Tuesday

OMU: Black Panther -- Year Two

The Black Panther moves out into the wider Marvel Universe during the next twelve months, relocating to New York City as a member of the Avengers. He also meets his first love-interest, the American singer, social worker, and civil rights activist Monica Lynne. Additionally, since writer/editor Roy Thomas seemed to believe that all superheroes must have a secret identity, T’Challa started teaching high school under the alias “Luke Charles,” though the storyline was never developed and ultimately fizzled out. Though underutilized, the Black Panther is frequently seen giving the Avengers the benefit of his genius for mechanical engineering, which easily rivals Tony Stark’s, particularly with the introduction of the team’s signature aircraft, the Quinjet.

Note: The following timeline depicts the Original Marvel Universe (anchored to November 1961 as the first appearance of the Fantastic Four and proceeding forward from there. See previous posts for a detailed explanation of my rationale). Some information presented on the timeline is speculative and some is based on historical accounts. See the Notes section at the end for clarifications.


Now continuing… The True History of the Black Panther!


January–February 1964 – T’Challa, recently crowned monarch of the small African nation of Wakanda, continues his controversial modernizations efforts. He becomes increasingly frustrated with the limitations imposed on him by his role as king, wanting to have a greater direct impact on people’s lives both at home and abroad.

March 1964 – T’Challa takes some of his warriors to inspect an island in the Caribbean that he has purchased. Detecting intruders, T’Challa suits up as the Black Panther and goes to investigate. He finds three members of the royal family of the Inhumans: Black Bolt, Medusa, and Karnak. They are searching for the source of an unknown danger, and, learning they are friends of the Fantastic Four, T’Challa decides to offer them assistance. Using their uncanny abilities, the Inhumans discover a high-tech installation hidden under the ground, only to be attacked by three mercenaries with strange weapons. However, Live Wire, Shellshock, and Ivan Karlovich are quickly defeated by the Black Panther and the Inhumans. Moving deeper into the complex, T’Challa is glad when two more Inhumans, Triton and Lockjaw, teleport in with the Human Torch and the Thing. Triton confirms Black Bolt’s suspicion that the villain they are seeking, known as Psycho-Man, threatens the world with a sinister emotion-manipulating ray. When a nightmarish, many-tentacled monster attacks them, the Black Panther slips into an air duct and makes his way to the central control room. No sooner has he spotted Psycho-Man, though, than a large, panther-like monster appears in the duct and attacks him. Their brutal battle ends when the creature is disintegrated by a strange shockwave. The Black Panther races back to his friends and finds them, now joined by another Inhuman called Gorgon, writhing under their foe’s emotion-rays. T’Challa leaps out of the duct and tackles Psycho-Man, but the villain collapses like an empty suit. The others explain that Psycho-Man himself is microscopic, having come from the Microverse to conquer the Earth with his bizarre technology, and with his armor disabled, he no longer poses a threat. The Fantastic Four take possession of Psycho-Man’s armor and the emotion-ray generator he was carrying so Mister Fantastic can study them at the Baxter Building. T’Challa claims the villain’s base, as it is on his property, and sets about dismantling and examining the fully-operational, large-scale “mind-ray” device their foe was about to activate.

April 1964 – Back in Wakanda, T’Challa is informed that one of his border outposts has been destroyed by foreign mercenaries. Fearing that Klaw may be making another attempt to steal vibranium, the Black Panther goes to investigate. He finds the outpost’s personnel have all been killed and tracks the mercenaries into the jungle, where he attacks them. Unfortunately, the mercenaries overwhelm T’Challa with their high-tech weapons and give him a brutal beating. Nevertheless, he trails his foes back to their basecamp, where he is astonished to discover that their leader appears to be Baron Zemo, the infamous Nazi war criminal reported killed while battling Captain America last year. The Black Panther slips back to the palace to have his wounds treated, but soon a blistering energy beam from space carves a swath of destruction through the jungle. T’Challa’s military advisors report that the beam originates from an orbiting satellite that is protected by an impenetrable force field. Though he knows their only chance is to disable the satellite’s control center on the ground, T’Challa realizes he cannot take on Baron Zemo and his private army alone. Thus, he decides to call on the villain’s nemesis, Captain America, for help.

T’Challa sends an aero-car to New York City and is relieved when Captain America agrees to lend a hand. When the aero-car enters Wakandan airspace about an hour later, though, it is nearly destroyed by a blast from the orbiting satellite. T’Challa brings the ship in for a safe landing by remote control, then briefs the star-spangled hero on the situation. However, T’Challa withholds the identity of their foe, fearing Captain America would find it impossible to believe. Before they set out, Cap phones his teammates at Avengers Mansion and leaves a message on their answering service. The two heroes then track down the mercenaries and fight them in the jungle, only to be taken prisoner. In his underground bunker, Baron Zemo gives his enemies a beating while gloating about his plans to use his orbiting death-ray to destroy the United States. When Zemo’s agent, the notorious spy Irma Kruhl, arrives with a list of American military targets, T’Challa begins to worry that he and Cap have failed. Luckily, she proves to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in disguise and destroys Zemo’s satellite control panel with a flame-thrower concealed in her briefcase. As the trio fights its way through Zemo’s mercenaries, T’Challa realizes that S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 13 is also Captain America’s girlfriend. Their escape is thwarted by a powerful robot, which delays them long enough for Zemo and his mercenaries to swarm in and hold the trio at gunpoint. However, Cap grabs Zemo and yanks off his facemask, revealing him to be an impostor. Cap recognizes the man as Zemo’s former pilot, Franz Gruber. Outraged by the deception, one of the mercenaries shoots the impostor dead. The Black Panther demands that the mercenaries surrender, as the warriors of Wakanda now have the bunker surrounded. Realizing they aren’t going to get paid, the mercenaries comply. As Zemo’s forces are taken into custody, Agent 13 deactivates the force field around the satellite, allowing S.H.I.E.L.D. to destroy it with a missile strike. Cap then takes T’Challa aside and explains that he’s taking a leave of absence from the Avengers and suggests that the Black Panther serve as his replacement. T’Challa realizes that this is the opportunity he’s been waiting for to make a difference in the world outside Wakanda. He accepts the offer, so Cap radios his teammates and arranges it. T’Challa then asks his friend M’Baku to serve as regent while he is in America with the Avengers. M’Baku agrees and appoints his ally N’Gamo to serve as his chancellor. Believing Wakanda is in good hands, T’Challa flies Captain America and Agent 13 back to the United States.

