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Black Panther: The 15 Craziest Versions You Never Knew Existed

The primary continuity which we follow the Marvel universe (both cinematic and the comic book world) through is Earth-616. If the main version of the Earth that we are following is the 616th version of the Earth -- with hundreds upon hundreds more being available in other universes -- just imagine how many different versions, timelines, and universes there are in the Marvel Universe, especially in the case of its characters. Imagine literally any character within the Marvel Universe; whether they be a superhero, a supervillain, or some obscure gray area that lies in between. No matter who we think of, there is an infinite number of alternate versions of that very same character.

Take the character of Black Panther for example. The average iteration of Black Panther is T'Challa, the ruler of Wakanda, powers akin to a feline, etc. Essentially, the Earth-616 version of Black Panther is exactly the Black Panther that we get in the latest movie. However, that is just one Black Panther on one version of the earth on one universe. There are several other versions of Black Panther which hail from many different universes. Here are just a few versions of Black Panther than even the most hardcore fans of the character probably do not know about.

15 GHOST PANTHER

On Earth-161, Storm undergoes a transmodification process that removes all of her adult memories. Storm is then placed into storage as a form of all energy by the mutant Pipeline. Tony Stark attempts to release Storm back into her physical form, but inadvertently caused her body to separate from her memories and energy state.

The all energy and memory form of her took on the name Ghost Panther after Tony gave her a suit that resembled that of Black Panther.

Along with the X-Men, Morlocks, and Archangel, Ghost Panther managed to vanquish the evil version of Storm and the evil forces within Wakanda. While maintaining a good relationship with both the X-Men and The Avengers, Ghost Panther went on to become the new ruler of Wakanda.

14 COAL TIGER

A well-hidden secret is that Black Panther's original character and costume began as Coal Tiger. Interestingly, he eventually evolved into a character in his own right, and there are a couple notable versions of this Coal Tiger. The first from Earth-355 is an alternate version of T'Challa, who is recruited by The Gatherers after they find him as the last person alive on his planet. He is inflicted by a chemical imbalance that could only be cured by killing his alternate counterpart, Black Panther. Tiger refused, and died as a result.

In another universe, from Earth-982, Coal Tiger is the son of T'Challa. His real name is T'Chaka II. While accompanying Wakandan Ambassador N'Kano to a trade agreement in Washington, they are ambushed by Soldiers of the Serpent. The Avengers step in to save them, but the Soldiers escape and take N'Kano. To save his ambassador, T'Chaka reveals his ability to turn into a giant cat man. He later joins The Avengers.

13 "HAPPY PANTS" BLACK PANTHER

Often referenced more affectionately as "Fruity Pebbles Panther" or "Looney Tunes Panther," "Happy Pants" Panther refers to the version of Black Panther which appeared in between issues #35 and #48 of Black Panther Vol 3. This was an apparent future version of Black Panther sent back to the future through the magic of King Solomon's Frogs.

In sharp contrast to his stoic present day self, this future version of Black Panther was surprisingly chipper.

Due to succumbing to an aneurysm that was slowly killing him, this T'Challa had a uncharacteristically optimistic and jovial view of life. Ultimately, the aneurysm that inflicted the future version of Black Panther would be the same thing that would kill him, and most likely, his younger self will suffer the same fate.

12 A-BABY PANTHER

No, we are not talking about a literal baby version of the Black Panther. Well, we kind of are, but that is not what we are referring to when we say "A-Baby." We are talking about the pint sized version of The Avengers that appear during the A-Babies vs X-Babies comic book series. After Cyclops steals Captain America's Bucky Bear (an actual teddy bear he called Bucky), Nick Fury calls upon The Avengers to battle X-Men in an all out fight.

Since he was dating Storm, Black Panther was already aware of the situation. Both Black Panther and Storm skipped the big fight to go out on a date together. The date was interrupted when Daredevil was running from a Cyclops beam and accidentally ran/smashed into the couple. He didn't see them coming.

