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This week we are taking a bit of a break from the Spider-Man covers to bring some romantic issues from the Black Panther series. This weekend was the world premiere of the Black Panther teaser trailer and with just over 4 million views and counting, it release has blown up the hype surrounding the Black Panther movie. As fans anticipate and wait for more footage, there is already speculation as to which characters will make their MCU debut into the Black Panther universe. Between friends, foes, and most certainly lover, there are so many characters that the series can bring into the cinematic world. This week we will take a look at the many covers and lovers of the King of Wakanda, T’challa aka The Black Panther.
Black Panther Vol 3 #14 (Black Panther and the Bride of the Panther)
Black Panther Vol 3 brought King T’Challa to the front line in 2005. With the last solo titled book making it’s run from 1998-2003, Vol 3 sets up the Black Panther for modern comic readers and fans. This series featured the Black Panther in story lines such as Civil War and Secret Invasion, but none as life-changing for King T’Challa as the “Countdown to the Wedding of the Century”. In this issue, King T’Challa reminisces about how he fell in love with his one true queen, the Goddess of the desert, Storm. In a beautiful and heart-breaking re-telling, the Black Panther gives us a short synopsis of how he fell in love with the desert thief of his heart. More details to their first encounters can be found in Storm Vol 2 so be sure to check out that series if you want to see some young versions of Ororo Munroe and King T’Challa.
Black Panther Vol 3 #15 (King T’Challa and Ororo Munroe)
Continuing the story line of the “Countdown to the Wedding of the Century” issue #15 follows the major cliff hanger left in the last issue. Last issue, the Black Panther reminisces about their break-up on the streets of Africa. Although those scars are still healing, the Black Panther knows in his heart that his true love is Ororo Munroe, aka Storm. He left Storm with a very important question last issue, “Ororo Munroe, will you marry me?” Just as Ororo is about to respond they are attacked by the Arabian Knight. In an almost hilarious battle sequence, King T’Challa begs and pleads his case for marriage to Munroe all while kicking the Arabian Knight’s ass in every other panel. She agrees to spend more time with him and soon enough they are off to Wakanda. She even meets his mother to which his mother explains to Ororo why she should wed her son, “Wakanda is a warrior culture. It takes a strong woman to lead and breed these strong men and here you are. A princess, street-tough. A warrior on a galactic scale. I have followed your adventures closely. You are a hero worthy of my son. There’s only one outstanding question: Do you love my son enough to be with him — forever?” Her answer is “Yes”.
Black Panther Vol 3 #16 (King T’Challa and Ororo Munroe)
In this issue the Black Panther and Storm make their “save the date” announcements to the entire world. They sent invites to the Avengers, the X-men, friends, and family. Unfortunately not everyone is excited for the Wedding of the Century, as ex’s of King T’Challa are now hell bent on stopping this wedding. One such ex is Princess Zanda of Narobia. Also on the list of surprised and baffled ex’s are Ororo Munroe’s past lovers: Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and Forge. Another hilarious build-up with the theme of weddings, this issue shows the little details to a super-hero wedding, including the Fantastic Four’s The Thing worrying about whether he’ll fit in a tux. The issue ends with both Black Panther and Storm gathering one of the very few blood relatives that Ororo has, her grandparents. A heart warming reunion, Storm’s grandparents are a couple of tough retirees willing to kick the asses of some Hydra agents coming to kidnap them. Luckily for all parties, the two had no problem with using necessary force to incapacitate the would-be kidnappers.
Black Panther Vol 3 #17 (King T’Challa and Ororo Munroe)
The Wedding of the Century gets closer and closer as the story continues between King T’Challa and Ororo Munroe. In this issue the Black Panther and Storm hold a press conference in hopes of holding off the coverage during the day of their wedding. Amidst the conference are the events of Civil War, so news crews are hungry to find out what side either of them fall on. In the most politically peaceful way, they both answer by stating that they hope that their marriage shows peace between the two different parties and acts as a symbol for being united amongst differences. Also in this issue the respective bride and groom have their own versions of a bachelorette/bachelor party. During Ororo’s shopping night out, they discover that Princess Zanda has been going around New York posing as Black Panther’s fiancee and stating that she is to marry the young King. Storm definitely puts her in her place. Meanwhile, King T’Challa is out to Rio for a bachelor party. As an honorable King he decides not to partake in the usual festivities of a Bachelor party but tags along to support the men that have supported him in his decision to marry Storm.
Black Panther Vol 3 #15 (The Wedding of King T’Challa and Ororo Munroe)
Finally the time has arrived for the “Wedding of the Century”. Some major events are happening in this issue and such cosmic events cause high profile guests to arrive including Oprah, Prince, and the Watcher to name a few. As the guest begin to arrive King T’Challa tells Ororo one of the most important traditions of the Wakandan wedding: The journey into the celestial plane. The celestial plane is the reason why the Black Panther has his powers. In this moment both the Black Panther and Storm will come face-to-face with the cosmic entity that imbues him with his powers, The Panther God. Here, the Panther God will judge whether Ororo Munroe is worthy to be the bride and Queen to the King of Wakanda. Another great thing about this issue is the wedding dress design by Frank Cho. The issue goes into details into how they decided to design the famous wedding dress in an article titled “Divining the Design”. Also in this issue the Black Panther attempts to make a peaceful truce between Captain America and Ironman over the neutral soil of Wakanda. It does not end well and both parties must give their apologies for not being able to attend the “Wedding of the Century.”
