Black Panther and Captain America are some of the most recognizable and beloved Marvel superheroes. Although they have very different lore, both of them fight for truth and justice, as it should be among the superheroes.
Between these two, I prefer Black Panther. Over the years, this superhero has evolved significantly, both in terms of power and character development. Although Captain America was and still is the focal point of the Avengers, for me, he looks like a character that was trampled by the time.
According to Stan Lee himself, Captain America was always meant to be a tactician, a leader, but not necessarily a supreme fighter. In that sense, he looks more like DCs Batman than Superman. I simply love this premise as it makes the superhero a bit more relatable. For example, it reminds me of certain anime shows where the main protagonists are not necessarily stronger than their opponents, but they still manage to prevail because they have a better presence of mind.
On the other hand, Black Panther has all the powers of a panther, but over time, he has also gained the ability to control and summon the spirits. This is quite rare in comic books, and it gives another layer of complexity to his abilities. Also, it creates a bond between Black Panther and Wakanda, which is very important for the lore.
Given that both of these characters belong to the Marvel universe and are also members of the Avengers, they had their fair share of scuffles. During them, Black Panther usually came on top. In every way, he is a much more powerful entity than Captain America.
Steven Rogers’ power is mainly depicted through his ability to lead and strategize. So, while he might not be the strongest Avenger in terms of raw strength, he is crucial for the faction’s success due to his leadership abilities.
In this Black Panther vs Captain America article, I will talk about the two superheroes, their powers, and how they compare to each other in one-on-one combat.
Key Info Up Front
Black Panther and Captain America are household names. They are among the most recognizable fictional characters in the world, and both of them are members of the Avengers.
The two of them have faced each other numerous times, in hand-to-hand combat, where Black Panther would usually come on top. Between the two, I always give advantage to Black Panther as I prefer his development over the years. Furthermore, he has much cooler superpowers than Captain America, who often feels bland.
Main differences between Black Panther and Captain America
Here are the main things that differentiate Captain America and Black Panther:
- Black Panther has much better physical abilities. He is stronger, faster, more flexible, durable, and resilient than Captain America. It is worth noting, though, that there are some instances where T’Challa’s powers were removed from him and, in these situations, he was noticeably weaker than Captain America.
- Although both of them utilize various gadgets, Captain America is a much better weapon master. The vibranium shield has almost become a part of his persona, and he utilizes the object as a way of compensating for his physical weaknesses.
- Black Panther can summon the dead, control them, and utilize different spiritual objects.
Captain America has a much better strategic mind and is a natural-born leader.
To sum it up, I think that Captain America is much more valuable in team combat, while Black Panther can do more damage in one-on-one fights.
See also: Captain America vs Thanos
Analyzing individual powers
As I’ve already mentioned several times, Captain America isn’t much of a hero. He is much closer to Hawkeye and Black Widow as someone who doesn’t possess magical or extraterrestrial abilities but instead has to rely on weapons and his mind to overcome the enemies.
On the other hand, Black Panther is a moniker passed on through generations. It is a superhero position reserved for Wakanda’s chieftains. After being crowned, they eat heart-shaped herb, which connects them to Panther Goddess Bast. For as long as the chieftain lives, they will have access to Black Panther’s powers, including incredible senses, strength, and durability.
Overall, I prefer Black Panther’s backstory more. It is much more spiritual and creates a feeling of unity, something that the movie Black Panther was praised for. Then again, I do understand why Captain America’s story is so basic given the era superhero was introduced. Back then, you could come up with just about any premise and it could work as the superhero comics were just starting and any idea was a good idea.
Black Panther’s powers
The thing I like the most about Black Panther is how the creators connected all these abilities to Wakanda. Everything makes sense, and it goes according to the lore. A lot of these powers were introduced over time, making T’Challa progressively stronger, versatile, and resilient.
