Ulysses Klaw leads an attack on Black Panther and the Avengers campus.

While Black Panther has been around campus in “Marvel Avengers Academy” for a while, much about his homeland remains a mystery to the students and faculty. That changes now, as Wakanda and the super hero school come together against a new common enemy: Ulysses Klaw. Klaw hopes to pilfer Wakandan tech – surprise, surprise – and the shake-up caused by Thanos might just give him the opening he needs.

We grabbed a few minutes with Allen Warner – Senior Narrative Designer at TinyCo – to get an inside look at this event, and a better idea of what events will look like in the wake of Avengers Academy 2.0.

Marvel.com: This is the first event since the 2.0 launch. How will the flow of events change along with the other changes brought to Avengers Academy?

Allen Warner: The Black Panther event will be recognizable to our longtime players, but there will be a lot of changes in the way things are structured. Players will collect event materials from three special, limited-time battle maps that they can use to recruit new and resurfaced heroes, new outfits, and other prizes. There’s less of an emphasis on collecting weekly decorations, and we’ll also be introducing a new trophy system to reward players for how well they do in the event.  We’re really excited about everything new in our first event since the launch, and of course couldn’t be more excited to be celebrating Black Panther and everything Wakanda. We’ll be using this event as the template moving forward, and will be continually looking for ways to add and change things in subsequent events to create the best experience for our players.

Marvel.com: Why is Klaw making a move against Black Panther now?

Allen Warner: Thanos’s arrival has had a ripple effect on everyone in our world, not just the heroes he’s threatening, but the villains who aren’t sure where they stand with him and what exactly he’s planning, even if they’re working with him directly. Everyone realizes that now more than ever, it’s critical to get as powerful as possible as quickly as possible to prepare for whatever is coming next.  Klaw takes the opportunity to go after Wakanda’s tech and treasures, working with their rivals, and one of Avengers Academy’s escaped Super Villains. There is so much to be excited about in this event, but one of the coolest things to me is the setup for who Klaw is working with and why. I’m pretty sure that it’s the first time these two characters have teamed up even in the comics, and it seems sort of random at first glance, but makes all the sense in the world when you think about their skills, personalities, and motivations. Along with Wakanda’s rival tribes, this villainous coalition is very formidable, even for the combined forces of Wakanda and the Avengers.

Marvel.com: Which of Black Panther’s allies make their way to the Academy in order to help T’Challa in this fight?

Allen Warner: Okoye and Shuri will both be joining Avengers Academy. I can’t overstate how amazing they both turned out. I honestly think they’re some of the best designs we’ve ever done, and I think players are really going to be blown away by their various visual levels and animations. It’s cool because Okoye is a fearsome warrior who can go toe-to-toe with anyone, and Shuri is an ingenious inventor who can match wits with all of the many Super-Scientists on our campus. It makes for some really fun interactions. Of course, Black Panther will also be returning with all-new combat animations, and an awesome new outfit.  As we know from his earlier storylines, he’s very well-respected by his peers, and because of his diverse skill set and upbringing, has close connections with everyone from the scientists like Iron Man to the royal family members like Loki and Thor to the leaders and hand-to-hand combatants like Captain America and Black Widow. It’s really fun to see them all come together to fight for Wakanda, and since we always like to put a different spin on things, there are some surprise heroes who come back to help who you might not expect.

Marvel.com: Meanwhile, some of the students already in attendance will need to make some upgrades to take the fight to Klaw and his villainous friends. Which heroes will we see sporting new suits?

Allen Warner: In addition to Black Panther, there will also be new outfits for Hawkeye and Winter Soldier.  All three are inspired by various looks from the comics, but given a unique spin in either the way they’re visualized, or the motivations and origins behind what inspires each hero to don their new look. I think players will be really happy with these selections, and I’m excited to be getting some new outfits for heroes who haven’t had many to this point.

Marvel.com: Where will Klaw make his base to launch attacks on the Academy?

Allen Warner: Our artists have created three beautiful new environments, showcasing different areas of Wakanda inspired by the film. They look really cool, and really showcase what makes Wakanda so colorful, original, and awesome. We’re also adding a new Wakandan building highlighting their unique tech, and updating our battle map area with elements from Black Panther and Wakanda.