About an hour after landing in New York City, the Black Panther arrives at Avengers Mansion, only to find the building completely dark. He enters through a hatch in the ceiling that Captain America told him about and is shocked to discover Goliath, the Wasp, and Hawkeye apparently dead on the floor. S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jasper Sitwell finds the Black Panther there and places him under arrest. When the police arrive, Hawkeye’s girlfriend, Natasha Romanoff, enters as well and is distraught to find her friends dead. She tells Sitwell that she’s never heard the Avengers mention anyone called the Black Panther, which makes the authorities doubt T’Challa’s story. When the conference room access code given to him by Captain America fails to work, T’Challa realizes he’s being framed for the murders, so he does not resist when the police escort him to the local precinct. When they arrive, though, T’Challa realizes that the true killer must have been hiding in the conference room. Thus, while the police are trying to sort out whether he actually has diplomatic immunity, T’Challa escapes from custody and returns to the scene of the crime. His suspicions are confirmed when he sneaks inside and finds the Grim Reaper, a supervillain with a scythe-like weapon, ranting to himself about having avenged the death of his brother, Wonder Man. The Black Panther attacks him and in the ensuing battle learns that the Avengers are not truly dead—the Grim Reaper’s scythe merely induced a death-like state so the three heroes would either be buried alive or killed by the autopsy. Disgusted by such villainy, T’Challa fights even more savagely until the Grim Reaper accidentally stabs himself with his scythe. The Black Panther seizes the weapon and, leaving his foe writhing in pain, races to the hospital where the Avengers were taken. There, he uses the scythe to revive them, ignoring the injuries he sustained during the fight. The three grateful heroes clear things up with the police, then take T’Challa back to the mansion. Unfortunately, the Grim Reaper has made good his escape. Goliath, the Wasp, and Hawkeye vote unanimously to induct the Black Panther into their ranks.

In the days that follow, T’Challa meets the Avengers’ butler, Edwin Jarvis. Though Jarvis offers to prepare a room for T’Challa in the mansion, the king declines, preferring to purchase a townhouse on the Upper West Side. T’Challa then summons a small staff of domestic servants from Wakanda to manage the property for him. He is also interested to meet Goliath’s research partner, an African-American scientist named Bill Foster. However, T’Challa senses a thinly-veiled animosity from the Wasp’s chauffeur, Charles Matthews, and wonders what lies behind it. While recovering from the injuries he sustained fighting the Grim Reaper, T’Challa familiarizes himself with the Avengers’ files and reports.

May 1964 – The Black Panther and Goliath capture an intruder who turns out to be the Angel, a member of the X-Men. The Angel informs them that he can lead them to the island fortress of the infamous mutant terrorist Magneto, where Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, former members of the Avengers, are being held captive along with the other X-Men. Joined by the Wasp and Hawkeye, they take an aero-car out to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and storm Magneto’s complex. However, the Avengers find they must fight the other X-Men—Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, and the Beast—as Magneto has somehow brainwashed them. The Avengers overcome the X-Men and smash their way into Magneto’s command center. Unexpectedly, Magneto’s obsequious henchman, the Toad, activates a self-destruct mechanism, declaring that the entire island will be destroyed in less than a minute. The Avengers and the X-Men, now free of their foe’s influence, evacuate the fortress as Magneto and the Toad flee for their lives. Reaching the Avengers’ aero-car on the beach, the two teams see Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch escaping with the Toad in another airship. Magneto tries to join them, but the Toad kicks him away. Magneto falls into the ocean from a great height as a series of tremendous explosions obliterate the island. As the aero-car takes to the skies, the Avengers can only assume that Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch want nothing more to do with them. Dejectedly, the Avengers drop the X-Men off in Manhattan on their way home. T’Challa, however, is proud that his first official mission with the Avengers was a success.

The Black Panther and Goliath work together to improve the security systems at Avengers Mansion. However, just hours after informing Jarvis about the new protocols, the mansion is invaded by a gang of supervillains known as the Masters of Evil, comprised of Klaw, the Melter, the Radioactive Man, and Whirlwind. Taken unawares, the Avengers are quickly captured by their enemies. The team is shocked when the new leader of the Masters of Evil, the Crimson Cowl, is revealed to be Edwin Jarvis himself. The Black Panther is then knocked unconscious, and when he wakes up, he finds himself trapped with his teammates inside a missile with an armed nuclear warhead. The Crimson Cowl appears on a closed-circuit TV monitor and taunts the Avengers by revealing Jarvis to be merely his hypnotized pawn. The real Crimson Cowl is in fact a robot calling itself Ultron-5. The missile is then launched, with the Avengers still aboard, but they are saved in mid-flight by the new Black Knight, who had tried to infiltrate the Masters of Evil by posing as his villainous predecessor. After a quick battle, the heroes capture Klaw, the Melter, and the Radioactive Man, but Whirlwind manages to escape. Once the missile’s hydrogen bomb has been disarmed, the Black Knight describes how Jarvis helped him to save the Avengers’ lives and explains that the butler betrayed the team because he needed money to pay for his mother’s chemotherapy treatments. Back at the mansion, Jarvis insists that he believed the Avengers would easily defeat the Masters of Evil and was desperate to help his ailing mother. However, he is unable to explain why he didn’t seek help from Tony Stark, or why he can’t remember where the hidden base of Ultron-5 is located. Nevertheless, the Avengers decide to give Jarvis a second chance, since he did risk his life to save theirs, but they remain somewhat wary of their butler in the weeks to follow.

June 1964 – T’Challa spends a quiet month exploring New York City and using the Avengers’ training facilities. Though he remains excited to be part of the world’s foremost superhero team, he realizes there is still something in the back of his mind that leaves him feeling vaguely dissatisfied.

July 1964 – At the beginning of the month, the Avengers convince T’Challa to take a turn as team chairman. He finds that such administrative duties come naturally to him. Then, a few days after hosting a Fourth-of-July picnic attended by the Fantastic Four, the Avengers receive a mysterious summons from Captain America which leads them to Doctor Doom’s abandoned castle in upstate New York. Having learned about the notorious supervillain’s time machine from Mister Fantastic, Cap is intent on using it to find out if there’s any way his old junior partner, Bucky, could have escaped his fiery death in 1945. Leaving the Wasp to operate the time machine’s control panel, the Black Panther, Captain America, Goliath, and Hawkeye journey back to the fateful day when Cap entered a state of suspended animation. Materializing as invisible, intangible phantoms, they watch Cap and Bucky’s encounter with Baron Zemo at a U.S. Army base on the British coast. However, when Zemo knocks his foes out and binds them to the drone plane he is about to launch, the Avengers unexpectedly materialize fully, allowing Cap to free his past self. After a brief struggle with Zemo’s android henchmen, the Avengers return to their previous wraith-like state. The heroes watch grimly as Bucky is engulfed in a fireball while trying to deactivate the drone plane and Cap’s past self plunges into the sea. The time machine then takes the Avengers back to Doctor Doom’s castle. The Wasp admits she momentarily dozed off at the controls, and Goliath speculates that that must have been what caused them to fully phase into the past. The team locks up the castle and jets back to Manhattan.

