Marvel has just introduced a new Black Panther – although, to be fair, there is a familiar face that will be taking up the mantle once held by T'Challa and his sister Shuri. The new Black Panther has just been introduced in Marvel's new time-bending series Timeless, which examines Kang The Conqueror's campaign across time to become the pinnacle of human achievement in his formative(?) years. Being that it is Kang we are talking about, the maniacal warlord has the ability to stand outside of the flow of time in the Marvel Universe, giving him sight and knowledge of who the next Black Panther will (soon?) be.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR MARVEL'S TIMELESS FOLLOW!
Apparently, Marvel's Omega-level mutant weather witch, Storm, will soon be the new Black Panther!
Timeless #1 by Jed MacKay, Kev Walker, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy, Marte Gracia, and VC's Ariana Maher follows Kang as he takes on the company of a Russian writer (Petrov) working on a supervillain book. Kang wants to show the foolish "scholar" that Doctor Doom is not the greatest villain of his era – it is the man who belongs to no era (Kang) who is the Marvel Universe's greatest threat.
Kang's campaign for 'villain of all centuries' goes sideways when he gets alerted that there's imminent danger to the multiverse: a "pirate timeline" that should have died off is instead being forcibly wedged back into the multiverse, destabilizing all of reality. In order to locate the source of the problem, Kang takes Petrov to one of his observational facilities outside of the timelines, in order to run some chronal diagnostics. It is in Kang's survey of the past, present, and future of the Marvel Universe that some exciting teases are glimpsed in the kaleidoscope screens of his temporal monitors.
One monitor in Kang's gallery of screens looks to the future of Earth, noting that there will be a war which gives humanity "dominion over Earth" and that the fallout of this will see old icons fall, while "the brave honor the sacrifices of those in their hearts." That line of monologue hangs over a panel that shows "Black Panther" and "Spider-Man" operating in NYC – but a different pair of heroes than we're used to.
It's made clear from the white hair flowing from the costume that the new Black Panther is Ororo Munroe, aka Storm. It makes sense, as Storm is definitely the "brace" sort that would "honor" T'Challa's "sacrifice" as he was once the one in her heart. Storm was, of course, T'Challa's queen for a time, and has been a respected regent in Wakanda thereafter. At the same time, Storm's allegiance has now been bent toward the X-Men's new mutant nation, Krakoa – and more recently Ororo was put in charge of the viloent mutant world of Arrako, which was terraformed on Mars.
That's all to say: there is going to have to be a definite story told that explains what brings Storm back down to Earth and makes her leave mutantkind behind to don the Panther mask. Curiously enough, Timeless #1 also suggested in the same preview that Mary Jane could suit as the new Spider-Man (Spider-Woman?) alongside Storm's Black Panther. So indeed, there are some big stories Marvel Comics now needs to tell...
Timeless #1 is on sale at Marvel Comics.