Marvel.com: Can you give us a taste of what’s next after this event kicks off 2018 for Avengers Academy?

Allen Warner: Going back to the idea of Thanos inspiring a global rush for power, villains are looking for ways to harness and replicate the abilities of one of the most powerful Avengers. We’ll be revisiting his origin, and introducing heroes and villains from throughout his storied history.

For all the latest news and updates on “Marvel Avengers Academy,” visit Marvel.com and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

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Take the fight to Killmonger and Klaue in Black Panther’s home

Hot on the heels of the release of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” the world of “Marvel Future Fight” get a little more Wakandan. Erik Killmonger and Klaue feature as the threats in the game’s new Legendary Battle, while Shuri comes to join the fight alongside her brother, T’Challa. Recruit Shuri, defeat and recruit Killmonger, and deck everyone out in their finest Wakandan regalia as the multi-dimensional battle rages on!

We spoke to several members of the Netmarble team to get the rundown of just how much of Wakanda we’ll see in this update.

Marvel.com: “Black Panther” hits theaters soon, but Wakanda makes a big showing in Marvel Future Fight this week. What can you tell us about this new update?

Minkyun Kim (Lead Game Designer): In this update, we have prepared various characters and content based on the regal nation of Wakanda to coincide with the release of the movie. While Wakanda was previously featured in the “Marvel Future Fight” storyline, this update provides a more detailed look at Black Panther’s home and his allies and enemies. Players will be able to experience the adventures of the sinister Erik Killmonger and Ulysses Klaue, as they plot against the throne, and the heroes that protect Wakanda, namely Black Panther and Shuri.

Marvel.com: Which characters will be sporting new threads as they take the fight to Killmonger and Klaue?

Youjung Kim (System Designer): We have prepared new uniforms for the heroes appearing in “Black Panther”; these uniforms were designed with the movie in mind. Black Panther gets a brand-new uniform, of course, his second movie-inspired costume to be included in the game. Princess Shuri has the Panther Blast Uniform, representing her unique appearance in the movie.  And finally, Erik Killmonger gets a golden Black Panther Uniform to face down his nemesis!

Marvel.com: What new heroes and villains are making their “Marvel Future Fight” premiere?

Jongho Park (Skill Designer): We have added the comic versions of Shuri and Killmonger to our game in this update. Players will see that we put great effort to keep Shuri and Killmonger closely aligned with their portrayals in the comics, including their appearances and innate skills. Players will also meet our other new character, Ulysses Klaue, in his movie form. We are excited for our players to experience how we integrated the characters from the film into the multiple layers of our game!

Marvel.com: The film and comic portrayals of Killmonger vary somewhat. Which Killmonger will we see here and how has his skillset been expressed in the game?

Jongho Park (Skill Designer): While Black Panther uses his Vibranium claws to defeat his foes, in the film, Erik Killmonger uses two swords as his weapons of choice. Players will see that this is reflected directly in the game, as his skills are based on his swordsmanship. Additionally, when Killmonger is fitted in his movie uniform, a Vibranium suit like Black Panther, he has greater defensive capability than his comic version.

Marvel.com: With this new update comes a new Legendary Battle. What will players fight their way through this time around?

Jungtae Pyo (Level Designer): This upcoming Legendary Battle is based on the conflict between Ulysses Klaue and Erik Killmonger, who vow to conquer Wakanda for their own reasons, and Shuri and Black Panther, who are sworn to protect it. The Battle is structured in 3 stages; Players will battle in Busan City, Wakanda, and the Vibranium Mine. T’Challa and Shuri must stand against this evil that threatens their home and their people, and the conflict leads them across the globe. We hope they are excited for the various bosses, stages, visuals, and other new elements that we have prepared!

Marvel.com: This update draws a lot from Black Panther and Wakanda as they are portrayed in the film. What fun new elements can you highlight for our players?

Minkyun Kim (Lead Game Designer): We have put tremendous effort in bringing the unique and compelling characters, settings, and other elements from the movie directly into the game, just as we did with the previous update inspired by Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnorak.” We hope that this gives players a chance to feel the same exhilaration playing the game as they get from watching the movie. Additionally, we made sure to focus much of our efforts on the backdrops and visual scenes for this update. Our ultimate goal is to have our players feel fun and excitement exploring the unknown lands of Wakanda and the adventures that unfold!

