T'Challa was the young prince of Wakanda and the youngest son of King T'Chaka. Rather than allow his older brother M'Baku, the rightful heir to the throne, to engage in the legendary panther trial, T'Challa impatiently and foolishly undertook the trial himself, to prove his worth as a ruler and as a warrior. The trial involved hunting and defeating a black panther in combat. Unfortunately, T'Challa lost the trial and was severely maimed when the large cat tore out his throat. His brother M'Baku brought him back to his father's home so he could recuperate. Though T'Challa underwent seventeen hours of surgery, T'Chaka did not possess the resources to provide T'Challa the necessary medical treatment and he was forced to break Wakandan tradition and request aid from the United States, in particular, the Weapon X Program.[1]

Weapon X saved T'Challa's life, though they could not restore his ability to speak; the scientists of Weapon X used the same processes they once used to turn James Howlett into the Wolverine to enhance T'Challa with retractable, metal claws, and assigned him the codename "The Black Panther". When Weapon X was violently nationalized by S.H.I.E.L.D., T'Challa was shown mercy by, and then taken under the wing of S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury. When Fury was contacted by T'Chaka, he declared the Black Panther the property of the United States government, believing that T'Chaka was responsible for T'Challa's throat injuries and refusing to return him to his father's custody. Fury did not tell T'Challa about this, and refused to allow him to return home.[1]

Once Fury felt that T'Challa was ready, he asked Captain America to train and mentor him in preparation for making him a member of the Ultimates. As the team's deputy leader, Rogers was uncomfortable with the notion of working with a man that he knew so little about. When he pressed Fury for more information, Fury revealed his own, incorrect theories about the origin of T'Challa's scars, and about T'Challa's history with the Weapon X Program, while also telling him that everything about the "Black Panther" was classified. [1]

Captain America eventually established a communication with T'Challa and learned of the man's desire to return to Wakanda to see his father. Since no one but Cap had ever seen T'Challa's true face, he decided to take his place in the Ultimates, enabling the real Black Panther the chance to return home, though it is hinted through their (one-sided) dialogue that this was only meant to be a temporary situation.[2]

New Ultimates

Black Panther was, for a short while, a member of the New Ultimates. He aided the team in stopping an invasion attempt by Loki before he decided that he no longer wanted to be on the team.[3]


  • Mutant: It is believed that the Black Panther is a mutant, with his mutant powers including a minor, but quick healing factor, night vision, and enhanced strength and speed, though some of these powers may have been artificially granted by the Weapon X Program.
  • Claws: The Black Panther has artificial retractable claws housed within his forearms. By clenching his fist, he can make the claws pop out through the knuckles of each hand and use them for hand-to-hand combat.


The Black Panther is an expert hunter and tracker and is a masterful hand-to-hand combatant.

Strength level

The Black Panther possesses the strength level of a man his age, size and weight who engages in intensive, regular exercise.


Due to a throat injury suffered during the Panther Trial, T'Challa is unable to produce verbal sounds.


Artificial claws housed within forearms

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