Kasper Cole takes on the 66 Bridges gang while T’Challa clashes with The Red Skull!
For more than 50 years, the Black Panther has stood at the forefront on the Marvel Universe. With T’Challa appearing on the big screen again this year in both Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” take a look back at over five decades worth of comic book adventures for the King of Wakanda!
Police officer Kasper Cole, the new Black Panther, opposed the 66 Bridges gang in BLACK PANTHER #51, while T’Challa remained missing. Cole found the Wakandan king in a housing project in New York City in BLACK PANTHER #52, but when he learned of an attack on his father in prison rushed off to investigate it in BLACK PANTHER #53.
Cole discovered a crooked cop called for the hit on his dad in BLACK PANTHER #54, while another police officer looked into the new Panther’s identity. Cole gained info on the mysterious Kibuka of the 66 Bridges in BLACK PANTHER #55, unaware of a net closing in on him. Finally, together with T’Challa and The White Wolf, Cole took down the corrupt cops in BLACK PANTHER #56 and accepted a promotion in the police department to rank of detective.
Teaming up with The Falcon in BLACK PANTHER #59, Kasper searched for the kidnapped son of a fellow cop. Learning that the case involved the 66 Bridges gang, he attempted the ancient Wakandan Rite of Ascension to gain more power in BLACK PANTHER #60. T’Challa’s longtime foe Erik Killmonger fought Cole for the title in BLACK PANTHER #61, but then awarded him a synthetic version of the heart-shaped herb which bestowed the Panther’s abilities on a worthy person.
Now powered, Cole once again leapt onto the trail of the missing boy in BLACK PANTHER #62, only to discover the case completed by a restored T’Challa. Later, impressed with his diligence, the true Panther urged Cole to take on the mantle of the White Tiger.
T’Challa looked into the mystery of the red cloud of death bacteria over the Dakotas in AVENGERS #66, but when he and Tony Stark learned of its origin as a bio-weapon, they found themselves locked out of their government lab by The Red Skull posing as Secretary of Defense Dell Rusk.
The Panther continued his quest for a cure in AVENGERS #67, but ended up a prisoner of the United States when Rusk sent soldiers to subdue him and Stark. After being freed by Iron Man in AVENGERS #68, T’Challa made his way to Rusk’s office in AVENGERS #69 to overhear the Red Skull’s plot to frame Wakanda for the spreading plague. In AVENGERS #70, the Black Panther fought the Skull one-on-one and won the day, as well as an antidote for the deadly bacteria.
With lingering differences from their previous mission, Black Panther and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes witnessed the death of Jack of Hearts in AVENGERS #76, as well as the continued splintering of their teamwork. Later, in IRON MAN #75, T’Challa joined with his comrades to discuss whether or not Tony Stark should resign from the Avengers due to his new position as Secretary of Defense.
Stark arrived at Avengers Mansion in IRON MAN #84 to discuss matters with the Panther and others, but instead continued on a secret mission to recover a deactivated android from the building’s basement. When it accidentally activated in IRON MAN #85, T’Challa fought alongside his teammates to block the rampage.
At a full meeting of the United Nations, T’Challa placed himself between an unstable Tony Stark and the Latverian ambassador in AVENGERS #500, unaware of the simultaneous destruction of Avengers Mansion. Standing with his fellow heroes, The Black Panther approached the smoldering ruins in AVENGERS #501 to seek answers to troubling questions over the incident.
The Kree alien warrior race attacked the gathering in AVENGERS #502, prompting T’Challa to join in the fight. Hawkeye nobly sacrificed himself to save his teammates, and after the Kree retreated, the Panther heard Doctor Strange and Captain America deduce the culprit behind the heinous act in AVENGERS #503.