First off, let’s talk about the basic powers instilled through the consumption of the heart-shaped herb. The receiver of power (in this case, T’Challa) becomes incredibly strong, flexible, durable, and fast while also having high durability, endurance, and regenerative properties. The superhero gets a rounded package of physical powers more common to animals than humans.
Although Black Panther might not be the strongest, the fastest, or the most durable superhero, all these powers combined make him an intimidating foe and a welcome ally.
His enhanced senses are especially troublesome. When combined with his speed and agility, the superhero is really hard to take down. In that regard, he is similar to someone like Spiderman, who isn’t necessarily the strongest hero but is very elusive. I do have to note that Black Panther is stronger than Spiderman, though.
Other supernatural powers
A cool thing about Black Panther is how his powers evolved. He has a spooky ability that allows him to communicate with all the previous Black Panthers but also to summon the dead. This gave him the name “King of the Dead.”
He can summon spirits and control them, both in their physical and spiritual form. The superhero can utilize the power to summon other spiritual objects like spears. All of these abilities make sense given the Black Panther lineage and that all of these chieftains are bound through Panther Goddess Bast.
Although the superhero can be killed and is sometimes portrayed as very vulnerable to physical attacks, he has managed to develop high resistance to magic during his battles with Dr. Doom. Later on, he would gain the ability to discover vibranium.
I personally never liked the inclusion of wealth in comics. It feels a bit like cheating when a superhero can overpower his opponents because they have access to large amounts of money. Then again, it is worth noting that while people such as Bruce Wayne and T’Challa are extremely wealthy, they have other powers and great physical strength to boot.
In many ways, T’Challa is an overpowered character that has received the best of all worlds. He is smart and wealthy as Tony Stark and has access to numerous gadgets as well as the most powerful material in the universe, vibranium. He also has superhuman abilities as a Black Panther.
He can wield various artifacts created by Wakanda’s scientists, which are considered some of the best in the world. The character can also utilize magical artifacts such as Ebony Blade of the Black Knight.
Captain America’s abilities
Captain America’s abilities are somewhat pitiful when compared to those of Black Panther. The superhero’s value to Avengers reflects in his ability to inspire others and create masterful strategies. As a former soldier and someone with extensive military experience, Captain America can adapt to just about any situation on the field of battle.
Unlike Black Panther, who has superhuman power, Captain America is just a human being. He was injected with a super-soldier serum that allows his body to function at a peak human level and sometimes beyond it. In that regard, he can be beaten by just about anyone who has extraordinary power.
Nevertheless, Captain America is still very strong when you compare him to the likes of Black Widow or Iron Man. He has maximum vision, reflexes, power, and endurance for a human being. Although his abilities are almost always portrayed as humanlike, there are a few situations where he exceeds the normal male physical abilities. For example, he is resilient to extreme temperatures, gases, and hypnosis.
Some of these powers and traits are quite handy, and you would notice them throughout the comic book run.
See also: Captain America Characters
Tactical prowess and combat skills
Although Captain America is lacking in terms of raw physical power, endurance, and durability compared to some other superheroes, he makes it up through rigorous training. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby wanted to create an entity that has all the skills and strengths of a perfect human being, which includes various knowledge and skills.
According to the comic book, his fighting style combines jujitsu, karate, judo, boxing, kickboxing, gymnastics, parkour, and aikido. This allowed him to beat some of the physically stronger opponents. I like this explanation, and it makes a lot of sense given the character’s background.
Captain America’s prowess can also be observed through his ability to wield the vibranium shield. It is the character’s signature weapon and the thing that quickly differentiates him from a plethora of other comic book protagonists. The shield is made from an indestructible alloy, and while Captain America might not be that strong, the shield gives him a major offensive edge, allowing him to eliminate even the most durable opponents.
Lastly, I have to mention his leadership skills. According to a few comic book creators, characters such as Captain America are the hardest ones to make. In a world where everyone has incredible superpowers allowing them to eliminate opponents at a whim, Captain America has to use his brain to gain an edge over superior opponents.
How do Black Panther and Captain America compare to each other?