Marvel Future Fight is available worldwide on the App Store® and Google Play™. For all the latest on “Marvel Future Fight,” stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter!

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Get ready for T'Challa's royal arrival on screen on February 16!

T’Challa first appeared in the pages of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s 1966 FANTASTIC FOUR (#52). Now, the heir to the Wakandan throne gets ready to take center stage in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in next month’s Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther.”

Last year, Marvel.com had the opportunity to visit the “Black Panther” set, and we saw and learned tons of incredible information surrounding our Wakandan king T’Challa, the women that make up the Dora Milaje, our main antagonists, and Wakanda itself.

Here are the 10 biggest things we learned about “Black Panther” from our set visit!

  1. The Marvel Cinematic Universe “Black Panther” is based on Christopher Priest and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ comics runs.
  2. “Black Panther” continues exactly where “Captain America: Civil War” left off.
  3. “Black Panther” explores what happens when T’Challa returns home, how does Wakanda cope with the loss of T’Challa’s father, King T’Chaka, and if T’Challa is ready to be the king of Wakanda
  4. Expect to see and learn about the Dora Milaje (the “Adored Ones”) or as “Black Panther” Executive Producer Nate Moore describes them, “an all-female Seal Team Six,” led by Okoye (Danai Gurira).
  5. In fact, Chadwick Boseman wants you to know that there are no damsels in distress in this film.
  6. T’Challa’s 16 year old sister Shuri may very well be the smartest person in the world, and she heads up Wakanda’s technology. Tony, did you hear that? Step up your game!
  7. The independent African nation, Wakanda, is the most technologically-developed city in the world. Its advancements is due in part to Vibranium, their knowledge of handling Vibranium, and their isolation from the rest of the world.
  8. There is no shortage of James Bond-like action in this film. Lupita Nyong’o even handles her own stunts giving heavy Judo and Jujitsu influences to Nakia’s fighting style.
  9. Can we expect any of our Avengers popping up on screen? According to Moore, “There’s so many characters in the Black Panther world that we wanted to explore, we didn’t want to rely on cameos from other movies.”
  10. As for our antagonists, filmgoers can expect to learn more about Ulysses Klaue’s relationship to Wakanda and Erik Killmonger’s vision for Wakanda’s power and legacy.

We’ll be exploring more secrets and insights of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” in the coming days and weeks leading up to its theatrical release!

Get your tickets now for “Black Panther” and stay tuned for even more royal action in the coming days and weeks!

If you’re interested in learning more about Wakandan architecture and Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” pick up MARVEL’S BLACK PANTHER: THE ART OF THE MOVIE in stores February 13. Go behind the scenes with exclusive concept artwork and in-depth analysis from the filmmakers in this keepsake volume!

“Black Panther” hits theaters February 16! While you await the King, follow @theblackpanther on Twitter and like Black Panther’s official Facebook page!

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Would you have what it takes to be an ally of The Black Panther?

The Black Panther has always been known for stalking his prey solo, but when he finds his back against a wall, T’Challa knows he can rely on his most trusted allies to help him prevail.

Recently, however, King T’Challa’s group of friends has fractured—just as the Black Panther’s greatest foe, Ulysses Klaw, makes his move against Wakanda. On January 24, T’Challa must reunite those he relies on most to avert total disaster as writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Leonard Kirk hand the King long odds in BLACK PANTHER #169!

As The Black Panther weighs his options, we asked series Associate Editor Sarah Brunstad to give us a peek into the mind of the Wakandan king.

Marvel.com: What qualities does T’Challa look for in a friend?

Sarah Brunstad: This is a tough question to answer because T’Challa is so powerful. But, ultimately, I would say the most valuable asset for him is honesty. Both his sister Shuri and his mother Ramonda act as his advisers, not only because they’re powerful in their own right (in a very literal way for Shuri), but because they tell him truly when he’s gone astray. He can trust their wisdom.

Marvel.com: How does Shuri, in particular, aid her brother?

Sarah Brunstad: Through her connection with the Djalia—the plane of Wakandan memory—Shuri can provide the historical context that T’Challa doesn’t have.

Marvel.com: But not all of his allies hail from his homeland, right?

