Black Panther’s Futuristic Redesign Shows What He’d Look Like As A Villain
The Black Panther 2099 variant cover gives fans a taste of what the heroic king might look like as Marvel’s most menacing villain.
Whereas Black PantherThe vibranium costume is iconic, a variant cover for black panther and the Agents of Wakanda #3 given his costume a futuristic upgrade and gives a glimpse of what it might look like if T’Challa – or one of his heirs – were to become Marvel’s next big bad. The King of Wakanda turning into an enemy might seem implausible, but Black Panther was originally modeled after a villain.
The Black Panther’s mantle and powers are passed down through generations of Wakandan kings. They receive incredible strength, agility, senses, and healing from a sacred heart-shaped herb. Wakanda’s Protector also wears a nigh-indestructible suit made of vibranium, one of the most powerful alloys in the Marvel Universe. The current Panther is T’Challa, who has always proven himself to be a true-hearted and compassionate hero, but thanks to a 2099 variant cover for black panther and the Agents of Wakanda #3, designed by Rock-He Jim, fans have the chance to imagine a meaner version of the ruler of Wakanda.
Marvel released a slew of 2099 variant covers in 2019 to celebrate its return to the 2099 universe, and among those released was Kim’s cover and her version of Black Panther for Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda #3, which is written by Jim Zub with pencils from Lan Medina. The art shows the Black Panther costume with bright white highlights and a sleek futuristic design. This version of the Panther is shown ferociously deploying its warriors in battle, and given how well-trained and technologically advanced the Wakandan warriors are, one can only imagine how terrifying it would be for anyone to face them. under the command of their king.
Black Panther’s villainous appearance on this cover is neither a coincidence nor an exaggeration. T’Challa may be a leader of pure heart and selfless heroism, but any Black Panther could easily be different. It would not be a leap of the imagination to think that the ruler of a secretive and advanced civilization would not always be an ally of the outside world. Namor, for example, has played both hero and villain roles in Marvel lore. His actions are usually driven by the needs of his people, and it would not be uncommon for the Black Panther to rule his country with a similar mindset. After all, even T’Challa once joined the Avengers as a spy. Of course, the Wakandan monarch could also be closer to Doctor Doom, a tyrant intent on actively expanding his dominance and power over the world. A Wakanda that acts more like Latveria from Doom is a terrifying and compelling idea, and would easily make Black Panther one of Marvel’s biggest threats.
These are all fun ideas to speculate on, but Marvel released a one-shot black panther 2099 comic strip in 2004 to commemorate the anniversary of his marvel knights to print. Written by Robert Kirkman with art by Kyle Hotz, 2099’s Black Panther is about K’Shamba, a young Wakandan councilman who leads a successful revolt of his people against invading Latvians. Afterwards, he is crowned king, but the end of the comic reveals that K’Shamba is just a zombified slave from Doctor Doom 2099. It’s a fascinating story, but it’s much more fun to imagine this variant of Black Panther art as more than just a pawn of one of the most powerful villains in the multiverse.
However one interprets the cover of the 2099 variant for black panther and the Agents of Wakanda #3, it provides a stark picture of what it might look like if Wakanda’s ruler chose a different path. Black Panther has always been one of the most loyal and compassionate heroes in the Marvel Universe, but if he ever became a villain, he would pose one of the greatest threats Marvel heroes have ever faced.
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