11 BRONZE PANTHER

This one comes straight from the Amalgam Universe, where every character is a hybrid combination between a Marvel character and a DC character. This comic series gave us such interesting pairings as that between Wolverine and Batman (Dark Claw) and Superman and Captain America (Super-Soldier).

Bronze Panther is a combo between Bronze Tiger from DC Comics and, of course, Black Panther from Marvel Comics.

Beyond the name, Bronze Panther was never a central character and therefore not much can be said about him other than sharing a name and appearance that is lent from two notable comic book characters. If nothing else, one thing we can say is that the Bronze Panther in this universe is also the kingly leader of Wakanda just like the Black Panther always is in the Marvel Universe.

10 SPIDER-VIRUS PANTHER

This Earth-19919 version of the Black Panther seemingly has the same backstory, powers, skills, and abilities that the Earth-616 version that we all know and love has, but he falls under some interesting circumstances that differentiates him from the usual mainstream canon. During the Spider-Island comic book series, a kiss from the Spider Queen turns Peter Parker into a giant spider.

When he's turned back into a human being with spider powers, Spider Queen uses his tissue sample to create and spread a virus that turns people into human spiders. One of the victims of this Spider-Virus is Black Panther. Not only is T'Challa controlled by Spider Queen's brain trust (bringing him into her network of pawns), he grew four additional arms and morphed into a humanoid spider; Homo Arachnus.

9 EARTH X BLACK PANTHER

In this universe, the history and backstory of T'Challa is mighty similar to that of his mainstream Earth-616 counterpart, but there are some noticeable differences. Most notably, he seems to have mutated into a humanoid panther. In this universe, T'Challa has access to special heart shaped herbs that drew minerals made out of Vibranium that were planted in Wakanda centuries ago by the Celestials.

These herbs not only gave him the powers of the Black Panther, but also allow him to transfer his powers to someone else if he wanted to.

Also in this universe, T'Challa is so trustworthy that Captain America gives him the Cosmic Cube for safekeeping knowing that T'Challa would resist the temptation to use it, and never give it back no matter how hard Cap begged for it.

8 MANGAVERSE BLACK PANTHER

This is another universe where T'Challa is the king of Wakanda, but unlike other interpretations of the character, this one has the ability to transform into a were-panther. That's right, a were-panther. It's like a werewolf, but as a giant panther humanoid hybrid. As if being a werepanther was not enough, Black Panther also has the ability to change into a falcon.

On paper, this all sounds just a little bit weird, but it makes sense because in terms of both appearance and backstory, this version of the character is directly inspired by the Greek God Horus. Speaking of backstory, the writers definitely took some interesting liberties with the character's backstory. In this version, Black Panther's sister is not Shuri, but T'Channa, this universe's Dr. Doom.

7 ZOMBIEVERSE BLACK PANTHER

Marvel's Zombieverse refers to the run of comics where all of our favorite Marvel characters turned into zombies. In making their way through the zombified destruction of the world, Giant-Man asks Black Panther to follow him back to his lab, but along the way, T'Challa notices that Hank Pym has been bitten. When T'Challa expresses his concern, Giant Man turns Giant and swats T'Challa into unconsciousness.

T'Challa wakes up to discover his right arm and leg missing, and discovers Hank is keeping him prisoner as a food source.

T'Challa and the severed head of Wasp narrowly escape. Forty years later, New York is rebuilt as New Wakanda with T'Challa as the king. T'Challa is stabbed by an assassin and Wasp urges that the only way to save him is to turn him into a zombie.

6 FEMALE BLACK PANTHER (SHURI)

There are actually a few instances where Shuri is the Black Panther in different universes. In the universe of Exiles, after her brother and reigning Panther, T'Chaka, is presumed dead after joining the team in their reality, Shuri takes up the mantle and responsibilities of the Black Panther. In another interpretation of the character and its universe, T'Challa falls into a coma following a damning battle as Black Panther.