Out for a walk one evening, T’Challa ruminates on his discontentment, thinking he should be trying to help people in a more direct manner. When he stumbles upon a robbery in progress, he becomes the Black Panther and captures the crooks in spectacular fashion. A group of African-American children have witnessed the incident, he realizes, and when one boy says he could use a Black Panther up on his block, T’Challa decides he needs to focus his efforts on the city’s poor black neighborhoods. He is then summoned back to Avengers Mansion, where he joins Goliath, the Wasp, and Hawkeye in a laboratory where they are examining an inert android with red skin and a strange green-and-gold costume. T’Challa is intrigued when the others discuss a failed project by Goliath and Bill Foster to build a “synthezoid,” a unique synthesis of android and robot. Suddenly, the android revives and attacks them, and during the fight he adopts the name “The Vision” for himself, based on a comment the Wasp had made about him. Goliath realizes that the Vision possesses the power to control his own density and tries to reason with him. The android agrees to stop fighting as he attempts to remember where he came from and why he felt compelled to attack the Avengers. The Avengers are shocked when the Vision recalls that his creator was a robot called Ultron-5. He then agrees to lead the Avengers to Ultron-5’s headquarters, hidden beneath an abandoned tenement on New York’s Lower East Side. When they arrive, the Avengers come under fire from automated defensive systems, and Goliath is separated from his teammates. Before the other Avengers can decide what to do, the walls start closing in on them. Insisting that he was unaware such traps awaited them, the Vision phases through the wall and disappears. Several minutes later, the Vision frees them and leads them to the smoking wreck of Ultron-5’s body, where they are rejoined by Goliath. Grateful to the Vision for defeating Ultron-5, the Avengers invite him to accompany them back to the mansion. Goliath takes the wreckage of Ultron-5’s body for study but is unable to find the robot’s head. When they arrive at their headquarters, Hawkeye introduces the Vision to Jarvis, since the android will be staying at Avengers Mansion for the time being.

Soon after, T’Challa decides to become a high school teacher for at-risk inner-city kids. He contacts the New York City school system, using the “Luke Charles” identity that was created for him when he was a college student, and makes all the necessary arrangements.

August 1964 – The Black Panther joins Captain America, Goliath, the Wasp, Hawkeye, Thor, and Iron Man at Avengers Mansion to discuss the Vision’s petition for membership. Searching for clues as to the Vision’s origins, the Avengers head out to Goliath’s abandoned suburban laboratory in Cresskill, New Jersey. There, they discover that Goliath created Ultron back in January, though the evil robot erased his memory of it, and it then went on to evolve itself into Ultron-5. Seeking to destroy the Avengers, Ultron-5 created the Vision using recordings the team had made of Wonder Man’s brain patterns last year. The Avengers then return to their mansion and, after some deliberation, vote to accept the Vision into their ranks. T’Challa is surprised when the Vision appears to be overcome with emotion after hearing their decision.

September 1964 – T’Challa arrives early for a team meeting, since Goliath asked to discuss something with him beforehand. However, Goliath doesn’t show up, so T’Challa holds a training session with Hawkeye and the Vision instead. When the Wasp gets there, she becomes concerned about her partner’s absence. While they are all discussing it, a costumed man calling himself “Yellowjacket” appears and demands to be made a member of the Avengers. When the outraged heroes scoff at his overinflated ego, Yellowjacket claims to have killed Goliath. The Wasp nearly faints at this news. With the help of a swarm of wasps, Yellowjacket fights off the three male Avengers and kidnaps their female teammate. Later, the Wasp reactivates her emergency transponder signal, allowing the Black Panther, Hawkeye, and the Vision to track her to Cresskill City Hall in New Jersey. They are ready to fight with Yellowjacket when he and the Wasp emerge from the building, but she informs her confused teammates that she intends to marry Yellowjacket as soon as possible.

A couple of days later, the Black Panther, Hawkeye, and the Vision are joined by Captain America and Iron Man for the impromptu wedding ceremony. When the bride and groom arrive at the mansion, the Wasp angrily insists that the Avengers respect her decision. T’Challa then mingles with the other guests, including Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, the Thing, the Human Torch and his girlfriend Crystal, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel, Iceman, and the Beast, as well as the Black Knight. He also meets Daredevil, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and his girlfriend Clea, and Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Before the ceremony can begin, though, Cap, Iron Man, and Fury are called away on other business. The ceremony goes well, but when the Wasp and Yellowjacket are cutting the cake afterwards, a giant python bursts out of the cake and attacks them. The Avengers ask their guests to step out while they deal with the situation. Moments later, the team is attacked by the Ringmaster and his Circus of Crime: Princess Python, the crafty Clown, Ernesto and Luigi Gambonno, and the Human Cannonball. While the Gambonno brothers keep the Black Panther busy, the giant python coils around the Wasp, who has been stunned by the Ringmaster. Yellowjacket leaps to her defense but is unable to reach her fast enough. Unexpectedly, Yellowjacket grows to giant-size, revealing himself to be Goliath in a different costume, and rescues his bride. The Circus of Crime is quickly defeated, and the police are called to take them into custody. The wedding guests return for the reception and are pleased to learn that “Yellowjacket” is really the Wasp’s old beau and not some stranger. When the party ends, the newlyweds depart for their honeymoon.

The following Monday, T’Challa starts teaching at Andrew Jackson High School in Harlem, using the alias “Luke Charles.” He finds the work to be highly rewarding and feels he’s having a positive impact on his students’ lives. Not long after, T’Challa is shocked when Iron Man informs the Avengers that Captain America has apparently been gunned down by HYDRA assassins on the waterfront. They try to learn more about the circumstances of Cap’s death from Rick Jones, who is dressed as Cap’s WWII-era partner Bucky, but the lad is too upset to discuss it. A funeral service is quickly arranged, attended also by Nick Fury and other agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., including Cap’s bereaved girlfriend Agent 13, who now introduces herself as Sharon Carter. During the eulogy, everyone present is suddenly knocked out by a powerful anesthetic gas. When the Black Panther comes to, he finds himself in a coffin about to be buried alive by HYDRA agents in a gloomy cemetery. However, Captain America reappears and, with Rick, pursues the fleeing HYDRA agents as the Avengers recover their senses. Relieved that Cap is not dead after all, they return to Avengers Mansion.

The Avengers are contacted by the astral form of Doctor Strange, who is seeking help to save the world. Recognizing him from the wedding, they agree at once, although only the Black Panther, Hawkeye, and the Vision are available. They follow the ectoplasmic Doctor Strange to a cemetery elsewhere in the city, flying in one of the new Quinjets that T’Challa has provided. There, they discover the comatose form of the Black Knight. Rejoining his physical body, Doctor Strange explains that the Black Knight was laid low by a magical crystal while they were investigating an evil cult called the Sons of Satannish. Determined to save the Black Knight, T’Challa carries him to the Quinjet and rushes him to the team’s medical facilities. There, Doctor Strange reluctantly performs a simple operation and the team’s ultra-rejuvenator device does the rest, enabling the Black Knight to make a quick recovery. The Vision reports to the others that bizarre natural phenomena have been reported worldwide, such as volcanoes erupting through the ice in Antarctica and snow falling in the jungles of central Africa. Time has run out, Doctor Strange reveals, and the world-threatening spell cast by the Sons of Satannish has done its work, bringing the Asgardian monsters Ymir and Surtur to Earth. And so, the Black Panther and the Vision fly the Quinjet to Wakanda to battle Ymir while Hawkeye and the Black Knight take on Surtur in Antarctica, all in order to give Doctor Strange time to gain mental control over the magical crystal so that he can use it to send the two creatures back from whence they came. Ymir wreaks havoc on Wakanda and destroys the Quinjet, but at the critical moment, the monster is teleported to Antarctica along with the two heroes. Ymir and Surtur inadvertently strike each other, causing a tremendous implosion. When the smoke clears, the astral form of Doctor Strange appears and congratulates the Avengers and the Black Knight on their victory.

