In The Comics:
The King of Wakanda has a long history in comics. The first black superhero of the Marvel universe and of mainstream comics in general, Black Panther wasn't only special because he was a hero, but because he was a king, rather than the offensive, diminished stereotypes of black people previously seen on the page.
Over the course of his comic appearances, starting with Fantastic Four #52, he's been a teacher in Harlem, gone to war with Atlantis, and been married to Storm of the X-Men. And though the mantle has passed to his sister on some occasions, T'Challa remains one of Marvel's most iconic heroes as the quintessential Black Panther.
In The Film:
Played less as a sure monarch and more as a young king still finding his footing, T'Challa in the film is a man torn between tradition and a need for change.
His experiences lead him to realise that Wakanda's isolationism has caused as much harm as good, and he's the first king of Wakanda to reveal their society to the world.
He's played stunningly by Chadwick Boseman, who communicates both the dignified king and the young, unsure leader perfectly in his performances.
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