Black Panther Vol 4 #5 (King T’Challa and Ororo Munroe)
Following volume 3 of the Black Panther is the continuation of the story between King T’Challa and now Queen Ororo. In this series the Black Panther faces death as he remains trapped in limbo. The Queen and T’Challa’s mother are on a mission to save their King from the confines of death and have enlisted the help of a witch doctor named Zawavari. Meanwhile, the major mantle of the Black Panther needs to be fulfilled and the person to step-up to such occasion is the sister of the Wakandan King, Shuri. Making her first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shuri is being played by actress Leticia Wright. Director Ryan Coogler commented on the appearance of Shuri on EW.com stating that Shuri’s character will be a brilliant scientist and on par with the likes of Tony Stark. According to comicbook.com Leticia Wright is excited to showcase a young, black, and female scientist in her character giving new fans a refreshing hero to follow.
Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive Vol 1 (Lady Bullseye and King T’Challa)
At some point in Daredevil’s history, the mantle of protector to Hell’s Kitchen was taken over by King T’Challa. The series prior to the featured one above was titled Black Panther: The Man Without Fear. In this series T’Challa abdicated his throne and left his country of Wakanda. He was stripped of his power, wealth, and influence, and decides to take his remaining skills to the streets of Hell’s Kitchen. In an effort to prove himself as a guardian, the Wakandan King protects a board member of the Bank of Wakanda from an assassination attempt from Wilson Fisk. One of those assassins sent to kill said board member is the dangerous and deadly, Lady Bullseye. Although not an official romance exists between the two, Lady Bullseye and the Black Panther are drawn by famous artist Francesco Francavilla. Known for his work on After Life with Archie, Francavilla is one of the best artist across the comic medium. Known for his pulp-noir style, Francavilla has many accolades for being a NYT best-selling writer and artist and a comic influence throughout the medium.
Marvel Knights vol 1 “4” #21 (Black Panther and Susan Storm)
In an issue titled “Desperate Housewife”, Susan Storm gives a break down of what her typical day looks like. In this issue Susan Storm retells the story of her midnight skinny dip with the T’Challa the night they visited Wakanda. Told in the fashion of a Jack Kirby flashback, Susan Storms retells her secret story to a group of super-heroine gal pals. In her story Susan finds that Reed is too busy being a nerd and into his scientific work that she sets out to explore the Wakandan kingdom on her own. While exploring the palace of the Black Panther she is greeted by the handsome and mysterious King T’Challa. He takes her around to show her the natural beauty of the country. They both decide to jump in a natural pool where they are just on the verge of flirtation and intimacy when Susan Storm decides that there are some things she would regret if she had continued. After the flashback, Susan Storm returns to her normal life and comes home to her awaiting husband, Reed Richards. Even if Reed was too busy to call her all day, he arrives with flowers for their anniversary.
Black Panther Vol 3 #20 (King T’Challa and Medusa)
King T’Challa and Medusa are never actually a couple. The following 3 issues after the Wedding of the Century, put King T’Challa and Ororo Munroe on a diplomatic journey to Latveria, the Moon, and Atlantis. All of these events occur following Civil War, and as a Wakandan King and new Queen, their goal is to create as much diplomacy as they can. Unfortunately the Inhumans had other plans for the King. As they arrive they are greeted by the royal family. They attempt their best at a small talk dinner as Black Bolt is sent to investigate a ruin that the Black Panther had mentioned. Ororo and T’Challa find themselves unknowingly offending the royal Inhuman family and a battle breaks out until it is broken up by King Black Bolt himself. They were requested to be there by King Black Bolt himself and despite their different beliefs in ruling, the Inhumans ask the Wakandan leader to help them develop a chamber to allow Black Bolt to speak without destroying entire worlds. Their hope is to utilize the precious metal of Adamantium.
Black Panther Vol 2 #24 (Malice and T’Challa)
Definitely one of the many loves of the Black Panther is a character that might be unfamiliar, Nakia aka Malice. Nakia was a teenager when she was picked to be one of the future wives in training for King T’Challa. Obsessed with prince T’Challa, her passion for him only grew. Although not completely promised to be a wife to T’Challa, Nakia became very jealous of the Black Panther’s American Ex-girlfriend, Monica Lynne. This issue also featured another character making their debut into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Killmonger. The main bad guy for the upcoming Black Panther film is none other than Killmonger and is being played by Michael B. Jordon while Nakia is being played by Lupita Nyong’o.
Black Panther Vol 2 #24 (Storm and T’Challa)
Ending this series of Black Panther romances with where we started is none other than the one true love and Queen to Wakanda, Ororo Munroe aka Storm. The Black Panther and Storm are a comic couple that represents so much power, intimacy, and love. Between being two of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe, they found each other’s drive for justice and strong ties to culture to be their most attractive qualities. With a movie like Black Panther on the horizon, the amount of diversity and cultural awareness in movies is something that needs to be handled with respect and celebration. From the teaser trailer alone, fans are excited to see what Marvel will do right in the way of the fictional Wakandan culture and in general to Black culture and representation in the MCU. Be sure to check out the film which is scheduled to be released February 16th, 2018. Until then re-watch the trailer below and thanks again for checking out Love and Comics!
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