Stopping in Wakanda on the way back to New York, the Black Panther, Hawkeye, the Vision, and the Black Knight discover that T’Challa’s regent, M’Baku, is scheming to seize the throne. After the other three have been imprisoned, T’Challa is attacked by M’Baku, who is dressed in the forbidden garb of the White Gorilla and calling himself the Man-Ape. As they fight, T’Challa is astonished by M’Baku’s newfound superhuman strength and suspects his treacherous accomplice, N’Gamo, had something to do with it. Their battle leads them through the technological jungle to the nuclear power plant beneath it. There, the Black Panther saves the Man-Ape from falling into a reactor, only to be jolted into unconsciousness when his ungrateful foe grabs a handful of live wires. When he comes to, T’Challa finds himself shackled to a stone slab at the base of the sacred panther totem. The Man-Ape tries to topple the totem over onto T’Challa, but instead it just crumbles and crushes the villain under tons of stone. Hawkeye, the Vision, and the Black Knight come running up, having finally freed themselves, and release the Black Panther from his bonds. Disillusioned by his friend’s betrayal, T’Challa reluctantly presses old N’Baza back into service as regent before returning to America. He is frustrated when N’Gamo somehow escapes with M’Baku’s body, worried that the Man-Ape will become a martyr to those dissatisfied with T’Challa’s rule. Taking a new Quinjet, the Avengers drop the Black Knight off in England on their way home.

When they arrive at Avengers Mansion, the three heroes are greeted by Yellowjacket and the Wasp, just back from their honeymoon. They explain that Yellowjacket has permanently abandoned his Goliath identity due to the ill-effects of constantly enlarging himself. Before he can destroy his growth serums, though, the Avengers receive an emergency message they believe to be from Nick Fury, which sends them on a wild goose chase to the Caribbean Islands in search of Natasha Romanoff. T’Challa uses his authority as team chairman to make Hawkeye stay behind, believing he’d be too emotionally involved in such a mission. When the four heroes return, however, they find that Hawkeye has disappeared. Soon after, they hear a message broadcast over hijacked radio and TV signals by a supervillain Yellowjacket identifies as his old enemy Egghead. The villain claims to be causing a string of blackouts across the nation and threatens to shut down the entire nation’s power grid if his demands are not met. While the Black Panther goes out in search of Hawkeye, Yellowjacket tries to determine where Egghead’s broadcast originated.

About a day later, the Avengers discover that Egghead is broadcasting from an orbiting space station. Unfortunately, the station is cloaked and they are unable to determine its precise coordinates. The villain ups the ante by revealing his powerful “death-ray,” which he demonstrates by obliterating an evacuated Midwestern town. Hawkeye finally returns, accompanied by Natasha, and reveals that he has given up archery to assume the Goliath identity. Yellowjacket agrees to give the new Goliath full use of his size-changing potions. Their meeting is interrupted when Jarvis escorts in the notorious racketeer Barney Barton, who has information on Egghead’s scheme. T’Challa is suspicious of the obvious personal connection between the gangster and Hawkeye/Goliath, but he agrees to allow Barton to accompany the team on their raid of Egghead’s space station. Using the orbital coordinates Barton provides, the Avengers reach the station aboard a Wakandan-built space rocket. There, they battle Egghead’s army of robots until they fall victim to a paralysis ray. Fortunately, Barney Barton sacrifices himself to save the Avengers. The Black Panther is stunned to learn that Barton was Hawkeye’s brother.

Since Egghead managed to escape, the Avengers return to their headquarters to discuss their plan of action. Goliath tells them a bit about when he was just a circus performer named Clint Barton and how Barney helped him survive after they’d been orphaned. Suddenly, the Swordsman invades their meeting room, though he is a bit confused about Hawkeye’s new identity. Goliath tries to prevent his teammates from interfering in what he considers to be a private fight, which allows the Swordsman to fire energy beams from his sword that blast the Black Panther, Yellowjacket, the Wasp, and the Vision into unconsciousness. When the Avengers revive, they find both Goliath and the Swordsman are gone, but before long reports come in that Goliath singlehandedly captured the Swordsman and Egghead and turned them over to the police. Soon after, the Avengers grow concerned when Captain America avoids them following a nearly fatal battle against HYDRA. Yellowjacket is certain Cap must have his reasons for his behavior, and Goliath reminds them that, despite recent setbacks, many active HYDRA cells remain. T’Challa is sure that if anyone can bring down HYDRA, it’s Captain America.

T’Challa is surprised when a Wakandan national named N’Jadaka visits him at Avengers Mansion and reveals that he was among those kidnapped by Ulysses Klaw’s men during their failed invasion eleven years ago. He eventually escaped from them, he explains, but lacked the means to return home. T’Challa is very sympathetic to N’Jadaka’s plight and promises to arrange for him to return to Wakanda. A few days later, T’Challa learns from his chief communications officer, Taku, that an army of mercenaries has attacked the country, apparently intent on freeing Zemo’s gang from their island prison. Deciding he’d better take charge of the situation, T’Challa steps down as Avengers chairman a bit early and hands the gavel off to the Vision. He then takes a Quinjet, stopping at the Harlem tenement where N’Jadaka has been living to pick him up. T’Challa is amused by the vast amount of luggage that N’Jadaka is bringing with him. When they land in Wakanda, T’Challa wishes N’Jadaka well as he heads back to his village in the western hill country. Turning his attention to the foreign incursion, T’Challa leads his warriors into battle to repel them. In the midst of an intense firefight, Taku informs T’Challa that the Avengers are requesting a sizable amount of vibranium to use against Ultron-6. After the necessary arrangements have been made, T’Challa returns to the battle, and the invaders are soon routed.

October 1964 – The Black Panther finds himself transported to the throne room of Kang the Conqueror at his fortress in the 41st century. Kang explains, one king to another, that he was challenged to a contest by a powerful alien called the Grandmaster. If Kang wins, his lover Ravonna, who hovers between life and death inside a nearby stasis tube, will be restored to full health. If Kang loses, though, the earth will be destroyed. As such, T’Challa agrees with Kang’s plan to bring the Avengers forward in time to serve as his champions. He is annoyed, though, when Kang lures the Avengers into his time-travel vortex by sending an android to kidnap Tony Stark from the hospital where he was about to undergo life-saving surgery. When explanations have been made, Captain America agrees on behalf of Yellowjacket, the Wasp, Goliath, the Vision, and Thor that they will cooperate for the sake of the planet, if not for Kang, on the condition that Kang return Stark to the hospital immediately. As Kang complies, the Grandmaster materializes in the room and teleports Captain America, Goliath, and Thor away for round one of their contest.

