Map of Wakanda from Marvel Universe #12.
Art by Don McGregor.
|Notable characters||Black Panther
|First appearance||Fantastic Four #52
Wakanda is a fictional nation appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is the most prominent of several fictional African nations in the Marvel Universe, and it is home to the superhero Black Panther. Wakanda first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966), and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Wakanda is located in Northeastern Africa, although its exact location has varied throughout the nation's publication history: some sources place Wakanda in East Africa, just north of Tanzania, while others - such as Marvel Atlas #2 - show it bordering Lake Turkana, near Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia (and surrounded by fictional countries like Azania, Canaan, and Narobia).
The Wakandan royal line began with Bashenga, an ancient Wakandan whose first and only appearance was in Black Panther vol. 1 #7 (Jan 1978). Bashenga was supposedly the first king of unified Wakanda, and the first Black Panther some 10,000 years ago.
In the distant past, a massive meteorite made up of the sound-absorbing mineral vibranium crashed in Wakanda, and is unearthed a generation before the events of the present-day. T'Challa, the current Black Panther, is the son of T'Chaka, the Black Panther before him and a descendant of Bashenga. Knowing that others would attempt to manipulate and dominate Wakanda for this rare and valuable resource, T'Chaka conceals his country from the outside world. He sells off minute amounts of the valuable vibranium while surreptitiously sending the country's best scholars to study abroad, consequently turning Wakanda into one of the world's most technologically advanced nations. Eventually, however, the explorer Ulysses Klaw finds his way to Wakanda, and covers up his work on a vibranium-powered, sound-based weapon. When exposed, Klaw kills T'Chaka, only to see his "sound blaster" turned on him by a grieving teenaged T'Challa. Klaw's right hand is destroyed, and he and his men flee.
Vibranium radiation has permeated much of Wakanda's flora and fauna, including the Heart-Shaped Herb eaten by members of the Black Panther Cult (although T'Challa once allowed a dying Spider-Man to eat it in the hope that it would help him deal with his current illness), and the flesh of the White Gorilla eaten by the members of the White Gorilla Cult.
In the 2008 "Secret Invasion" storyline, Skrull forces led by Commander K'vvvr invaded Wakanda and engaged Black Panther and his forces. Technological efforts lead to both sides being forced to fight with swords and spears. The Wakandan forces voluntarily wear panther masks; this prevents the Skrulls from focusing attacks on their leader. Despite losses, the Wakandans defeat the Skrulls. They kill every single one, including K'vvvr, and send their ship back, packed with the bodies. A warning against invading Wakanda is left written on the wall of the ship's control center.
While under the cosmic power of the Phoenix Force, Namor attacks Wakanda for hiding the Avengers and destroys much of the country with a tidal wave. After the attack all mutants are banned from Wakanda as stated by Black Panther and attack on some students from the Jean Grey school by its people who barely flee with the help of Storm.
Due to its isolation and intentional isolationism, Wakandan technology has, until recently, developed entirely independently of that of the rest of the world. As such, the design philosophies and methodologies are different, and often incompatible, with conventional equipment. In some areas, Wakanda is ahead of the rest of the world. For example, Wakandan computer technology is much more powerful than that of the rest of the world, and is completely immune to outside hacking, as it is not based on binary electronics; it can, however, emulate the behavior of such electronics at hugely enhanced efficiencies, allowing it to easily hack almost any conventional system. Vibranium was used liberally in Wakandan tech, but the recent destruction of all Vibranium has forced large-scale redesigns.
Bast the Panther Goddess is the primary deity of Wakanda. After the vibranium meteor fell, a number of Wakandans were painfully mutated into "demon spirits" and began attacking their fellow Wakandans. T'Challa's ancestor, Bashenga became the first Black Panther and closed the vibranium mound to outsiders, forming a religious order that guarded the mound and fought to keep the "demon spirits" from spreading across the kingdom. The Black Panther is a ceremonial and religious title given to the chief of the Panther Tribe. As part of the cult's ceremonies, a chosen Black Panther is entitled to the use of a heart-shaped herb. The herb enhances the physical attributes of the person who consumes it to near-superhuman levels, similar to the super soldier serum.
