Appearing in "Echoes!"
- Fantastic Four
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Echoes!"
Invited to Wakanda, the Fantastic Four's ship is suddenly struck out of the sky. Trying to contact T'Challa, Mister Fantastic fails to get a direct signal, but they realize that something is very wrong. The Thing tries to get the ship under control but the controls break and the ship suddenly comes apart in mid-air, forcing the team to begin evasive maneuvers to try and get to the ground safely. While the Torch is able to get to the ground under his own steam, Mister Fantastic uses his body to create a parachute for his wife to land safely. While the Thing just slams into the ground but is unharmed. The Fantastic Four are then attacked by men wearing strange body armor and high tech weaponry, capturing the Thing and the Torch. Reed and Sue manage to evade capture when Sue turns them in invisible so they can see what their mystery attackers are up to. Suddenly before the mercenaries can detect Reed and Sue with their heat sensors, the Black Panther and his Panther Posse suddenly leap from out of the jungle and attack. With Ben and Johnny freed, Reed and Sue make themselves visible and join the fight as well. As the battle rages, Reed gets to postulating some theories on the nature of the mercenaries unique armor. Getting a Vibranium knife from one of the Panther Posse, Mister Fantastic tests out his theory by using it on one of the soldiers causing his armor to harmlessly explode. Realizing the armor is made out of solid sound, the Panther Posse come at their attackers with their Vibranium weapons, forcing them to flee. Suddenly they realize that the Black Panther's old foe Klaw is the on responsible for this invasion of Wakanda.
Travelling through the jungle, the Black Panther tells them how he wasn't sure who was responsible for taking over his land as he was out in the jungles working on his own experimental project when they were suddenly attacked. Meanwhile in the Wakandan palace Klaw learns how his men failed to stop the Fantastic Four and is furious. He wonders what he is paying them for and why he went through the trouble of crewing a new sonic blaster with Vibranium, allowing him to create the solid sound armor they are wearing. His questions are all academic though as he kills the soldier he is questioning and then orders the rest of his men to find the Black Panther and the Fantastic Four and destroy them. Klaw accompanies his men on this trek into the jungles and they are soon ambushed by the Human Torch. While they are busy, Black Panther and Mister Fantastic emerge from the jungles with a weapon they have constructed together. Klaw is prepared for his foes as he uses his new device to create Sonimals, animals composed of solid light that are even more deadly than his old creations.
While the rest of the Fantastic Four are busy fighting these creatures, the Black Panther manages to get close enough to Klaw to affix an attractor device to his back allowing Reed to use the newly constructed Sonic Disruption Cannon. The device works, causing Klaw extreme pain, but as a side effect it causes his sonic claw to malfunction causing it to spit out countless horrific monsters comprised of solid sound. While the Fantastic Four battle this new menace, the pain is driving Klaw insane and he begs to be killed. Black Panther instead takes their incapacitated foe and brings him to the Vibranium mound. There he buries Klaw's sonic weapon in the ground, negating its power and causing the horrific creatures to suddenly vanish. Although Klaw is grateful that the Black Panther saved his life he is still driven by his age old vendetta. But before he can attack he is knocked out by the Black Panther and taken prisoner. With Klaw and his minions defeated, the Fantastic Four are impressed by T'Challa's humane treatment for the man who murdered his father. The Panther tells them that in Africa life is considered precious, even that of a murderer like Klaw. As he is being taken away, Klaw vows to get revenge against the Black Panther. Although the Thing is less than happy to hear that Klaw is going to be delivered to the United Nations, T'Challa reminds him that he is also obliged to follow international law.
Appearing in "Legacy"
Races and Species:
- Humans (Main story and flashback)
Synopsis for "Legacy"
As the Black Panther sees the Fantastic Four take off for home, he decides to go into the Panther Totem to reflect on things. Recalling his old adviser N'Baza, Black Panther activates a secret switch that reveals a book written by the late wise man who taught him everything there was to know. The book is about his grandfather Chanda, and focuses on his encounter with a Nazi commander named Colonel Fritz Klau.
