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The Origin of Wakanda’s Vibranium Redefines Black Panther’s Nation

An iconic Marvel Comics destination receives a modern update to its classic origin which sheds light on Wakanda’s early years.

The most technologically advanced nation on Earth, Marvel Comics’ African nation of Wakanda is the futuristic domain to mainstay Avenger T’Challa a.k.a. the Black Panther. As Wakanda houses Marvel’s strongest metal known to man called Vibranium, among other imaginative wonders, there is a great deal of mystery that has often shrouded the iconic Marvel location.

Created for 1966’s Fantastic Four #52 from writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, Wakanda as well as its inhabitants would quickly become a fascinating new entryway within the Marvel Universe. Though T’Challa and his journey to receiving the Black Panther title would gain a backstory in the pages of Fantastic Four, much of Wakanda’s origin remained a mystery to both fellow heroes and readers. The political position of Wakanda would become a major discussion point in future issues alongside hints to the country’s association with its most valuable resource… Vibranium. While Black Panther suspects Vibranium has secretly cosmic origins, it’s important to many heroes and locations on Earth. As Wakanda becomes an established Marvel location for decades, Fall of the Hulks: Alpha would finally shed a light on the inexplicable circumstances surrounding Wakanda’s initial exposure to Vibranium.

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A diminished crossover event at its heart, Fall of the Hulks: Alpha by Jeff Parker and Paul Pelletier still makes time to fill in the gaps to Wakanda’s original ties to Virbanium. A secret enclave of Marvel’s most intelligent foes, known as the Intelligencia, visit Wakanda for its valuable treasures. While rummaging through Wakanda’s Repository, the villainous group uncover an ancient text scroll depicting artist renderings of the country’s past dealings. Already having a form of advanced technology at their disposal, ancient Wakandans would eventually alter storm clouds and cosmic energies that would draw several meteorites containing Vibranium to the planet Earth. It was initially perceived that an alien meteorite landing on Wakanda was a happy accident as opposed to being intentionally manipulated by the nation occupants themselves.


Wakanda may not have completely foretold its massive Vibranium intake, but the metal has provided the nation with a caveat of resources and opportunities that would not be possible beforehand. Despite this though, it’s made Wakanda an apparent target for mercenaries and supervillains with goals of obtaining Vibranium of their very own. Even with Black Panther and his family leading the way, Wakanda always seems to contain conflicting sides of citizens.

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Black Panther bringing Wakanda to the forefront of pop culture, there appears to be no end in sight for the vast storytelling possibilities that could arise from the exploration of Marvel Comics’ most famous African nation and its signature Vibranium powered technology.


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