Sarah Brunstad: Right. When T’Challa seeks allies outside of Wakanda—like Thunderball of the Wrecking Crew—he’s still looking for integrity. For the seed of it, in Thunderball’s case. A lot of writers avoid honesty in dialogue because they think it’s harder to keep tension, but Ta-Nehisi Coates doesn’t shy away from it, and I think that creates some of the comic’s most compelling moments.

Marvel.com: Who, among the current crew of allies in BLACK PANTHER, do you believe T’Challa values the most?

Sarah Brunstad: I think it’s Shuri. She’s the only living person who has not only ruled Wakanda, but has also worn the Panther mantle. She understands the pressures around him, and why certain actions are off-limits. And frankly, she’s a bad-ass. Her transformations are pure mythic, she fights as well as T’Challa himself, and she’s a natural leader. Yet she’s also wrathful and righteous. While T’Challa nearly always stays calm and collected, Shuri shows her sleeves a little more.

Marvel.com: How do they work so well together?

Sarah Brunstad: Together, they balance the throne, even though they no longer share it. I think T’Challa is one hundred percent aware of his dependence on her. A big part of the first arc of Ta-Nehisi’s run was reuniting them and reminding us of this sibling love, which is inseparable, I think, from their mutual love of Wakanda.

Read BLACK PANTHER #169, by writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Leonard Kirk, on January 24!

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No need for a white noise machine when the Master of Sound visits Marvel.com’s Resident Therapist.

Ulysses Klaue is a former human male who now exists as a being of pure sound. He still presents as, roughly, human in form, and is able to hold himself together barring any significant disruptions in concentration or attacks on his physical form. His medical records indicate he is otherwise healthy although this writer has been unable to parse exactly what that might mean.

Because of his “condition,” his voice has been altered. He remains understandable but the electric hum quality to his speech can prove difficult to listen to for extended periods of time leading to headaches and difficulty maintaining focus. The therapist is continuing to work on solutions to this situation so the client can receive his full session but currently the only workaround has been to be take a brief break around the halfway point for this writer to leave the room, take some ibuprofen, clear my head, and then return for the remaining time. While not ideal, the client has asserted he has no objection to this—beyond his existing objection to having see a therapist at all—and therefore will continue to be utilized until some other solution is found.

The client has a long history of criminality dating back to early young adulthood. According to his own disclosure and reports from others in his life, he began his criminal career seeking vengeance for his family name against the Royal Family of Wakanda. However, after that, most of his criminal activities seem predominantly motivated by greed and self-interest. That Wakanda has often been the target of those greedy and self-interested behaviors would suggest, though, that revenge remains, at the least, a subconscious motivator.

Black Panther (2016) #167

Black Panther (2016) #167

As of late, however, Klaue’s motives have become a little more difficult to discern. With the loss of his physical body and therefore a loss in the ability to experience pleasure, he has pursued activities that seem at least somewhat out of character, such as attacks on Daredevil or attempts to aid the Wizard in the claiming and controlling of an alien symbiote that, when merged with Cletus Kasady, is known as Carnage. He has declined to discuss such matters with this therapist insisting he has always acted as he wanted and these choices are merely an extension of that.

What the writer has had more luck exploring with the client is his near death experience. After being stabbed by the above mentioned Carnage, Klaue appeared to burst and dissipate. He was, however, able to stay cohesive enough to help subdue the symbiote when it appeared the alien might kill Klaue’s teammates. However, the client believed that that effort had cost him his last bit of strength and resigned himself to full dissipation.

While unclear as to how he survived or what exactly occurred between that moment and when he was able to “pull together” fully again, he is not unclear on the emotions both realizing his death was imminent and then being proven wrong evoked in him.

He endorses what sound to be like some PTSD symptoms, a sense of mental disorganization, and some halting steps towards re-evaluating current choices. He also finds himself obsessing over what it might mean for him to die, as he is purely sound, regardless of the presence of an afterlife or not. More concerning to him is the possibility that he might not be able to truly die, only dissipate and reform, ad nauseam, in ways that are largely beyond his control. The idea that not even death is something he can count on anymore have led to moments of dissociation, panic, depression, and even extreme euphoria. It also makes him feel isolated and lonely, as it represents a reminder that his humanity is something he only maintains from memory.

