearing, Tracking, Equipment
Talents: Royalty, Business, Acrobatics, Tumbling, Tracking, Martial A, B, C, D, E, Leadership, Animal Handling, First Aid, Demolitions, Engineering, Detective/Espionage, Marksmanship, Multi-lingual
T’Challa is heir to the centuries-old ruling dynasty of the African kingdom Wakanda, and ritual leader of its Panther Clan. His mother died in childbirth, earning him the enduring hatred of his adopted elder brother, Hunter, who also resented T’Challa for supplanting him in the royal household. Hunter would become the White Wolf, leader of the Hatut Zeraze (Dogs of War), the Wakandan secret police. Their father T’Chaka remarried, but his second wife, Ramonda, seemingly ran away with another man when T’Challa was eight. When T’Challa was a teenager, T’Chaka was murdered by Klaw, a Dutchman seeking to plunder the rare Vibranium metal unique to Wakanda, but T’Challa used Klaw’s own weapon to maim him and drive him off. T’Challa studied in Europe and America, then underwent ritual trials in Wakanda – including defeating his uncle S’yan, the existing Black Panther – to win the heart-shaped herb, enhancing his abilities and linking him spiritually to the Panther God Bast. Now Wakanda’s ruler as the Black Panther, he disbanded and exiled the Hatut Zeraze and continued transforming his country into a high-tech wonderland. When tribal war broke out, T’Challa restored peace by condemning the Jabari tribe, and by picking Dora Milaje (“Adored Ones”) from rival tribes to serve as his personal guard and ceremonial wives-in-training.
Taught by his father to think two steps ahead of enemies and three steps ahead of friends, T’Challa saw the world’s super-beings as potential threats to Wakanda. Inviting the Fantastic Four to visit him, he forced them into a series of tests, then allied with them against a returning Klaw. He also joined the American-based Avengers to spy on them from within, but soon came to regard them as true friends and staunch allies. He adopted the identity of teacher Luke Charles while in America, romancing singer Monica Lynne, later his fiancée. Dividing his time between Wakanda and America for years, he battled foes such as Jabari malcontent M’Baku the Man-Ape, rebel leader Erik Killmonger, the snake-charmer Venomm (later an ally), voodoo charlatan Baron Macabre, the Ku Klux Klan, the ghostly Soul-Strangler, the soaring Wind Eagle, mutated drug czar Solomon Prey, arms dealer Moses Magnum and the Supremacists of Azania. He also fought Kiber the Cruel during a quest for the mystic time-shifting artifacts known as King Solomon’s Frogs; these produced an alternate version of T’Challa from a future ten years hence, a merry telepathic Panther with a terminal brain aneurysm. Placing his dying future self in cryogenic storage, T’Challa broke off his engagement with Monica since he feared he had no future to give her. Wakanda and Atlantis subsequently came to the brink of war during the Kiber Island incident, which revealed Wakanda to be a nuclear power. Discovering his stepmother Ramonda had not run away, but instead had been kidnapped by Anton Pretorius, he rescued her from years of captivity in South Africa. T’Challa joined the Knights of Pendragon against their enemies, the Bane, learning in the process that he housed one of the Pendragon spirits himself. He was also used as a pawn in the efforts of the munitions company Cardinal Technology to escalate the civil war in the northern nation Mohannda, but exposed Cardinal with the aid of the mercenary Black Axe and the anti-war activist Afrikaa.