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Beginnings

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.[1][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]

Powers

  • Artificial Mutant Physiology: As well as saving his life, T'Challa was artificially enhanced by the Weapon X Program.[4] It is believed that the Black Panther is a mutant,[1] with his mutant powers including a moderate, but efficient healing factor, night vision, enhanced strength, speed and agility. He was also given artificial claws that protrude through the knuckles.[1]
  • Enhanced Strength: The Black Panther possesses greatly enhanced strength that reaches low superhuman levels, being comparable with Captain America. He is able to lift and support a greater amount of weight than any normal human being, and can exert greater force. His strength and skills have allowed him to spar on equal grounds with Steve Rogers, and was sufficient to overpower Thunderball with just a few strong blows.[1]
  • Enhanced Speed: T'Challa also possesses considerable enhanced speed, allowing him to run and move at speeds faster than even the finest human athlete, possibly even matching speeds with Steve Rogers. It is likely that his reflexes are also similarly enhanced, as he has been able to fight on par with Captain America.
  • Enhanced Agility: T'Challa possesses incredible agility, equilibrium, and coordination, he is able to run and move with the same grace and finesse as Captain America himself, possessing great athleticism in combat. Steven Rogers has even stated that T'Challa's acrobatic abilities are on par with his own.
  • Night Vision: T'Challa possesses visual capabilities that are beyond the natural limits of normal human beings. This allows him to see with perfect visual clarity and in far greater colour, even when it is pitch black or the dead of night. It is unknown however if his vision extends into other visual spectrums.
  • Retractable Claws: The Black Panther has artificial retractable claws housed within his forearms.[4] 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.[1]
  • Enhanced Stamina: It is possible that the Weapon X Program that granted T'Challa his abilities also improved his stamina. His abilities have allowed him to fight on par with Captain America, as well as move with the same acrobatic finesse without any strain or hinderances.
  • Regenerative Healing Factor: As well as saving his life the Weapon X Program also bestowed T'Challa with an enhanced physiology, this included a moderate but effective healing factor. T'Challa is able to recover from wounds at a faster rate than normal humans, however his healing capabilities are nowhere near as proficient as the mutant wolverine, and it could not heal his damaged vocal cords.

Abilities

Expert Martial Artist: Having been trained by Captain America himself, The Black Panther is a proficient unarmed fighter, enabling him to fight opponents with experience, and contend with combatants such as Captain America.[1]

Expert Acrobat: The Black Panther is extraordinary proficient in the field of acrobatics and gymnastics. During his training, Captain America stated T'Challa's acrobat skills is as good as him.[1]

Strength level

The Black Panther possesses a level of strength greater than a normal human. His Strength has been shown to be comparable to Captain America's. [1]

Weaknesses

Mutism: Due to a throat injury suffered during the Panther Trial, T'Challa is unable to produce verbal sounds due to Weapon X being unable to rebuild his vocal chords, meaning he cannot speak.[1]



Weapons

Claws: The Black Panther possesses artificial claws housed within his forearms that exit through his knuckles.[1]

  • Although it was believed that the comic version of Ultimate Black Panther debuted in Ultimates Vol 3 #1, his first canonical comic book appearance is in Ultimate Origins #5. Most of his history was detailed in Ultimate Captain America Annual #1. The version seen in all of Ultimates 3 was in fact Captain America masquerading as the Black Panther.
  • In this version, T'Challa Udaku is classified as a mutant but this was most likely a lie on Nick Fury's part.[1]

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Footnotes



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