Black Panther (2016) #168

Black Panther (2016) #168

Unfortunately, though the client denies, another side effect of this thought seems to be the idea that if he is no longer mortal, he has no reason to hold back, no reason not to attack who he wants, when he wants, with as much bloodshed as might occur, as long as it slates whatever psychological hungers he is experiencing.

Due to this therapist’s recommendation and referral, the client will attend an appointment with Doctors Ta-Nehisi Coates and Chris Sprouse so they can evaluate him regarding his state of mortality at this time. The appointment will be December 27 and any and all information gained will be available in file BLACK PANTHER #168.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who is also a being of pure sound, but his sound is deep, soothing, and very danceable.

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View Ulysses Klaw's change from an invader to a super-powered sound slinger!

 

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

Klaw made his diabolical return to comics with this week’s BLACK PANTHER #166. He and T’Challa have raged against each other for years, which means that he makes an excellent candidate for this week’s FLASHBACK FRIDAY!

The character debuted in a very different form back in 1966’s FANTASTIC FOUR #53 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, which also happened to be Black Panther’s second appearance. In the previous issue, T’Challa brought the Fantastic Four to Wakanda and challenged them physically. In this one, though, he revealed his true purpose for bringing them to his homeland.  

Fantastic Four (1961) #53

Fantastic Four (1961) #53

  • Published: August 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The king showed his guests around and explained both the mantle of the Black Panther and the existence of Vibranium. In a flashback, we met Klaw who had arrived in Wakanda to mine the unique element. He needed it to power his own invention, the Sound Transformer. When T’Challa’s father refused permission, Klaw killed him.

Back in the present, Wakanda had been plagued by mysterious red creatures that left no trace when they finally fell in battle. While the Fantastic Four fought the projections, T’Challa went after the perpetrator himself. Klaw intended to kill anyone who stood between him and the Vibranium he craved. To put a stop to his enemy and avenge his father, T’Challa brought an entire mountain down on Klaw.

Instead of dying, though, the villain leaped into his own sound converter, thus turning his body into pure sound. The villain returned in a far more familiar form not long after in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #56. He popped up out of nowhere to trap Mr. Fantastic and Thing in Reed’s lab.  

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

  • Published: November 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Klaw then attacked Sue Storm and explained his new look and powers. “My physical structure is now composed of solidified sound – sound which serves me as a weapon, far greater than any ever known!”

Sue did her best to hold her own against the mad villain looking to prove himself. Meanwhile, Ben and Reed continued to try and escape from Klaw’s trap, which they eventually did! After Thing failed to drop the bad guy, Reed received a pair of Vibranium knuckles rocketed to Manhattan by T’Challa.

Properly armed, Richards knocked Klaw out with a few punches that would make Ben Grimm proud before smothering him with his own stretchy body. Having properly drained the villain of his powers, the team disabled his weaponry and then thanked Black Panther for his well-timed delivery.

Flash Forward

Klaw returned next in AVENGERS #5455 as a member of the Masters of Evil along with Whirlwind, Melter, Black Knight and Radioactive Man lead by the mysterious Crimson Cowl who turned out to be Ultron-5. The villains worked well together to take out the heroes! In the second issue, Klaw tried killing the Crimson Cowl, but failed. He then swore his allegiance. That failed to help, though, as the Avengers eventually escaped and Black Panther appropriately put Klaw down in the final battle. 

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

  • Published: November 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

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T’Challa’s greatest enemy makes his return in time for Marvel Legacy!

Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Leonard Kirk explore King T’Challa’s long history in BLACK PANTHER #166, a Marvel Legacy title, which brings a classic Panther villain back into the Wakandan picture: Ulysses Klaw. As it turns out, many things have gone awry in the ancient African country, making it the perfect time for the iconic baddie to show up now.

“Klaw sees an opportunity,” editor Wil Moss tells us. “Wakanda is in chaos because their gods—the Orisha—have disappeared, and the gods who ruled Wakanda before the Orisha—known as the Originators—have now returned and are violently reclaiming their country.

“So while Black Panther, his sister Shuri, and Storm are struggling with this literal spiritual crisis, Klaw seizes this opportunity to get something he needs from Wakanda that will allow him to take his abilities to a new level—an almost God-like level…”

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

  • Published: November 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

While he made his first super-powered appearance in August of 1996’s FANTASTIC FOUR #56—the son of a Nazi war criminal who later had a sonic emitter attached to his right hand—Klaw remains a Black Panther villain through and through. This came about when the ne’er-do-well murdered T’Challa’s father, King T’Chaka, after they butted heads over Wakanda’s vibranium deposits. Naturally, the king’s son wanted revenge and a rivalry for the ages emerged.