If you scratch the surface, you will notice that Black Panther and Captain America are very similar characters. They also have very similar body types. Neither one of them has an overpowering physical trait, although they are both strong, fast, and durable.
We rarely think of Black Panther as a leader, but he is also a capable battlefield general when the need arises. Of course, he cannot compare to Captain America, who is perhaps the best military brain in all of the comic books. On top of that, they are both intelligent and deliberate in their moves.
Furthermore, both of them rely on gadgets and accessories to overwhelm their opponents. Captain America has his vibranium shield, while Black Panther has numerous toys made from the same material. Lastly, it is worth mentioning they are proficient in various combat styles. Unfortunately, this is where similarities end.
Although Captain America is presented as a formidable foe, Black Panther trumps him in almost every category. T’Challa’s powers are supernatural, while Captain America’s powers are those of a mere mortal. However, you might not have a feeling that this was the case because Captain America is one of Marvel’s flagship superheroes, and the company usually does well to protect his powers (better yet, lack thereof). All in all, I kinda dig this and how Marvel’s creators dance around the character’s vulnerabilities.
Is it possible for Captain America to beat Black Panther?
Throughout the years, there were numerous instances where Captain America and Black Panther fought each other, and Captain America won on just one occasion (1999’s Contest of Champions 2 comic book). However, I have to note that both of the fighters were controlled by aliens.
If you ask me, it doesn’t make much sense for Captain America to beat Black Panther, although I have to admit there are some situations where he could be able to accomplish this feat. For example, I think that Captain America is much more dangerous in team vs. team combat. Although he isn’t the strongest Marvel fighter, he can utilize other superheroes’ powers to augment his own and accomplish team goals.
I can also argue that one well-landed shield throw can easily defeat Black Panther. Then again, given T’Challa’s reflexes and speed, he would have to be caught off-guard for the attack to land. Aside from that, it is hard to imagine that Captain America could win against Black Panther in hand-to-hand combat, despite all the skills that Steven Rogers has.
All in all, like in many other comic book clashes, there are situations where Captain America could win this bout. Writers are usually creative when they want to sell a story. Do I think that would be realistic? Probably not, given the background and individual powers.
If we exclude the fact that Captain America has the throwing shield, the battle between the two would probably be a melee brawl. The shield could be invaluable in such a situation for blocking Black Panther’s attacks and even damaging the opponent. Then again, let me remind you that T’Challa uses the same material for his weapon and also has spirit weapons to boot.
Unfortunately, given that T’Challa is stronger in terms of all physical traits, it is hard to imagine a scenario where he could be beaten. For example, if Captain America tries to attack him with the shield, he can easily dodge the strikes. If they were to exchange punches, Black Panther would come on top due to higher strength and durability. If the battle drags out, Black Panther would once again win as he has much more endurance.
The only case where I could see Captain America winning is if he used his cunning or if he prepared a trap. We can also talk about accidental situations such as Black Panther tripping on a stone, but I don’t think that anyone would like to see an outcome of the battle decided in such a manner.
Black Panther vs. Captain America in comic books
Unlike some other superhero make-belief battles, Steven Rodgers and T’Challa had several opportunities to face each other. In most of the cases, bar one, Black Panther was victorious. I do have to mention the fact that most of these fights were competitive, but not necessarily to death. If the stakes were higher, you could argue that Captain America would perform better (then again, you could say the same for Black Panther).
The way Black Panther beat Captain America was almost disappointing. The agile superhero decimated Steven Rogers on several occasions, causing some of the most humiliating defeats. So much so that comics creators had to make workarounds when writing Captain America’s and Black Panther’s battles to make them more unpredictable.
See also: Best Captain America Posters Guide
The first encounter
Captain America was featured in one of the first Black Panther issues, Black Panther number 2, to be exact. The story was set in 1944. Steven Rodgers went to Wakanda in an attempt to safeguard vibranium technology against Nazis. However, he didn’t know that these spies were already eliminated a few days before he came.