White Gorilla Cult
Ghekre the Gorilla God is an ancient Wakandan deity. Wakanda evolved from a hunter-warrior society, and was traditionally ruled by its greatest warrior. The dominant Black Panther Cult outlawed the rival White Gorilla Cult's worship in Wakanda. M'Baku (Man-Ape) of the Jabari tribe is one of Wakanda's greatest warriors, second only to T'Challa, the Black Panther himself. While T'Challa, king of Wakanda, is on a several month leave of absence from Wakanda, the ambitious M'Baku plots to usurp the throne. M'Baku flouts T'Challa's edicts and revives the White Gorilla Cult, killing one of the rare white gorillas living in the jungles near Wakanda. M'Baku bathes in the gorilla's blood and eats its flesh which "mystically" confers the gorilla's great strength upon M'Baku. He tries to defeat T'Challa in combat, hoping to take over the country, but is beaten and banished from Wakanda.
Sekhmet the Lion Goddess could possess the form of any human worshipers or the bodies of those sanctified and sacrificed by her worshipers, she transformed these subjects into human avatars of herself. She has a number of other powers, some of which she has demonstrated. Sekhmet could grow in size, move at rapid speeds, teleport herself and others, and alter her specific density. The Lion goddess possessed superhuman strength and durability, and she was immortal. She can manipulate the minds of the weak willed.
Little is known of the history of the Lion Goddess. She had apparently lost many worshipers over the years to the Cult of the Panther God, despite the fact that Sekhmet physically manifested before its followers, and the Panther God only appears to its priests.
In other media
- Wakanda appears in the 1994 Fantastic Four episode "Prey Of The Black Panther". The Black Panther lures the Fantastic Four to Wakanda in order to test them and see if they were worthy enough to help him fight Klaw.
- T'Challa appears in the Iron Man: Armored Adventures episode "Panther's Prey".
- Wakanda appears in the Black Panther TV series. Like the comics, Klaw killed T'Chaka resulting in T'Challa becoming king and the new Black Panther. Later, Klaw decides to invade Wakanda and manages to round up Juggernaut, Batroc the Leaper, Cannibal, the second Radioactive Man, and the Vatican Black Knight to help him with his plans.
- Wakanda appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes micro-episode "Welcome to Wakanda". Man-Ape challenges T'Chaka for the throne of Wakanda and manages to defeat him with some unseen help from Klaw which resulted in T'Chaka dying from his injuries. Following T'Chaka's death, Man-Ape and Klaw enslave the Wakandans and have them mine for vibranium. This causes T'Challa to become the new Black Panther as he plans to find some allies to help liberate Wakanda. In the episode "Panther's Quest", T'Challa asked the Avengers for help to regain his kingdom from Man-Ape and Klaw. After Man-Ape and Klaw are defeated, T'Challa tells his people that they should no longer remain isolated from the rest of the world.
- Wakanda appears in the Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers episode "His Majesty, Black Panther!"
- In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Wakanda is briefly shown on a map in Iron Man 2 and is mentioned in Avengers: Age of Ultron as the source nation of vibranium, but is portrayed for the first time in the final scene of Captain America: Civil War, where Captain America takes refuge with Bucky Barnes. The film also introduces Black Panther to the MCU, ahead of a solo film. For Civil War, Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman uses a "regional accent based on where Wakanda would be. He did great research on the very cultural aspects of the character. Even though it's a fictional culture, [he figured] out ways to tether it into real African culture."
- Wakanda appears in the straight-to-DVD animated feature Ultimate Avengers 2 as a central location and the focal point for the Chitauri invasion. Here the country is portrayed as extreme isolationist nation that views all outsiders as enemies.
- Wakanda appears as a location in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. When the control nanites start to infect the world, Wakanda is one of its victims when The Fold absorbs some mercenaries into its ranks. After taking out Havok, A-Bomb, and Justice, the heroes make their way to Black Panther's palace where they end up discovering that Nick Fury has fallen victim to the control nanites and then end up defeating The Fold-absorbed Wakandans led by Green Goblin and Venom III. When Green Goblin and Venom III are defeated, Black Panther's palace serves as a hub since Stark Tower has fallen under the control of The Fold, as the nanites cannot comprehend Fury's files on Wakanda. When the heroes are fighting Tinkerer at the Repeater Tower in Iceland, Wakanda is attacked by The Fold until the jamming signal is unleashed, thus neutralizing the nanites and saving the world.