“I think in part it’s that Klaw represents the danger, the threat that Black Panther must always protect the people of Wakanda from,” theorizes Moss. “From the first time he and T’Challa crossed paths, back when he was just Ulysses Klaue and he killed T’Challa’s father and then T’Challa in turn destroyed Klaue’s hand, beginning his transformation into Klaw, he’s represented every outside force that’s ever tried to conquer or steal from or destroy or exploit Wakanda and its resources and achievements. And if you look at him that way, then there are a ton of different ways to play him—and Ta-Nehisi has sure come up with a great one for this arc.”

Encounter Klaw on October 25 in BLACK PANTHER #166 from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leonard Kirk!

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Get that question and more answered in this expanded origin tale!

Read through some of T’Challa’s most thrilling adventures on Marvel Unlimited to mark Black Panther’s 50th anniversary!

Every long-lasting hero needs a bit of an update now and then. Director-turned-BET President of Entertainment Reginald Hudlin stepped in for exactly that along with artist John Romita Jr. to recreate the T’Challa’s early days in the pages of BLACK PANTHER #16 which debuted in 2005.

To give Wakanda even more cultural and technological significance, the first issue features a variety of attempted invasions by outside forces that soon discover why this place remains one of the few unconquered nations on the planet! Readers also see exactly how T’Challa became the Black Panther, besting the then-current representative, his uncle S’yan, years after the death of his father, T’Chaka.

Speaking of that death, instead of Klaw just traveling to Wakanda to get his hands on Vibranium, he’s revealed as an assassin with a hatred for the place because his relative died as one of the foolish invaders back in the 19th century. He gladly takes on the assignment of killing the chieftain at a global economic conference right in front of his family. Though he succeeds in his primary mission, a shot from the young T’Challa not only saves his mother and sister, but also removes Klaw’s hand.

Fueled by long-standing hatred, Klaw—now wielding a cybernetic enhanced hand with sonic powers—puts together a team of super villains including the body-swapping Cannibal, Rhino, Batroc, Igor “Radioactive Man” Stancheck, and a new Church-sanctioned Black Knight to destroy Wakanda. He also makes a deal with the neighboring despot of Niganda to use his country as a staging ground, all of which fails to go over well with the Black Panther.

Black Panther (2005) #1

Black Panther (2005) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The Wakandans make relatively short work of most of Klaw’s agents, but some temporarily get the upper hand on Panther’s mother the Queen and sister Shuri. And yet, T’Challa understands that the women his life can more than handle themselves and that they all agree the safety of the nation surpasses the importance of their own.

As all of this goes on, the United States government presses Everett K. Ross for information about Wakanda, giving the reader an excellent history lesson in the process. Feeling uncomfortable with the nation’s immense power, resources and wealth, the U.S. sends in zombie troops to “help.” As you might expect, they arrive after Black Panther and his people put down the threat. The king shows mercy in giving them one hour to remove themselves from Wakandan soil before considering their presence an act of war.

Hudlin’s first arc of the series not only builds on and reshapes Black Panther and Wakanda, but also firmly places both in the Marvel Universe by utilizing a unique variety of existing characters to tell a story that expertly displays not only the benefits of an intricate shared universe, but also the immense talents of Romita, Jr. and his sometimes-beautiful and sometimes-brutal pages.

Secrets of Wakanda

Ever wonder exactly how the Black Panther mantle moves down through the ages? Ross explains all of it in issue #2: “The Black Panther is the ruler of Wakanda. It’s a spiritually-based warrior cult. Sort of like being Pope, President and head of the joint chiefs of staff all at once.” He goes on to detail that, while the title does move down the hereditary line, subjects must train from youth to even have a chance of obtaining the honor. Still, to keep the process open, anyone can challenge the Panther to combat on a certain day every year. T’Challa bested his uncle on one such day to take the role previously held by his slain father. As it turns out, T’Challa’s sister intended to take their uncle on that same day, but her brother literally beat her to the punch.

