Issue: Fantastic Four, vol 1, #52-53
Writer: Stan Lee
- The F4 are sent a highly advanced aircraft and are invited to Wakanda by the Black Panther, which they graciously accept.
- T'challa prepares for his greatest hunt.
- The F4 and Wingfoot arrive in the Techno-Jungle and are soon ambushed by the Black Panther.
- Black Panther takes out Human Torch.
- Wyatt leaves the F4 to go investigate the surroundings.
- Black Panther takes out Sue, then the Thing, and then Reed.
- Wyatt free Johnny, Sue, and Reed and they surround and confront Black Panther.
- Black Panther unmasks and begins to explain to the F4 what is going on.
- T'challa treats the F4 to a royal reception. We get more hints at his wealth and technological advancements. We get an introduction to Vibranium, and T'challa' first origin story.
- In this origin story, T'chaka and many Wakandan warriors are killed the guns of Klaw, who has come for the vibranium mound. This is the first time they have seen such weapons. T'challa ends up stealing/taking Klaw's sound gun, blowing up Klaw's hand, and driving off the men.
- In the process, he said he would be as strong and fearless as a Black Panther... hence the costume. We also learn his powers come from and herb and ritual... and that he built the Techno-Jungle for fun as he is a genius.
- Since Klaw first showed up, T'challa has been training and waiting for his return. Fighting the F4 was his last and supreme test. At this same time, Klaw's constructs appear at the edges of Wakanda.
- BP and the F4 go towards the constructs. The constructs take out Ben and Human Torch while BP takes off on his own to hunt down Klaw.
- BP fights Klaw's construct and then Klaw. He uses the power of his brain, pulls a switch on Klaws, machine, and blows the machine and the cave apart as he escapes the explosion, having avenged his father's death.
- BP is about to give up being the Black Panther, but the F4 convince him the world needs heroes essentially. BP agrees to fight for all of mankind.
- Klaw lived through the explosion... and decides to go inside the sound converter machine, hoping to gain powers to defeat the Black Panhter
Importance to the Mythos
- The introduction of T'challa, Wakanda, and the Techno-Jungle
- Origin of T'challa, and therefore the first mention of T'chaka
- First mention of the "herb" which would later be the Heart Shaped Herb
- Establishes T'challa's powers, including his speed, agility, and enhanced senses
- Establishes the technological superiority of Wakanda
- Establishes T'challa's prep skills that would be heavily expanded on by Priest
- Establishes T'challa's genius
- Establishes T'challa's and Wakanda's wealth
- Introduces Vibranium
- Introduces Klaw as well as giving the origin of Klaw as living sound
- This issue highlights forward thinking and progressive nature Stan and Kirby. They successfully introduced an African king who had technology that made Reed blush that could prepare and defeat the premier super hero team in comics at the time. They also provided an iconic location, great costume, succinct origin story for BP, and the introduction of arch-nemesis Klaw, who would go on to be a re-occurring Fantastic Four, Black Panther, and Avengers villain.
- This first origin story is just so bizarre when you look back at it. The origin story for T'challa, Wakanda, and what the Black Panther means has changed so much through the years. Going from a simple, one-off costume to being a mantle passed down from warrior-to-warrior was a welcomed change to the mythos.
- A lot of times, people without a firm grasp on the Black Panther mythos claim Priest changed the character too much. These two issues 100% show that nope, the other writers before Priest just forgot or just didn't care. In his very first appearance, he used prep, was enhanced, and was a confirmed genius... just like Priest Panther. Priest just brought those ideas to the 90's.
Should You Read It?