The journal talks about how during World War II, Klau was a foe of famous soldier American Nick Fury. After a defeat at Fury's hand, Klau and his men were sent on a mission to Africa by Hitler himself. However a storm caused their plane to crash in the jungles outside Wakanda. Klau was the only survivor and he was taken in by Chanda, his wife Nanali, and their infant son T'Chaka. After three days Klau awoke and appeared to become fast friends with Chanda. The pair exchanged legends, Klau about the Grecian legend of Ulysses while Chanda told him of the Panther god. Fritz also learned about Vibranium and sought to utilize it to repair his plane and hope to bring it back to Hitler in order to turn the tide of war. Although Nanali saw that Fritz was an evil man, Chanda would not listen to the warnings of his wife.
Chanda soon learned that this was a mistake when Fritz had constructed a massive effigy of the Panther God, what is now known as the Panther Totem. Seeing this as an offense to the gods, Chanda was horrified to see that Fritz was taking over the tribe and forcing his people to worship his false idol. When Chanda tried to fight back he and his people were shot at by Klau. Nanali was shot to death, but Chanda survived long enough to flee into the jungle. There he was on death's door when he found some strange heart-shaped herbs and consumed them. That night as he slept, the Panther God visited him and told him what to do. When he awoke, he was attacked by a black panther, which Chanda slew and turned it's fur into a costume, becoming the Black Panther.
Chanda then returned to his people and attacked Klau, forcing him to flee, leaving his mechanical hand behind. With the Nazi forced out of their village, Chanda professed that their people would have a champion, the Black Panther a mantle that would be passed down to his son. He also ordered the Panther Totem hidden until one who has no desire to rule becomes the Black Panther. Finishing the story, Black Panther learns that Klau later anglicized his name to Klaw. T'Challa suddenly realizes that his old foe Klaw and Fritz Klau were related and that his coming here was part of a long family vendetta. With the story finished, the Black Panther vows to prove himself worth to carry the mantle of the Black Panther.
- Sue is depicted in her "revealing" costume in this story that she began wearing in Fantastic Four #371. This story takes place before that issue.
- Likewise Sue is acting in a throw back "doting" way toward her teammates instead of the more aggressive attitude she should have since being possessed by the Malice side in Fantastic Four #369 which takes place prior to this story.
- Black Panther mentions how Klaw was responsible for killing his father. This was first depicted in Fantastic Four #53 and a more modern take was also depicted in Black Panther Vol 4 #3.
- This story suggests that Chanda was the first Black Panther in history. However subsequent stories have shown that this is not the case. The earliest Black Panther depicted was Bashenga, the first Black Panther who existed centuries earlier as first seen in Black Panther #7.
- This story also raises questions about who the father of T'Chaka is. Based on Colonel Klau's continuity, his arrival in Wakanda occurs between his appearances in Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos #39 and 41, placing his encounter with Chanda sometime in 1943. However Black Panther/Captain America: Flags of Our Fathers #1-4 depicts another Black Panther, Azzuri who was active in early 1941 fighting alongside Captain America just prior to Cap obtaining his round shield. Marvel officially lists both Chanda and Azzuri as T'Challa's grandfather. Both have the same spouse: Nanali. However Chanda never makes a claim that he is T'Chaka's biological father. Although there is no official explanation there one could presume that at some point between 1941 and 1943, Azzuri was killed and Chanda took up the role of raising his wife and son.
- Another clarification needs to be made here as Astonishing Tales: Dominic Fortune #5-6 depicts a man named T'Chaka as an adult in 1937 who is also a Black Panther. While also not officially explained, one can assume that this is a predecessor to T'Challa's father who happened to have the same name.
- Another difficulty created by this story is how T'Chaka being born in the early 1940s and is still capable of having a son that would be an adult in the modern age becomes increasingly difficult when factoring the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. No official explanation exists, however one could presume that the herbs that make a warrior the Black Panther slows the aging process. Conversely, this story also states that Ulysses Klaw is the son of Fritz Klau. However since Klaw's life is governed by the Sliding Timescale it becomes increasingly difficult for Klaw to maintain his relative youth and still be the son of Friz Klau. The most recent profile for Klaw is in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #5 which still lists Fritz Klau as his father. However as is the case with other characters who have claimed to have any direct ties to World War II (such as an immediate relative, or actually participating in a war themselves) the familial relation between Fritz and Ulysses will likely be generalized at a later date.
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- ↑ First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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