The Best Black Panther Storylines in Comics

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Vote up the Black Panther comic book story arcs every fan must read

Black Panther has always been an underrated and important Marvel character, and the list of Black Panther’s greatest adventures proves that. As one of the first and most prominent black superheroes ever created, the best Black Panther comics are not just good reads, they hold some serious cultural significance. Black Panther stories have a tendency to explore major societal themes, blending action and adventure with political intrigue and social issues. King T’Challa is at his best when his comics are making the reader think, along with entertaining them.

Black Panther made his debut in July of 1966, having been created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the godfathers of Marvel Comics. T’Challa first appeared in Fantastic Four #52, but since then he’s been just as associated with the Avengers as he has with Marvel’s first family. Nearly as significant as the invention of Black Panther was the invention of his homeland, the fictional nation of Wakanda, which remains one of the most progressive depictions of an African nation to ever appear in a comic book.

Photo: Marvel Comics

  • Issues: Black Panther #16-20

    Writer: Christopher Priest

    Artist: Sal Velluto

    A spiritual successor to Panther’s Rage, this story arc explores the long-burning rivalry between Black Panther and Eric Killmonger, his greatest enemy. Once again, the legitimacy of T’Challa’s monarchy is called into question, and once again, he proves himself as the true and rightful King of Wakanda.

    63 votes
  • 2
    45 VOTES

    Issues: Black Panther #1-5

    Writer: Christopher Priest

    Artist: Mark Texeira & Vince Evans

    Christopher Priest is generally considered to be the greatest Black Panther writer ever, and his legendary run on the character began with The Client. The story brings T’Challa into contact with Everett Ross, an American government agent, who acts as the audience’s point-of-view into the crazy and magical world of Wakanda, which happens to be undergoing an attempted coup at the time.

    45 votes
  • Issues: Black Panther #41-45

    Writer: Christopher Priest

    Artist: Sal Velluto

    A sequel to an earlier Black Panther arc by Christopher Priest, this tale brings T’Challa into conflict with Tony Stark, with two of the mightiest minds in the Marvel Universe going head-to-head. Black Panther and Iron Man are perfectly matched in a multitude of facets, and Wolverine gets involved in their dispute to make things even more interesting.

    33 votes
  • Issues: Black Panther #26-29

    Writer: Christopher Priest

    Artist: Sal Valluto

    Unlike most superheroes, Black Panther is a monarch first and a crimefighter second, and this story takes full advantage of that by comparing T’Challa to his fellow superpowered rulers. Namor the Sub-Mariner, King of Atlantis, and Doctor Doom, ruler of Latveria, guest-star as the various attitudes and policies of these marvelous monarchs is explored in great depth.


    40 votes
  • Issues: Fantastic Four #52

    Writer: Stan Lee

    Artist: Jack Kirby

    Normally, the debut issues of classic heroes are a little too outdated to enjoy, but not so with the Black Panther. T’Challa first shows up in Fantastic Four #52, and that single issue establishes a lot about the African hero, creating an interesting enough backstory to springboard decades of tales from. Right from the star, T’Challa was a clearly unique character.

    40 votes
  • Issues: Black Panther #39-41

    Writer: Jason Aaron

    Artist: Jefte Palo

    This story arc carries an ominous title, and it’s not much of an overstatement. Taking place during Secret Invasion, this arc sees a faction of super-Skrulls attempting to invade Wakanda, and the Black Panther repelling their invasion with extreme prejudice. Piles of Skrull bodies soon ensue, and a powerful message about the sovereignty of Wakanda is delivered.


    47 votes