- Wakanda makes a cameo in Storm's ending in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. She and Black Panther oversee the land whilst discussing whether or not humanity is worth saving, what with mutant discrimination still being rife.
- Wakanda appears in Marvel Heroes. The players must try to defeat Man-Ape in a level called "Vibranium Mines" in order to keep him from and his followers from mining the Vibranium.
- Wakanda is referenced in Lego Marvel Super Heroes. In the mid-credits, Black Panther tells Nick Fury that the people of Wakanda thank him for thwarting Loki and Galactus' attack.
- Wakanda appears as a stage in Disney Infinity 3.0.
Other fictional African countries in Marvel Comics
- Azania - An African nation with its own white supremacist villains. Enemies of Wakanda and Mbangawi. First appears in Black Panther vol. 2, #1-4. An African country by the same name appears in the novel Black Mischief by Evelyn Waugh.
- Burunda - Also known as the "Peoples Republic of Burunda". Capital is Freedomtown. Visited by Moon Knight. Marc Spector: Moon Knight #2 (July 1989)
- Canaan - Ruled by Moses Magnum, it is apparently a small offshoot of Wakanda located to the west. First appears in Deathlok #22, 25.
- Central Saharan Republic - Small central African country visited by the X-Men. Uncanny X-Men #444 (July 2004)
- Genosha - Former mutant homeland. Was first seen in Uncanny X-Men #235.
- Ghudaza - Formerly ruled by Doctor Michael Ibn al-Hajj Achebe. African nation that assisted the United States government in a failed takeover of Wakanda. Appears in Black Panther vol. 3, #3.
- Halwan - Country that Brillilae attempted to invade with the Black Tiger's help. Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu # 20.
- Imaya - Appears in War Machine #1-4 and Night Thrasher vol. 2, #17.
- Kwarrai - The small South African nation from which Vibrania hails. First appears in Marvel Super-Heroes III #4.
- Mbangawi - Ruled by Doctor Crocodile, and an ally of T'Challa and Wakanda. Also known as the "Blessed Kingdom of Mbangawi". Captain Britain vol. 2 #9 (September 1985)
- Mohannda - Nation to the north of Wakanda, ruled by Wakanda's ally, Afrikaa. Black Axe vol. 1 #5 (August 1993)
- Murkatesh - Homeland of Brillalae, which means "She Who Glistens". She attempted to recruit Abe Brown of America as the new Black Tiger. Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #20.
- Narobia - Homeland of the exiled Princess Zanda. Black Panther vol. 1 #4, 11.
- Niganda - Neighboring country with deep enmity for Wakanda. Black Panther vol. 4, #5.
- Rudyarda - Small nation near the Sudan, visited by the Fantastic Four. Fantastic Four #119 (February 1972)
- Ujanka - A tiny country that borders on Ghudaza. Black Panther vol. 3, #3.
- Cronin, Brian (September 19, 2010). "A Year of Cool Comics – Day 262". Comic Book Resources CSBG Archive. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- Fantastic Four vol. 3 #21
- Black Panther Appendix at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- "Black Panther" vol. 4, #38-41. Marvel Comics
- Fraction, Matt (w), Coipel, Oliver (p), Morales, Mark (i), Martin, Laura (col). Avengers vs. X-Men 7 (July 2012), Marvel Comics
- "The religion of Black Panther (T'Challa)". Adherents.com. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- Anthony Flamini, Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente & Paul Cornell (w), Kevin Sharpe (p), Kevin Sharpe (i). Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica 1 (July 2009), Marvel Comics
- "Man-Ape". Marveldirectory.com. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- "Lion God (Egyptian god, Avengers foe)". Marvunapp.com. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- As seen in Black Panther vol. 5 #3 (April 2009)
- Russell, Scarlett (March 11, 2016). "Captain America: Civil War won't be visiting Black Panther's home country Wakanda". Digital Spy.
- "blackpanther1v2". Comicboards.com. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- World of Black Heroes: Wakanda Biography
- Black Panther at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- The Religion of Black Panther
- Marvel Atlas Project
- Lion God at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- Marvel Directory: Man-Ape
- Marvel Universe Online: Queen Divine Justice
- The Museum of Black Superheroes
- Black Panther series index