While our calendars and alarms are already marked and set for the Black Panther movie release in February 2018 (yes, Black History Month), there is still a lot to be known about the World of Wakanda and the origins of Black Panther.
Here are 4 things that you need to know before you show up in force to the Black Panther movie premiere:
People assume that the creation of Black Panther was prompted by the Black Panther movement of the late 1960s, but the character was actually created just before the Black Panther Party was founded in 1966 (though he did come well after the WWII Black Panther's Tank Battalion).
He even went by Black Leopard for a short time in 1972, when Marvel was looking to avoid any controversial association with the movement.
Black Panther is the ceremonial title given to the chief of the Panther Tribe of the advanced (and fictional) African nation of Wakanda. As well as ruling the country and leading its main tribe, whoever holds the titles is also chief of the Wakandas (a collective of tribes within the nation). He is also the head of state and is used during diplomatic missions and visits.
Although the title is hereditary, the would-be leader must still earn it by proving themselves worthy (by, for example defeating the person who currently holds the title and by defeating six of the country's finest warriors at once). The most prominent and well-known Black Panther - and the one you can expect to see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - is T'Challa, but other examples include his father T'Chaka.
He's been an honorary X-Men due to marrying Storm. He's also taken over for Sue and Reed Richards, alongside Storm, to fill out the rest of the Fantastic Four. Black Panther has also acted as a member of the Fantastic Force and the Defenders.
Namor tries to recruit T'Challa to the Cabal (a group of supervillains with their own motives and ways to save the world). When he refuses, Doctor Doom attacks him, leaving him comatose. His sister Shuri, who is also trained as a Panther, takes up the mantle for a time while he recovers. She's been a/the Black Panther on and off again (whenever it is needed) ever since.