Following that sizzling Black Panther trailer that set the interwebz ablaze, Marvel has released the film’s customary prelude tie-comic and it reveals an interesting detail about T’Challa’s history as the Black Panther within the MCU canon. The page below confirms that T’Challa was bestowed the Black Panther mantle the same time as Tony Stark made his Iron Man announcement to the world and that T’Chaka once held that title. This makes T’Challa’s stint in Captain America: Civil War his 8th year as the Black Panther.
This reveal is interesting because our assumption has always been that you get to become Black Panther when you get crowned king. We all thought T’Challa wears the Black Panther suit for the first time when he goes after Bucky in Vienna. This doesn’t seem to be the case at all. From the looks of it, the Black Panther and king mantle aren’t mutually exclusive in the MCU-version of the mythology. We’re guessing the Wakandan Head of State gets to transfer the Black Panther mantle to his/hers next of kin when deemed necessary (T’Chaka ain’t no spring chicken so we totally get that he wants to sit back and relax). The comic also details the first meeting of T’Challa and Okoye, played by Danai Gurira in the film, who totally cemented the epicness of the trailer with her WAKANDA FOREVER battle cry. T’Challa and Okoye seem to have a very forthright dynamic as evidenced by their exchange in the trailer and this moment in the prelude comic definitely lends itself to that dynamic.
Anyone here interested in picking up this prelude comic? You can purchase it right here!