- T’Challa has found his purpose as a street hero and can be the Black Panther without his crown or royal resources.
- Losing his kingship has humbled T’Challa and allowed him to discover his true self and gain confidence.
- This issue marks a significant transition for T’Challa and opens the door for new character-driven stories beyond Wakanda and his kingship.
Warning: Spoilers for Black Panther #8!T’Challa has finally settled into being a street hero and can truly be a Black Panther even without his crown. Ever since getting exiled from Wakanda and having his throne taken from underneath him, T’Challa has struggled to define his identity. His persona was always so strongly tied to royalty that without it, he’s been at a crossroads as far as what kind of Marvel hero he should be.
Now, T’Challa has found his purpose outside of being a king in Black Panther #8 by Eve L. Ewing, Mack Chater, Chris Allen, Craig Yeung, Jesus Aburtov, and VC’s Joe Sabino. Since the start of the series, T’Challa has been learning who he is without his crown while fighting crime in the city of Birnin T’Chaka. While he’s still donning the mantle of the Black Panther, he’s done it without any official sanction and without the vast resources of a king. It has been a struggle, but T’Challa has made strides towards finally figuring himself out.
While explaining what he’s learned from his time in the city, T’Challa expresses the confidence he’s gained from losing his crown. Closing out one self-discovery arc opens the door to so many new storylines for the Black Panther.
Black Panther Losing His Kingship Was Positive for Him
T’Challa’s final acts as king of Wakanda – including secretly maintaining a worldwide network of sleeper agents – were questionable enough that some would even compare T’Challa to the villain Killmonger. When everything caught up with him, the Black Panther was forcibly shunned from his nation and his kingship was revoked. He has since had to relocate to the crime-infested Birnin T’Chaka, where he’s continued operating as a street-level Black Panther, akin to Batman.
Following a skirmish with the mutant Monet St. Croix, T’Challa and his new Catwoman-esque femme fatale friend, Natima (aka Beisa) take a train back to Birnin T’Chaka. To pass the time, the former king gives a monologue about what he’s learned since taking residence in the city and how the experience has humbled him. Despite losing the resources, security, and glory that come with being king, he feels stronger than ever. Everything he used to define him is no longer relevant, and he knows who he can be without it. “I am T’Challa. And I am so much more than my throne.”
Black Panther’s New Confidence Opens the Door for New Stories
This issue is a big step for T’Challa as he has officially, successfully transitioned into being a street hero. As recently as the last issue, T’Challa was struggling with figuring out how to protect his city, but after some self-reflection and discovering his city, he’s able to advance both his superhero mission and his character development. Above all else, he closes his self-discovery arc that the series began with, which opens the door for new character-driven stories that aren’t related to Wakanda or the Black Panther’s kingship (or lack thereof).
Black Panther #8 is on sale now from Marvel