Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>Black Panther
SubjectBlack Panther
Culture: American comics fandom
Setting: Marvel Comics

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Marvel Encyclopedia 2006 p38
​"The 'Black Panther' is an honorary title bestowed on the reigning monarch of the jungle kingdom of Wakanda.  T'Challa was only a child when he succeeded his father, who had been murdered by Klaw, the master of sound.  Before T'Challa assumed the Wakandan throne, he was educated in the finest schools in Europe and America.  He then embarked on a series of grueling tests to prove that he was worthy of donning the mantle of the Black Panther, the sacred totem of his people.  After passing each test, he gained possession of a special heart-shaped herb found only in Wakanda, which enhanced his five senses and physical prowess to the peak of human perfection.
    "Although Black Panther has often allied himself with the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, the Black Panther is still the king of Wakanda and his people are always his highest priority."

​* Howard ed. 2021 p71 (Mikhail Lyubansky & Erynn Nicholson, "The Black Panther is black," p71-88)
​"The Black Panther is Black.  Well, duh!  But as Kristen Page-Kirby points out, he 'is not a superhero who happens to be Black.  His Blackness ... goes to the absolute center of his identity.'  There is really no white superhero equivalent.  There cannot be, given the United States' (and this world's!) racial politics.  For T'Challa, his Blackness and his Wakandan heritage are a source of pride.  Other superheroes can exhibit national pride (hello, Captain America), but white pride is off limits for heroes, just as it is off limits for us mere mortals -- at least those of us who value being a part of the cultural mainstream.  This is as it should be.  For T'Challa, for other Africans, and for African Americans, racial pride is legitimately earned by overcoming or even just surviving an oppressive history and reality.  White people can be proud too.  Many have also overcome oppression and other obstacles, but their oppression is unrelated to their whiteness; therefore, their pride cannot be related to whiteness either." [references omitted]