Next, head back to the first time the Black Panther teams up with the Man Without Fear in DAREDEVIL #52 by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith.

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Learn the history of Wakanda and how T'Challa became the Black Panther!

Read through some of T’Challa’s most thrilling adventures on Marvel Unlimited to mark Black Panther’s 50th anniversary!

Black Panther bounced around the Marvel Universe for a while after his first appearance in FANTASTIC FOUR #52, but eventually joined the world’s greatest super group in the pages of AVENGERS #52. He served with distinction on the team for years, but only expanded on his origin story in AVENGERS #87 by Roy Thomas, Frank Giacoia and Sal Buscema.

The 1971 issue takes place right after the team fought the Squadron Supreme on a parallel Earth. Though everyone else seems to feel the thrill of victory, T’Challa suffers from one of the oldest maladies around: homesickness. At the behest of his teammate Quicksilver—who along with his sister Scarlet Witch had never actually been to Wakanda—the Black Panther dives even deeper into his past, taking us along for the ride with him.

T’Challa starts with his childhood as his father, Chieftain T’Chaka explains the mysteries of the Eternal Peak and its Vibranium deposits. The leader reveals that a large part of his responsibilities revolve around keeping this incredibly valuable resource from the outside world.

The outside world, however, consists of people with their own agendas including Ulysses Klaw who wants the Vibranium to power his sound machines. In his mad quest for power he kills T’Chaka resulting in the sworn vengeance of T’Challa.

Avengers (1963) #87

Avengers (1963) #87

What is Marvel Unlimited?

To fulfill that promise, he leaves his homeland to study in Europe and the Americas, eventually returning to face the trials put in place by his own father. Having proven himself, he enters the great statue of the panther and dons the ceremonial suit of the Black Panther before garnering the praise of his people and heading to the jungle to partake in the power-giving, heart-shaped herbs nearby.

But, not everyone supports T’Challa. A betrayer soon reveals himself in the form of a trusted friend who allied himself with none other than A.I.M. The newly minted Black Panther leaps into action, soon defeating the yellow-clad members of Advanced Idea Mechanics, but not before losing a longtime loved one to the battle.

Having recounted this tale to his teammates, T’Challa goes on to admit that the death of Wakanda’s leader in his absence might lead to his return home. Though the issue ends on a cliffhanger in regards to his decision, in the next one—plotted by Harlan Ellison, scripted by Roy Thomas, and drawn by Sal Buscema—Black Panther reveals that he will leave the team to return home, marking the first, but far from the last time he grappled with balancing his duties as a king with protecting the world at large.   

Secrets of Wakanda

After leaving the Avengers, Black Panther next pops up on ASTONISHING TALES #6 and #7. In those issues, by Larry Lieber and George Tuska, Doctor Doom comes to discover the existence of Vibranium and decides to take it for himself. T’Challa moves to prevent this incursion, but the tide of battle ebbs and flows with each man gaining the upper hand at various times. Ultimately, Black Panther convinces Doom that he’s willing to sacrifice not only his own life but his people just to keep the mysterious elements out of his armored hands. With that, Doom retreats, but continues plotting ways to get his own supply of Vibranium!

Next time, Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr. answer the question, “Who is the Black Panther?” in the first arc of the 2005-launching solo series.

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Check out a Marvel's 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' featurette, exclusive to Disney Movies Anywhere!

Learn about details in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” that connect the cinematic history to the comic book history in a featurette exlclusive to Disney Movies Anywhere! Available on 3D Digital and Digital HD now, register your copy of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” with your Disney Movies Anywhere account to enjoy the film and exclusive featurettes anywhere you go! “Avengers: Age of Ultron” comes to 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital SD and VOD on October 2.

Before menacing the Avengers in their latest adventure, Ultron (James Spader) debuted in comics as the “Crimson Cowl,” draped in a red cloak. In “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” one scene in particular pays direct homage to his mysterious beginnings! Learn more about additional comic book details incorporated in the film by watching the featurette above.

Pre-order your copy of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, or Digital Download now! Amazon Video and Microsoft Movies & TV join Disney Movies Anywhere as retail partners alongside iTunes, Google Play and Walmart’s VUDU, allowing you to enjoy exclusive clips and behind-the-scenes extras! Follow @Avengers on Twitter and like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on Facebook for all the latest news on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

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