The Black Panther, Yellowjacket, the Wasp, and the Vision watch helplessly as the Grandmaster sets four supervillains of his own creation against Captain America, Goliath, Thor, and Iron Man, who materializes out of nowhere to join his teammates. On Liberty Island, Cap defeats Nighthawk. At the Taj Mahal, Iron Man defeats Doctor Spectrum. At the Giza Necropolis in Egypt, Thor defeats Hyperion. However, in London, England, Goliath only beats the Whizzer with the unexpected help of the Black Knight. The Grandmaster calls a foul, since the Black Knight is not a member of the Avengers, and recalls the four heroes to their base. Then, for round two of the contest, the Black Panther, Yellowjacket, and the Vision are transported to Nazi-occupied Paris, France, in February 1942, where they encounter the Invaders. Assuming the Avengers to be Nazis, the contemporary Captain America, Sub-Mariner, and Human Torch attack them. After a brief battle, the Vision overcomes his three opponents by partially phasing through their bodies, thus disrupting their nervous systems. With victory achieved, the Black Panther, Yellowjacket, and the Vision are transported back to Kang’s 41st-century fortress. There, they rejoin Captain America, the Wasp, Goliath, Thor, and Iron Man, as well as the Black Knight, who has followed the Avengers to the future by his own means. Immediately, the heroes storm into Kang’s throne room and battle the time-traveling despot, to the Grandmaster’s great amusement. Once Kang is defeated, the Grandmaster teleports the Avengers home. The Black Panther joins his teammates in extending a unanimous offer of membership to the Black Knight. He then drops the Black Knight off in England on his way back to Wakanda to finish up some affairs of state.

T’Challa flies back to New York the following day to rejoin the Avengers. When he arrives at the mansion, he immediately rushes off to help a black woman being assaulted by the Sons of the Serpent, a hate group that’s been making headlines again recently. One of the attackers is accidentally shot dead by his compatriot, and the remaining two are electrocuted by remote control when they fail to overcome the Black Panther. When the police arrive on the scene, the woman identifies herself as Monica Lynne, then storms off after berating the cops for not showing up until after the danger was over. The Black Panther makes a statement to the police before heading back to the mansion, leaving the cops to deal with the dead bodies.

The next evening, a strange little man named Silas X. Cragg drops by Avengers Mansion looking for Captain America, whom he wants to invite to a charity benefit at the city orphanage. Yellowjacket phones Cap at the hotel where he’s staying and passes on the information. Later, the Avengers tune in to a late-night TV talk show hosted by notorious right-wing bigot Dan Dunn, who is arguing about civil rights with a controversial black agitator named Montague Hale. T’Challa is intrigued to see that Monica Lynne is also a guest on the program, and he learns that she is a popular local singer. Yellowjacket worries that the Sons of the Serpent may succeed in inciting a race war if something isn’t done. The Black Panther insists on having 24 hours to try to resolve the situation on his own. He heads out and goes to Monica Lynne’s apartment building, where he waits for her to return from the TV studio. When she arrives, he implores her not to appear on a follow-up broadcast tomorrow, as he intends to take down the Sons of the Serpent. The Black Panther then stalks the city until he finds some members of the hate group on the waterfront. He manages to infiltrate their group and thus gets a ride to their secret base submerged in the harbor. When they arrive, however, his deception is discovered and he is taken prisoner.

Throughout the next day, T’Challa is kept in chains and forced to watch TV coverage of a Black Panther impostor going on a lawless rampage. He realizes the Sons of the Serpent are trying to use the image of a militant black superhero to frighten white people into supporting their cause. Eventually, Dan Dunn’s show comes on again, and T’Challa sees that Monica Lynne has disregarded his advice and agreed to appear. A heated exchange between Dunn and Montague Hale about the Black Panther’s vigilantism nearly becomes a fistfight. The Sons of the Serpent then transport the bound T’Challa to an abandoned TV studio, where they plan to unmask him during a pirate broadcast. However, T’Challa begins to figure out what’s really going on when he realizes there are two different men dressed in the uniform of the Supreme Serpent. Thus, when the Avengers come to the rescue, T’Challa exposes the Black Panther impostor as a white man and reveals that the two Supreme Serpents are none other than Dunn and Hale, who staged their animosity to cover their subversive activities. Monica is disgusted that Hale has betrayed the civil rights movement and decides to put the fight for equality above her singing career. Impressed, T’Challa vows to do all he can for the cause as well.

The next day, T’Challa is doing business at a Manhattan bank when it is robbed by a gang called the Split-Second Squad. He manages to slip away and change into the Black Panther, but the crooks incapacitate him with a sedative gas and escape. A couple days later, the Black Panther joins Captain America, Goliath, and the Vision at a Brooklyn pier to see off Yellowjacket and the Wasp, who, along with their friend Bill Foster, are leaving to head up a government research project in Alaska. Once the ship has departed, the Avengers are suddenly accosted by Quicksilver, who tells them that the Scarlet Witch has been kidnapped by an extradimensional barbarian named Arkon, who has also kidnapped numerous nuclear physicists. Unable to breach the dimensional barrier on their own, the Avengers call in Thor and Iron Man for help. Using the power of Thor’s enchanted hammer, the Avengers travel to Arkon’s otherworldly realm of Polemachus and storm his fortress. When Arkon transports himself and the Scarlet Witch to Earth, the Black Panther, Goliath, Vision, and Quicksilver pursue them while the older Avengers remain behind to free the kidnapped scientists and solve the energy crisis that prompted Arkon’s incursion in the first place. With no further need for hostilities, Arkon departs peacefully and the Avengers regroup back at their headquarters. Cap introduces the Black Panther and the Vision to Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, who say they are ready to rejoin the team.

In the morning, the Avengers receive an urgent call for help from the Air Force’s Desert Base in New Mexico. The Black Panther, Goliath, Vision, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch take a Quinjet and fly out west. When they arrive, they meet with General Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross, who informs them that the Hulk is moving westward through the Mole Man’s system of tunnels and must be stopped before he reaches the San Andreas Fault. Immediately, they head northwest in an Air Force VTOL cargo jet, which carries a massive device called a gammatron bombarder, hoping to intercept the Hulk before he can trigger an earthquake. They begin setting up the machinery in a remote clearing in a forest in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Soon they detect the Hulk directly below them, and the Vision passes down through the ground by using his power to alter his body’s density. Moments later, the Vision reappears with the Hulk in hot pursuit. The Avengers attack the green behemoth, trying to draw him between the two units of the gammatron bombarder. As soon as Goliath is able to lure the Hulk into position, the Black Panther switches on the gamma radiation. Unfortunately, instead of changing back into Bruce Banner as planned, the Hulk breaks free, destroys the device, and disappears into the distance before the astonished Avengers can react. Though they failed to capture the Hulk, the Avengers are satisfied that they prevented a major disaster. They return to Desert Base, pick up their Quinjet, and are soon back in New York.

