T’Challa is heir to the centuries-old ruling dynasty of the African kingdom Wakanda, and ritual leader of its Panther Clan. His mother died in childbirth, earning him the enduring hatred of his adopted elder brother, Hunter, who also resented T’Challa for supplanting him in the royal household. Hunter would become the White Wolf, leader of the Hatut Zeraze (Dogs of War), the Wakandan secret police. Their father T’Chaka remarried, but his second wife, Ramonda, seemingly ran away with another man when T’Challa was eight. When T’Challa was a teenager, T’Chaka was murdered by Klaw, a Dutchman seeking to plunder the rare Vibranium metal unique to Wakanda, but T’Challa used Klaw’s own weapon to maim him and drive him off. T’Challa studied in Europe and America, then underwent ritual trials in Wakanda – including defeating his uncle S’yan, the existing Black Panther – to win the heart-shaped herb, enhancing his abilities and linking him spiritually to the Panther God Bast.
Last year, Marvel announced that Brian Steelfreeze and Ta-Nehisi Coates will be working on a 12-part series for the Wakandan king timed to coincide with the character’s entry into Marvel movies beginning with May’s Captain America: Civil War. Can’t wait! With a movie also coming out in 2018, the future for Black Panther is definitely one to look forward to.