Black Panther vs. MorlunPosted: 08/02/2012
The last day of Morlun week! Today, the totem-vampire Morlun takes on Wakanda’s Black Panther! Since this is the first Black Panther article, I want to go briefly into the history and identity, but we should probably bring our antagonist back from the dead first.
There’s our psychopath. Once he gets clothes, it’ll be time for his African invasion. An army of one.
Y’see, real countries do exist in the Marvel universe. They all do. But when you have dictators or kings, fictional countries tend to be better to avoid angry letters and diplomatic situations. That’s why we have Dr. Doom’s tiny eastern European country of Latveria, the Asian crime haven of Madripoor, the slave island nation of Genosha, and of course, Black Panther’s Wakanda.
A long time ago, a meteorite made of vibranium crashed into the tiny African country. Vibranium, also known as the material that Captain America’s shield is made out of, is a lightweight metal that absorbs and nullifies all vibrations and force thrown at it. As you can imagine, vibranium armor (or shields) can take hits from energy blasts, bullets, explosions, etc. with almost zero damage. So it’s crazy valuable and fortunately, Wakanda holds almost the entire world’s supply, easily making the nation one of the wealthiest and most technologically advance countries on the planet. When the nation’s leaders announce with pride that Wakanda has never been conquered by a foreign power, that’s no lie.
And at the top of the Wakanda political chain is Black Panther, the designated title of the king or queen. To become the Black Panther, you still have to be born into the royal family, but you also have to earn the blessing of the Panther God. Look, that’s just how it works. T’Challa, the most widely known Black Panther, has been around since 1966, making him the first mainstream black superhero in American comics. T’Challa happens to be a super genius naturally (confirmed as one of the eight smartest people on the planet), but with the Panther God’s blessing, he has superhuman strength, agility, and tracking abilities. Also, he’s married to the X-Man Storm.
On to our story, we pick up with Black Panther #3-6, volume 5, written by Reginald Hudlin and drawn by Ken Lashley. T’Challa got caught in an ambush and is currently in a coma fighting skeletons in some death limbo (read it yourself). But Morlun’s on his way and it looks like the last line of defense resides in T’Challa’s sister, Shuri. But she is the final trump card, so let’s see how the first few maneuvers go.
Okay, not well. Though I think the Wakandan dude is way more shocked that Morlun’s skirt survived the explosions. Look, we’ve seen Morlun’s toughness all week. A few hundred missiles ain’t going to take him down. Shuri, you’re up. Bad time to mention this is her first time donning the costume?
Let’s not forget the reason for Morlun’s supervillainy. To live, he needs to absorb the energy of animal “totems,” men or women chosen by animal avatars or something like that. Black Panther totally qualifies since he’s a good half a planet away from our pal Spider-Man. And while not a terribly angry guy, Morlun’s not going to let a spear through the torso go unpunished. I mean, he has a reputation.
So the fight’s not going too well. But Black Panther has a plan. Keep in mind, she doesn’t even come close to Spider-Man’s strength, speed, and agility, and he got his butt handed to him. If you wonder how she can take the brutal hits Morlun dishes, her costume’s made of vibranium mesh instead of Spider-Man’s costume, which is mainly the same stuff gymnasts use in their leotards.
I agree, that’s a really nice jet bike. Vibrainium brings in a hefty profit, trust me. And besides looking cool and flying, the bike has one more nifty feature perfect for capturing dangerous supervillains.
While it’s a net made of adamantium, will it hold Morlun’s crazy super strength? No way.
She doesn’t. I hate to spoil stuff for you, but I’m sure you could have figured that out on your own. Also, she’s really just going along with the secret plan we don’t know about yet. Morlun’s like a Hulk. Because he’s so unbelievably strong, he can simply punch his way through any obstacles. The quickest way to any place is a straight line, and Morlun will just kick down any walls that might make him go around. But this is Wakanda, a nation that succeeded mainly because of their genius and ingenuity. That and shamans.
Hey, remember that skeleton army death limbo side story that T’Challa and Storm are hanging out in? Well, guess which shaman has the key to that spiritual doorway?
And Morlun’s forever trapped. Yay! Since this is currently his last appearance in Marvel comics, we can just assume that he’s still there fighting the infinite amount of undead minions. He deserves worse, but with his bad habit of being resurrected from the dead, maybe this’ll be the safest for our honorable crime fighters. And Shuri? Well, she gets to keep the Black Panther title and become queen. You and I both agree she earned it, right? Spider-Man certainly would.
Next week we’ll have some happy stories. Well, at least one.