Two days later, T’Challa is at Avengers Mansion when they receive a visit from Tony Stark, who is fighting off a hostile takeover by an unscrupulous businessman named Cornelius Van Lunt. Stark explains that the Avengers must raise $120,000 in back rent on the mansion immediately to help keep Stark Industries afloat during the crisis. T’Challa apologizes for being unable to open Wakanda’s coffers for such a purpose and regrets that he will not be able to participate in the team’s fundraising efforts due to his job as a teacher. The next evening, though, T’Challa does agree to help the Scarlet Witch remove a metal belt that Arkon had locked around her waist. Though the extradimensional alloy proves to be a challenge to his technical skills, T’Challa finally manages to cut it off without injuring her. The Scarlet Witch then rushes off to promote the Avengers’ cause on a nationally televised talk show. Two days after that, Quicksilver informs T’Challa that Van Lunt has offered to drop his attempt to bankrupt Stark if the Avengers would perform certain menial labors for him. However, he suspects that their next job, repairing a condemned tunnel under the East River, may be a death-trap. T’Challa agrees to have the Avengers’ submarine standing by near the tunnel. Quicksilver’s suspicions are borne out when, seconds after the team sneaks out of the tunnel, a series of explosive charges causes it to collapse. The Avengers are now convinced that Van Lunt is the mastermind behind the Split-Second Squad, and sure enough, they find the crooks attempting to steal a shipment of gold bars. Though they make short work of the Split-Second Squad, the Avengers are startled to discover their hooded leader is not Van Lunt after all, but a revenge-minded employee of his seeking to frame the tycoon. Disgusted by the whole affair, the Avengers return home.

After school, T’Challa stops in the Harlem office where Monica Lynne does her day job as a social worker. She’s tired and upset, and they argue. T’Challa then continues on to Avengers Mansion, where he is surprised to learn that Captain America was just attacked outside by the Man-Ape. He realizes N’Gamo must have healed M’Baku after he was seemingly crushed by the panther totem last month. Sure enough, M’Baku suddenly appears on their video monitor, revealing that he’s kidnapped Monica and challenging T’Challa to fight him. Over his teammates’ objections, the Black Panther sets out alone and tracks his foe to a large vessel hovering low in the night sky above Manhattan. Since the ship is not of Wakandan design, T’Challa wonders where M’Baku could have obtained it. Upon boarding the ship, the Black Panther is ambushed by the Man-Ape, whose superhuman strength seems even greater than before. Even so, T’Challa overcomes both M’Baku and N’Gamo, only to be caught off guard by an exploding mannequin disguised as Monica. When he regains consciousness, T’Challa finds he has been chained up and brought to an abandoned subway line, where he meets M’Baku’s new partners-in-crime: the Grim Reaper, the Swordsman, the Living Laser, and Power Man. This “Lethal Legion,” as they call themselves, then leaves T’Challa and Monica imprisoned overnight in a dark room.

In the morning, T’Challa overhears the Lethal Legion plotting their multi-pronged attack on the Avengers. After the villains have left, a rather convenient power failure enables T’Challa to escape. He contacts the Avengers to warn them of their foes’ plans but uses the code “Prometheus Priority” to alert them that it’s probably an elaborate trap. His suspicions are confirmed when the Grim Reaper reappears, bragging that he wanted T’Challa to send the Avengers scrambling all over town so their forces would be divided. The villain then recaptures T’Challa by gassing him into unconsciousness. When he comes to, the Black Panther finds himself with Captain America, Goliath, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch inside a giant hourglass filled with poison fumes. However, the Vision arrives, disguised as Power Man, and tricks the Grim Reaper into smashing the glass and freeing them. The Lethal Legion proves no match for the combined might of the Avengers, and they are quickly apprehended. Unexpectedly, the Vision announces that he is resigning from the Avengers, claiming that a synthetic man has no place among flesh-and-blood people. He departs immediately, leaving T’Challa perplexed by his sudden decision. The Avengers free Monica from a cell, and T’Challa escorts her home. He is relieved to learn later that the Vision had gone to Andrew Jackson High School first thing that morning to inform them that “Luke Charles” would be absent.

Over the next week, T’Challa becomes frustrated that the Avengers aren’t doing more to combat ordinary crime in New York City when they’re not dealing with costumed menaces. This leads to a discussion among the full team about the best way the Avengers can serve the greater good of society. T’Challa states his position, but Cap, Thor, Iron Man, and Quicksilver believe the team should focus on global threats like the international crime syndicate Zodiac. The Vision has just returned hoping the team will help the Native American hero Red Wolf avenge the murder of his parents, for which he blames Cornelius Van Lunt, and Goliath and the Scarlet Witch side with them. Unable to reach a consensus, the Avengers decide to split their forces, and each faction goes its own way. A little over a day later, though, Zodiac seals the island of Manhattan behind an impenetrable force field and invades the city with an army of mercenaries, intent on holding it for ransom. Prowling the rooftops, the Black Panther becomes worried when the syndicate’s leader, Aries, announces that Cap, Thor, Iron Man, and Quicksilver have been taken prisoner. To slow the mercenary army down, T’Challa sabotages a power station, causing a blackout. He then runs into Daredevil, and they team up to try to free the Avengers from the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue, only to find the captive heroes have already been moved to Madison Square Garden to face public execution. There, Daredevil puts on some loud clothes and infiltrates the crowd in the arena, where he manages to use his billy club to sabotage the units keeping the four Avengers sedated. Once they’re free, the six heroes make short work of Zodiac’s forces, and as soon as the force field is disabled, the National Guard pours into the city to round up the mercenaries. When Aries makes a hasty retreat by aircraft, Thor pursues him. To stop Aries from turning his mysterious weapon, the Zodiac Key, on innocent bystanders, Thor summons down a lightning strike that blows up the villain’s ship, killing him and his henchmen. The Avengers and Daredevil then spend the rest of the day helping to repair some of the damage caused to Manhattan’s bridges and tunnels by the invasion. Comparing notes at Avengers Mansion later, the heroes are surprised to learn that the separate cases they had pursued were all, in fact, connected.