To take his place, Shuri trained to become a warrior and officially managed to take up the name and costume of the Black Panther in her brother's honor until he got well again while in recovery. In another universe, Shuri is the Black Panther when her and her brother join the Illuminati. She was also Black Panther during the Marvel Universe vs The Punisher series.

5 EXILES PANTHER

As a member of Exiles (both the comic book and superhero team of the same name), this version of Black Panther is known simply as Panther in this universe. The man underneath this mask is also not T'Challa, but actually T'Chaka, named after his grandfather. Young T'Chaka is the son of both T'Challa and Storm.

In contrast to his father's stoic seriousness, T'Chaka is wildly charismatic, flirtatious, and is also cracking jokes.

During a very tumultuous encounter with the supervillain known as Klaw, T'Chaka gets hit with a deafening blow from Klaw so powerful that it launches him out of his reality and into that of the Exiles. From there, he gets recruited onto the team. Meanwhile, back in his own reality, he is presumed dead.

4 BLACK PANTHER 2099

In this universe, the original Black Panther, T'Challa, is dead. His last son, K'Shamba takes over the mantle in the wake of Dr. Doom invading Wakanda for its Vibranium. After the council of Wakanda signed over the country to Dr. Doom, K'Shamba and his pregnant wife M'tolla fled. After being saved from a Doombot by an elderly leader of the Wakanda resistance, K'Shamba joins him to lead a guerilla warfare assault against Doom for control of Wakanda.

Noticing his warrior qualities, the man hands over leadership to K'Shamba and gives him the mask of Black Panther. After K'Shamba leads an assault on the capitol that makes Doom retreat, it is revealed in a bold twist that K'Shamba was one of Doom's puppets all along. As the new king of Wakanda, he ensures Doom's presence remains alive across the land.

3 WHITE TIGER

Kevin Cole is a narcotics cop who starts committing unauthorized drug busts in hopes of getting a promotion. During this time, Cole "borrowed" a bulletproof Black Panther costume left in storage by his boss and wore it instead of his department issued bulletproof vest. After the costume saves his life during a shooting ambush, he is suspended from the force for not wearing the department vest.

When he discovers that his Lieutenant is the one who put the hit out on him and his team, he poses as the Black Panther to get revenge.

After The Falcon tells Cole he needs to be more than just a man in a catsuit, Killmonger gives Cole a synthetic heart shaped herb to gain new powers in exchange of Cole dropping the Black Panther alias and becoming the White Tiger of the Panther Cult to do favors for Killmonger. Cole accepts.

2 VENOMIZED BLACK PANTHER

There have been a number of instances in different universes where the Black Panther succumbs to the control of the dreaded symbiote. Most recently, on Earth-TRN650, there is Ngozi, a track star who the Venom symbiote bonds to while Ngozi is chasing a grasshopper for her bug collection. While trying to evade an attack from Rhino, Black Panther is killed in the battle.

Ngozi convinced the symbiote to defeat Rhino and save the people of Lagos. In light of the new Venom's bravery, the Dora Milaje recruited her into their ranks and appoint Ngozi as the new Black Panther. And during the Venomverse series, T'Challa is one of the many heroes infected by the symbiote and joins Dr. Strange's resistance to attend a global peace summit in an alternate reality.

1 ULTIMATE BLACK PANTHER

Like most of the average versions of T'Challa, this Black Panther is the ruler of Wakanda. While the backstory is largely similar to that of the more well-known Earth-616 version, there are some very noticeable differences. As the prince of Wakanda, T'Challa has a Right of Passage fight with a panther that ends with T'Challa getting his throat slit.

To save his son's life, T'Challa's father has him sent to Weapon X, the same government facility that turned Logan into Wolverine.

T'Challa stayed with Weapon X for a year and in addition to healing and training him, the facility also gave him enhanced skills and abilities. Among them these new powers include (but are not limited to) an accelerated healing factor and even his own adamantium claws.

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