42 Star Chadwick Boseman to Star in BLACK PANTHER; First Look at the Costume Revealed

     October 28, 2014

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Marvel just dropped the mic and walked away on their huge Marvel Event announcing the movies that will fill their Phase 3 lineup.  Among the announcements was that one of the studio’s worst-kept secrets, a Black Panther movie, has been confirmed and also has a release date.  The movie is set for November 3, 2017.

Additionally, Marvel announced that the very talented Chadwick Boseman (42, Get on Up) would be playing the title role (sorry, people who want Idris Elba to star in everything).  It’s that kind of perfect Marvel casting of taking a talented up-and-comer and catapulting him into the stratosphere (we have yet to see it with an actress, but maybe we’ll get that with Captain Marvel).  Finally, Marvel released concept art for the character.  Hit the jump to check out the Black Panther image and to learn more about the character. [Update: Deadline adds that Boseman has signed a five-film contract with Marvel, which begins with an appearance in Captain America: Civil War and continues through Phase Three.]

Via Marvel.

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Before getting to an ever-so-brief history of Black Panther (Evan Valentine is the comics expert around here), I would just like the say that this costume is badass.  It looks like armor, and more importantly, it doesn’t look like “Catman”.

For those who don’t know anything about the character, Black Panther’s alter-ego is T’Challa, the chief of the Panther Tribe in the African nation of Wakanda.  The name “Black Panther” is a ceremonial title, and although he would join The Avengers at one point, a large part of his story is devoted to protecting his people.

As for his powers, he has quite a few at his disposal.  Via Wikipedia:

As chieftain, the Panther is entitled to eat a special Heart-Shaped Herb which, in addition to his mystical connection with the Wakandan Panther God, grants him superhumanly acute senses and increases his strength, speed, stamina, reflexes, and agility to Olympic-levels. He has since lost this connection and forged a new one with another unknown Panther deity, granting him augmented physical attributes as well as a resistance to magic. His senses are so powerful that he can pick up a prey’s scent and memorize tens of thousands of individual ones. Following his war with Doom, T’Challa loses his enhanced abilities only to once again establish a connection with the Panther God.

As king of Wakanda, the Panther has access to a vast collection of magical artifacts, advanced Wakandan technological and military hardware, as well as the support of his nation’s wide array of scientists, warriors, and mystics. The Wakandan military has been described as one of the most powerful on Earth. His attire is the sacred vibranium costume of the Wakandan Panther Cult.

He is a skilled hunter, tracker, strategist, politician, inventor, and scientist. He has a Ph.D. in Physics from Oxford University. Considered one of the eight smartest people on the planet, he is a genius in physics and advanced technology, and is a brilliant inventor. He also has been granted the strength and knowledge of every past Black Panther.

T’Challa is a rigorously trained gymnast and acrobat and is a master in various African martial arts as well as contemporary martial arts and fighting styles that belong to no known disciplines.

The only connections to Black Panther thus far are Wakanda being visible on Nick Fury’s map in Iron Man 2 and Captain America’s shield, which is made of vibranium.

Since the movie doesn’t open until November 2017, I expect details will be scarce for a while, but I’m just glad that Marvel is finally moving forward on its first non-white superhero.

Catch up on our coverage of all of Marvel’s announcements below:

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