Hearing rumors of a kidnapping plot involving Professor T.W. Erwin of Miskatonic University, who is also serving as the grand marshal of the 11th annual Rutland, Vermont Halloween Parade, the Black Panther, Goliath, the Vision, and Quicksilver head up to the small town to check it out. When they arrive, one of the parade’s organizers, Tom Fagan, asks them to ride on a special parade float. During the festivities, they spot Klaw, the Melter, the Radioactive Man, and Whirlwind attempting to grab Professor Erwin, and a destructive brawl breaks out. The Masters of Evil gain the upper hand, only for the Wasp, the Scarlet Witch, the Black Widow, and Medusa to arrive and turn the tables. However, as soon as they have defeated the villains, the super-heroines attack the male Avengers and knock them out as well. When he comes to, T’Challa finds himself and his male teammates tied up in Professor Erwin’s laboratory, where the elderly scientist is explaining his parallel-time projector to a warrior woman called the Valkyrie. However, the Valkyrie soon reveals herself to be Thor’s old enemy, the Enchantress, in disguise. She hopes to use the parallel-time projector to return to Asgard, from which she has been banished. When she learned the Masters of Evil also planned to steal the device, she explains, she used her sorcery to make the four super-heroines her pawns. Luckily, the Scarlet Witch breaks free of the Enchantress’s spell and uses her mutant hex power to hurl the villainess into the parallel-time projector. There is a tremendous explosion, and when the smoke clears, the Avengers find nothing but a smoking crater in the floor. The other women are thus freed from the spells that ensorcelled them. Goliath’s snide remarks prompt the Scarlet Witch to complain that her male teammates could use a dose of feminist enlightenment. Unfortunately, the Masters of Evil have escaped, so the heroes return to New York, where the Wasp, the Black Widow, and Medusa go their separate ways. T’Challa is frustrated that Klaw has once again slipped through his fingers.

November 1964 – While stalking the streets late on election night, the Black Panther comes across a group of police officers searching for Daredevil. The newly-elected district attorney, Franklin “Foggy” Nelson, recruits the Black Panther to help find the missing hero, who is suffering from blood-poisoning. T’Challa tracks Daredevil to the apartment of Nelson’s law partner, Matt Murdock, where he finds Murdock’s girlfriend Karen Page being held at gunpoint by a roboticist called Starr Saxon. Daredevil knocks Saxon out, then Nelson arrives with the police and a doctor who checks Daredevil over. Apparently, a gash on his hand has allowed Daredevil to bleed off the contaminated blood, saving his life. To T’Challa’s surprise, Daredevil declines to incriminate Saxon and hesitates when Saxon makes a break for it, allowing him to escape. Ignoring Nelson’s demands for an explanation, Daredevil goes after Saxon. The Black Panther offers to help, but Daredevil asks him not to interfere. Concerned about Daredevil’s behavior, T’Challa decides to follow him discreetly. Observing a rooftop meeting of the two men, T’Challa learns that Saxon has discovered that Daredevil is Matt Murdock and is threatening to expose his secret identity. With no evidence to tie Saxon to the murder of mob boss “Biggie” Benson, Daredevil reluctantly lets him go. T’Challa notes that Daredevil seems very conflicted about the situation and decides not to confront him about it. Instead, he makes a surreptitious exit and goes home to watch the election returns. T’Challa is disappointed when Republican Senator Morris N. Richardson defeats President Lyndon B. Johnson after running a campaign laced with racial animus as well as inflammatory anti-mutant rhetoric. He worries that the tenor of public discourse in the United States seems to be turning uglier every day

A few days later, Matt Murdock is reported killed in an airplane crash, but when Daredevil continues to plague the criminal underworld, T’Challa realizes it must be a ruse to outmaneuver Saxon. Indeed, about a week later, Murdock turns up alive, whereupon Nelson claims that Murdock’s death was faked as part of a scheme to defeat the supervillain called Mister Fear. Nothing ever comes of Saxon’s threats. T’Challa wonders if Nelson is aware of Murdock’s dual identity.

The Black Panther spots an intruder breaking into Avengers Mansion and attacks him from behind, only to discover that it’s Hercules, a former member of the team. Hercules is ready to fight, but Goliath, the Vision, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch turn up and defuse the situation. Hercules then reports that an all-pervasive terror has been induced in him as a punishment by his angry father, Zeus. He is being pursued by a sinister entity known as the Huntsman, who is the instrument of his father’s wrath. The Avengers offer to help, but Hercules insists it’s too dangerous. Suddenly, the Huntsman appears and uses his magic staff to render the Avengers helpless. In a mad panic, Hercules smashes his way out of the mansion and disappears into the night as the Huntsman sets off after him.

When Andrew Jackson High School closes for a four-day weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving, T’Challa decides to return to Wakanda to see how things are going there. N’Baza seems weak but insists he has everything under control. Even so, T’Challa faces mounting pressure to come home to stay. Chafing against the demands placed on him, T’Challa returns to New York to be ready to teach school on Monday morning.

December 1964 – One evening, the Black Panther is prowling the neighborhood near Andrew Jackson High School when he hears an argument on the playground. He finds one of his students, Lonnie Carver, and his older brother, Billy Carver, being pressured to join the Thunderbolts street gang. Unwilling to take no for an answer, the gang’s leader assaults Billy, who refuses to fight back, saying he’s had his fill of violence after serving in Vietnam. Impressed, the Black Panther intervenes and drives off the gang. When the Black Panther complements Billy, he notices Lonnie’s eyes light up—he knows how excited the boy has been for his brother to come home from the war. Thus, it comes as a surprise about a week later when Lonnie’s attitude toward school takes a sudden turn for the worse. He loses interest in the course material and increasingly becomes a discipline problem. Concerned, T’Challa decides to keep an eye on Lonnie for the time being.

When the Scarlet Witch has a dream about the Black Knight being killed by Arkon, the Black Panther, Goliath, the Vision, and Quicksilver decide to try to contact the Britain-based Avenger. They become concerned when they are unable to reach him and decide to investigate. Realizing they’ll need the power of Thor’s enchanted hammer to get to the extradimensional realm of Polemachus, T’Challa volunteers to go out and find the thunder god. He soon succeeds, but as they approach Avengers Mansion, the entire building suddenly vanishes. An image of the Enchantress appears in the sky and taunts Thor, so he uses his hammer to create a spacetime vortex that carries him and the Black Panther to Arkon’s capital city. As Thor launches a blistering attack on Arkon’s troops, the Black Panther tracks down the rest of the Avengers and frees them from a dungeon. Hopelessly outnumbered, the Avengers are on the verge of defeat when the Enchantress loses her hold on the Black Knight while distracted by the Scarlet Witch. The Black Knight immediately switches sides, and the Enchantress, realizing the Avengers have turned the tide, teleports away to safety. When he sees that the sorceress has abandoned him, Arkon declares an end to the fighting. Thor then generates a spacetime vortex large enough to carry Avengers Mansion back to Earth, calling on Odin for assistance. However, while the Black Knight is returned to England and Thor and the Black Panther materialize with the mansion in New York, there is no sign of their other four teammates.

