In Part 4, we discuss what every perspective Black Panther must go through to get access the Black Panther powers: the Rite of Ascension.]
The first mention of any rituals or rites was in T'challa's second appearance in Fantastic 4 #53 in a one-off panel as T'challa spoke with The Thing.
|Fantastic 4 #53|
McGregor in his various stories made it so T'challa had to undergo a "mini" Rite of Ascension every time he needed the HSH. This task was simplified to "beat up some people." More interestingly, McGregor added in an actual religious ceremony to taking the HSH instead of simply eating the HSH and moving on.
|Jungle Action #8|
|Panthers Prey #2|
|Deadliest of the Species #3|
Putting it all together, the Rite of Ascension typically looks something like this:
1. Defeat Wakanda Warriors: This numbers seems to vary but six seems to be the most consistent.
2. Spiritual Task: This has varied from run-to-run but some sort of spiritual task takes place. That can be walking on coals, meditation, or dodging spears. This is sometimes combined with the last part of the Rites.
3. Journey to the Heart Shaped Herb: There is always a journey to the Great Plateau or mountain for the HSH. The spiritual task is sometimes combined with the journey, such as in T'challa Ascension when he was without food or water for six days until he found the HSH.
In Part 5, we start a three post series examining one of the most perplexing and iconic moment in Priest's Black Panther run... the Curious Case of Killmonger.