Azzuri, T’Challa’s grandfather, greeted the trespasser and quickly knocked him out. The whole engagement was placed on just one panel, and for the most part, Black Panther was the one dishing the punishment. It is worth noting that Captain America went against Azzuri and not T’Challa. Furthermore, at that time, he didn’t have vibranium shield, and the one he had crumbled rather easily.
Captain America and T’Challa
Even when Captain America got his signature shield, things haven’t changed a lot. He would encounter T’Challa for the first time in Tales of Suspense, number 97. This wasn’t a real fight because, unlike his grandfather Azzuri, T’Challa didn’t want to harm Captain America. Instead, he was just testing his battle prowess.
The two of them had another fight in the 24th number of Black Panther. The victor of the battle was undecided, but T’Challa said that he would’ve beaten Captain America if they fought for real. To me, this threat sounded real.
As already mentioned, there was just one instance where Captain America bested T’Challa, and that was in Contest of the Champion 2 from 1999. Both of the fighters were controlled by aliens, so the winner of the battle was again undecided. During this particular bout, Captain America also had an upgraded, alien version of the shield.
Black Panther vs. Captain America in movies
In Marvel’s movies, there wasn’t any direct battle between Black Panther and Captain America. However, there are a few situations that allow us to assess their strengths and weaknesses.
For example, when Black Panther and Captain America were chasing after Bucky in the 2016 Civil War, there was a chase scene where the two of them were running after Winter Soldier. Eventually, Captain America had to take one of the nearby cars to catch up. Meanwhile, Black Panther managed to hop around nearby vehicles and would eventually catch up to Bucky. He was the one who tackled him before Steven Rodgers.
There was another scene involving Bucky that shows us how strong Black Panther actually is. Winter Soldier had a new bionic arm that allowed the villain to take down Captain America. However, when he faced T’Challa soon after, Black Panther managed to push the arm away, showing that he’s much stronger than Captain America.
Question: Can Black Panther win against Captain America?
Answer: Not only can Black Panther win against Captain America, but he has done so in just about all of their fights. Black Panther has superhuman physical characteristics, unlike Captain America, who is portrayed as an extremely strong human but human nonetheless. The only time Captain America has beaten Black Panther was when both combatants were controlled by aliens, which doesn’t count as a regular battle.
Question: How many times did Black Panther beat Captain America?
Answer: Although the two superheroes fought several times, there was just one instance where we had a clear winner. Black Panther won against Captain America in Tales of Suspense, number 97, although I need to mention that Black Panther was portrayed by Azzuri, T’Challa’s grandfather.
Question: Do Captain America and Black Panther have the same powers?
Answer: In many ways, Captain America’s and Black Panther’s powers are very similar. However, Black Panther is stronger, more durable, and more agile than Captain America. Although Steven Rodgers is depicted as an extremely powerful human being, Black Panther goes well above that. Both of them have access to various vibranium weapons. Captain America wields his traditional shield, while T’Challa utilizes numerous gadgets and artifacts. I also have to mention that, unlike Captain America, Black Panther can summon dead spirits, and he is immune to magic.
Question: Who is smarter, Captain America or Black Panther?
Answer: It is really hard to answer this question. In comic books, both of these characters are portrayed as very intelligent. For example, Black Panther is very educated, having a Ph.D. in physics, but also being an inventor and scientist. On the other hand, there are only a handful of comic book characters who have a brilliant strategic brain like Steven Rodgers.
In a battle between Black Panther and Captain America, Black Panther would almost certainly have the upper hand. Physically, Black Panther is much more endowed compared to this opponent. As if that wasn’t enough, he has access to various weapons and artifacts made from vibranium. Nevertheless, Captain America’s shield is nothing to scoff at, as it can cause major damage to unsuspecting rivals.
In my opinion, it would take a minor miracle for Captain America to win against Black Panther. Although it isn’t impossible, it is highly improbable. However, it is worth noting that Captain America-led teams would probably have a better time in team combat compared to those led by Black Panther.