Before they can mount a search, the Black Panther and Thor remember they are due to participate in a Toys-for-Tots program sponsored by the United States Marine Corps. For the next few hours, they join Captain America and Spider-Man in distributing toys to underprivileged children. Later, Thor uses the energies of his hammer to power an interdimensional scanner that Iron Man has brought over from Stark Industries to search for their missing teammates. After many hours, Goliath, the Vision, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch are located and brought home. They relate how they had somehow been diverted to a parallel world, where they saved the earth alongside heroic versions of the Squadron Sinister called the Squadron Supreme. As the team heads upstairs for some refreshments, T’Challa receives an urgent call from Taku in Wakanda. Taku reports that N’Baza has died, leaving T’Challa stunned by the news. Realizing he may have to give up both his place in the Avengers and his teaching job, T’Challa joins his teammates in the mansion’s living room. He regales them with the tale of how he became the Black Panther and exposed B’Tumba’s treachery before announcing his bad news. T’Challa then goes out to be alone among the rooftops of the city to ponder his future. Once again, he realizes, the throne feels more like a prison than a privilege.

The Black Panther attends a meeting of the Avengers with Captain America, Goliath, Thor, Iron Man, the Vision, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch. Afterwards, Goliath, Thor, and Iron Man head to the Caribbean to protect an experimental weather-control station for the United Nations while T’Challa and the others make a television appearance for charity. When the trio returns, they report that they battled the Hulk, the Silver Surfer, and the Sub-Mariner until some Atlantean scientists convinced them the project needed to be shut down. The Avengers then hold their third annual Christmas charity benefit, at which Cap introduces his new partner, the Falcon, to his teammates. T’Challa admits to a bit of jealousy toward the Falcon, as his students in Harlem seem to be bigger fans of their homegrown hero than they are of the Black Panther. The two men hit it off and enjoy discussing their different approaches to the issues facing the Harlem community. Then, over the next week, T’Challa begins making arrangements to return to Wakanda, planning to leave New York by the middle of January.


Notes:

March 1964 – The Black Panther teams up with the Inhumans and half the Fantastic Four to battle the microscopic menace of Psycho-Man in Fantastic Four Annual #5. The shockwave that ended T’Challa’s fight with the illusory panther-monster was generated by Gorgon stamping his hooves.

April 1964 – The Black Panther and Captain America join forces against the phony Baron Zemo in Tales of Suspense #97–99 and Captain America #100. The title change occurred due to favorable business conditions that allowed Marvel to move away from double-feature books. The story also weaves in and out of Avengers #51, which occurs simultaneously. T’Challa is then inducted into the Avengers and appears in Avengers #52 and following. T’Challa credits himself as one of the world’s richest men, so it seems unlikely to me that he would room at Avengers Mansion and eat Jarvis’s cooking when he could have his own place, though the evidence is inconclusive. The Wasp’s chauffeur, “Charles Matthews,” is secretly the supervillain Whirlwind.

May 1964 – The Avengers’ assault on Magneto’s island fortress detours briefly into Uncanny X-Men #45.

July 1964 – The Fourth-of-July picnic at Avengers Mansion occurs behind the scenes and is suggested by the date. Due to the machinations of the Scarlet Centurion, the Avengers do not travel back into their own past but into the parallel universe now known as Earth-689, which, incidentally, is the same world depicted in Avengers Annual #2 and What If? #4. However, Captain America does not remember the events of that night clearly enough (partly from the trauma itself and partly because of his post-cryogenic amnesia) to realize it, despite there being significant differences in how the events played out. The most important difference is that the Captain America of Earth-689 is killed by the same explosion that kills Bucky. The Avengers then travel to the 1964 of Earth-689 in Avengers Annual #2, where they battle the Scarlet Centurion and their own counterparts. As the Avengers finally return to their own reality, though, the Watcher erases their memories of this adventure, since the Scarlet Centurion, Pharaoh Rama-Tut, Kang the Conqueror, and Immortus are all the same person. Later, the Black Panther looks on as Jarvis meets the Vision in one of the many flashbacks in Avengers #280.

September 1964 – Captain America’s premature funeral is held in Captain America #113. The battle in Drearcliff Cemetery continues in the flashback in Avengers #106. In addition to M’Baku and N’Gamo, Avengers #62 also introduces T’Challa’s ally W’Kabi. The white gorillas of the Wakandan highlands must have been mutated by vibranium exposure, just like the heart-shaped herb that gives the Black Panther his powers, so that by consuming their flesh and blood M’Baku gains superhuman strength. This is doubtless why the cult of the white gorilla has long been suppressed. The Black Panther has a cameo in Sub-Mariner #14 in a montage of heroes listening to Egghead’s broadcast, then appears briefly at the beginning of Captain America #114, when the Avengers talk about Cap behind his back. T’Challa’s meeting with N’Jadaka, who will return in a few years as Erik Killmonger, is depicted in flashbacks in Jungle Action #7 and #16. T’Challa is unaware that Killmonger’s snake-loving henchman Horatio Walters, a.k.a. Venomm, has stowed away aboard the Quinjet and is thereby smuggled into Wakanda. The nature and intent of the foreign incursion seen in Avengers #68 is not clearly explained in the story, but this scenario makes the most sense to me. This is also the issue that introduces Taku.

October 1964 – The Invaders’ battle with the Black Panther, Yellowjacket, and the Vision is revisited, with a few extra details added, in Invaders Annual #1. Silas X. Cragg drops by Avengers Mansion in Captain America #121. The Avengers attempt to capture the Hulk in Hulk #128. T’Challa helps the Scarlet Witch with her metal belt behind the scenes during Avengers #77. For more information, see OMU: Scarlet Witch – Part Three. When the Black Panther and Daredevil team up against the forces of Zodiac, T’Challa has not yet learned the Man Without Fear’s secret identity, so they probably meet on the rooftops of the city after the Black Panther has caused the blackout to slow the invasion down. Also, though they mention battling the Thunderbolts gang, that doesn’t actually happen until next January.

November 1964 – The Black Panther guest-stars in Daredevil #52. Yellowjacket’s appearance in this issue is an error, as he’s off in Alaska. T’Challa was probably actually speaking with the Vision. Daredevil’s scheme to prevent Starr Saxon from exposing his secret identity plays out over the next couple of issues. The presidential election occurs behind the scenes. For more on Morris N. Richardson, see OMU: POTUS – Part Three. Hercules returns to the mansion briefly in a bizarre little story published in Ka-Zar Quarterly #1. I assume T’Challa went home to Wakanda over the Thanksgiving break since he was not present in that flashback in Avengers #280.

December 1964 – The Carver brothers come to T’Challa’s attention in the flashback in Daredevil #69. He is unaware that meeting the Black Panther inspires Billy Carver to secretly contact District Attorney Nelson and volunteer to infiltrate the Thunderbolts gang, which triggers the change in Lonnie’s attitude. T’Challa’s reminiscences about his origins following news of N’Baza’s death bring us up to Avengers #87. The Black Panther then has a brief cameo in Sub-Mariner #35. The Avengers’ Christmas party—and the Black Panther’s first meeting with the Falcon—occurs behind the scenes. T’Challa’s students expressed their preference for the Falcon back in Avengers #77.


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