Real Name: Sekhem Naville
Identity/Class: Human mutate/magic-user
Occupation: Warrior, revolutionary
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: The oppressed black majority of Azania;
Enemies: Azanian government, Black Panther (T'Challa), Moise Bomvana, Governor Jonas Fugard, Malaika, Ndebele, Ralph van Slambrouck and his wife and their daughter, the Reverend Nilkas Treurnicht
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Azania and Wakanda (both in Africa)
First Appearance: Black Panther II#1 (July, 1988)
Powers/Abilities: Possessed by the Panther God Bast, he had superhuman strength, speeds, agility, reflexes, and senses. He had razor-sharp claws and teeth. He was skilled in stealth, able to appear from and vanish into shadows in silence (or perhaps even to teleport). He was a savage fighter.
(Black Panther II#1) - An unidentified aged black Azanian prisoner (an alleged holy man) was being interrogated/tortured by a pair of white police who demanded he give them information on the terrorists hidden near his village. In agony and despair, the man spoke a non-English language, begging the Panther spirit to hear his prayers and bring deliverance, which led to further beating. As the man hung from chains, Bast, the Panther God, then granted him power, transforming him into a hybrid-panther man. He then slaughtered the policemen, leaving alive only one of their number, Smith, who called his captain and told him of the wild animal that had attacked them.
At the same time, Bast the Panther God began to doubt his avatar, the Black Panther (T'Challa), leader of Wakanda for his lack of direct intervention in the tragedies in Azania. T'Challa's powers began to fade, and he was even attacked by some black panthers, causing the people of Wakanda to doubt him.
American news reported a series of gruesome, ritualistic murders of high officials (various chiefs of police and even the minister for racial purity) who were widely considered to be the main instruments of Azania's apartheid policy, as if by a giant cat.
Many people in Azania believed the murders to be the work of the Black Panther, come to lead them to freedom. Many people in Azania's northern neighbor, Wakanda, also believed this to be the work of T'Challa, risking war by his interference in foreign policy.
Days later the new Panther slaughtered the Azanian Governor Fugard and Reverend Treurnicht and many others working out of that mansion, though Fugard was sympathetic to the plight of the blacks and sought to end apartheid. As the mansion burst into flames, many black villagers -- local and across the country -- were inspired to march against their oppressors. The white soldiers simply mowed down the unarmed blacks. In retaliation for the marches, Azanian soldiers sought to teach the blacks a lesson, and they strafed some local shantytowns with machine gunfire via helicopter.
Wakandans were torn between desires to topple Azania's racist regime and the desire to end the slaughter of their black brothers. Both sides condemned T'Challa, who was instructed to undergo the Ordeal of the White Ape to prove that the Panther spirit dwelled within him. T'Challa succeeded, but one of his aides, Moise Bomvana, had secretly helped him, and discovery of this led to T'Challa being asked to surrender his rulership of Wakanda until the tribunal could decide what to do.
The Panther continued his attacks, slaughtering Ralph van Slambrouck, his wife, and his daughter, residents of an affluent "whites only" neighborhood. Van Slambrouck had signed an order that had caused the bulldozing of the homes of hundreds of black natives. The Panther was ignorant and/or apathetic of the fact that Van Slambrouck had only done this at the threat of his own job, and that he was sympathetic to the plight of the blacks.
(Black Panther II#2) - Suspecting T'Challa to be behind the
recent attacks, Azanian General Moorbecx sent his super-warriors, the
Supremacists, to take the fight to Wakanda. They attacked T'Challa in his
palace, but he defeated them with the aid of his techno-jungle. Moorbecx then
prepared to launch a nuclear weapon at Wakanda.
Meanwhile, as white Azanian guards abused a group of blacks that they were rounding up for interrogation as terrorists, the Panther attacked one of the soldiers. The other soldiers turned to fire on the Panther, but the blacks leapt to his defense. However, the soldiers regained their wits and turned their guns on the blacks; as the villagers fell to the ground, dead, the Panther was nowhere to be seen.
(Black Panther II#3) - The black population of Azania, stirred
to action by the Panther, continued their confrontation with the Azanian
government who, armed with superior weapons, slaughtered them.
Learning of Moorbecx's plans, T'Challa infiltrated his base and met with him, offering to surrender to Moorbecx on world television and to make whatever statement Moorbecx wished. T'Challa instead spoke to the Azanian people, asking them to cease the bloodbath, but to not stop opposing the racism and injustice of their government. T'Challa then attempted to fight his way free, but was captured via a gas attack.
The Panther then appeared before T'Challa, and Bast spoke through his vessel, accusing T'Challa of having forsaken him and ignoring his people's cries, leading Bast to become the people's rage. Bast considered slaying T'Challa, but recognized that T'Challa had knowledge of the West to counter Moorbecx's weapon, and so he freed T'Challa from his chains and sent him to stop Moorbecx.
T'Challa rushed to the launch site and scaled the missile as it took off, disabling its detonator and navigational system so it crashed relatively harmless in the jungle, while T'Challa leapt to safety before it got too high.
(Black Panther II#4) - Though the Wakandans welcomed back
T'Challa as their king, he was dissatisfied by his god's disapproval, and so he
went to face the Panther in the jungle. The Panther threatened T'Challa, then
attacked savagely. T'Challa answered the Panther's accusations of ignoring his
people's plight with explanations of his support in the form of money, weapons,
and economic power. Unimpressed, the Panther continued to try to kill T'Challa.
Seeking to aid their chieftain, Bomvana, Malaika, and Ndebele activated the
techno-jungle, and T'Challa led the Panther into it. T'Challa used paralyzing
electrodes, a river of de-vitalizing fluid, a series of muscle retardant
inductors, and other assaults to render the Panther God's host paralyzed.
Bast then appeared in his true form, towering over T'Challa and began to batter him. T'Challa reiterated how he had opposed the Azanian government without causing the deaths of its oppressed people. He further told Bast that while Bast was his god and he worshipped him with every fiber of his being, that in this case Bast was wrong and he would fight him with every ounce of strength he had.
Bast pronounced that the spirit of the Panther had grappled with the spirit of the man, and that they both had learned what they needed to learn. The Panther then vanished, restoring his support and power within T'Challa.
Following proof of T'Challa's innocence, the Azanian government called an immediate cease-fire, declared amnesty for those who had rebelled, and began the process of reforms, initiating a bi-racial commission to consider the grievances of all its citizens.
Comments: Created by Peter B. Gillis, Denys Cowan, and Sam DeLaRosa.
Technically, this character was never named. It was an unidentified guy possessed by the Panther God, Bast. I see that as a unique being, different from Bast himself.
I don't intend to offend anyone, but black & white seems the most expedient way to differentiate between the two opposing groups in Azania.
Panther's real name was revealed in the Panther God's entry in the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update#2. The first names of Treurnicht and Fugard were revealed in Marvel Atlas#2.
Profile by Snood.
No KNOWN connections to:
images: (without ads)
Black Panther II#1, p3, panel 2 (normal face)
Black Panther II#3, p20, panel 3-5 (Panther body & face)
Black Panther II#1-4 (July-October, 1988) - Peter B. Gillis (writer), Denys Cowan (pencils), Sam DeLaRosa (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Last updated: 05/01/14
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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