Marvel Teases Female ‘Black Panther’
After breaking the news via the Washington Post, Marvel has finally begun to reveal some of the details behind the Black Panther revamp coming in February. T’Challa, the reining Panther, seems to be replaced by a mysterious female. Now, Marvel says T’Challa’s fate is tied to events in the aftermath of Secret Invasion and connected to Dark Reign, 2009’s new crossover event.
The first issue will be extra-sized and will carry variant covers including one in their 70th anniversary series.
A sneak peek and interview with artist Ken Lashley has been posted at Marvel’s website.
Hudlin told the Post, "Over the course of 40 issues [over three years], we … really defined the character in a way that hadn’t been done before. … Having done that, you go: "How do we up the stakes?" Marvel is great about doing really shocking changes to their character — they don’t believe in just keeping everything as status quo."
Under Hudlin, the Panther married Storm from the X-Men and has defended his country of Wakanda from foreign and intergalactic invaders.
He has been challenged to be the Panther in the past but this time the change appears more than cosmetic. "There will be another after him," Hudlin said of T’Challa. "In the same way that he became the Black Panther because his father was assassinated and died before his time, the same could happen to T’Challa."
T’Challa will live on in animated form as his series remains scheduled to air on BET, where Hudlin recently resigned as head, in 2009.
Introduced by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Fantastic Four #52 in 1966, T’Challa was the first prominent black character in the Marvel Universe and was a popular supporting player until he received his own series in Jungle Tales in the 1970s. The current title was first written for the Marvel Knights imprint by Christopher Priest before Hudlin took over.
BLACK PANTHER #1
Written by REGINALD HUDLIN
Penciled by KEN LASHLEY
Cover by J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
50/50 Cover by KEN LASHLEY
70th Anniversary Variant Cover by MARKO DJURDJEVIC
Rated T+ …$3.99, On-sale—2/4/09