Black Panther » How to Become the Black Panther

How to Become the Black Panther in Five Easy Steps

Here’s what you don’t have:

  • Superhuman abilities gained through the mystical properties of an edible (well, mostly edible) heart-shaped herb.
  • A genius-level intellect and an armful of PhDs.
  • Decades of martial arts training.
  • A tenuous relationship with an all-powerful Panther god.
  • The military and scientific resources of a technologically superior super-nation untouched by the yoke of colonization!
  • A suit made of a rare, impervious, impact-absorbing metal that came from outer space (Pssssst: It’s called “Vibranium.”

HOWEVER, if you read the following instructions very, very carefully (no skimming!), I can grant you a relatively comparable set of the aforementioned attributes, effectively transforming you into Wakanda’s mystical warrior-king, the Black Panther!

And yes, I know what you’re thinking: “But Tiras, I’m in terrible shape and I only have about $65.00 in my checking account.”

Do you have vegetables, aluminum foil, and a relatively cooperative cat? Good, then you’re 75% of the way there. Let’s get started, shall we?

Step One – Becoming Superhuman: Learning to Love Meteorite Stew

The heart-shaped herb grants a potential Black Panther their superhuman abilities, like enhanced strength, speed, reflexes, senses, etc. Found only in Wakanda, this sacred plant-thing was mutated by the giant Vibranium meteor currently regarded as “The Great Mound.”

So, in order to procure superhuman abilities, you’ll need a special plant mutated by space rock. I know this sounds daunting but PLEASE stick with me.

Chunks of meteorites are actually very easy to come by and very inexpensive (I suggest eBay or Etsy).

  • Procure about 15-25 grams and crush into a fine powder.
  • Now, make yourself a bowl of spinach, broccoli, or comparable leafy-green vegetables.
  • Vegetables finished? Add about 3 slices of melted American cheese. Lactose intolerant? Try a spoonful of chickpeas. Don’t worry – this is only for flavor.
  • Add the meteorite powder.
  • Eat.
  • After 15-minutes, try listening for the sounds of rustling trees. Hear them? Of course you do. Where are they? Europe.

Welcome to the club, my friend.

Step Two – Increasing Your Intelligence: Google Everything

You don’t have the time – or the money – to attend several universities and acquire several PhDs. What you DO have, however, is immediate access to the accumulated intelligence – and collective, mostly unintelligent opinions -- of humanity. No, it’s not a series of giant books transported via flatbed truck, it’s called…THE INTERNET!

And with THE INTERNET, you can look up specific information. This is especially helpful considering you won’t be wasting time on completely useless subjects like History, The Weather, New Math, Robot Languages, Sponge Gardening, and The Damning Social Implications of Instagram.

So, want to know how to “karate?” Google! Want to know how to fly a jet? Google! Want to learn another language? Google! Want to learn how to reverse-engineer Reed Richard’s dependable Galactus deterrent, the Ultimate Nullifier? Google. (Unfortunately, the last search might be “flagged” by certain individuals who are a little protective of their volatile future-science. Just don’t be surprised when there’s a Fantasticar on your front lawn and a very large, very orange individual asking you to explain yourself.)

Step Three – Communing with the Panther God: Seeking Spiritual Guidance from a House Cat

You’ve been praying for weeks, seeking a spiritual audience with Bast, the Panther god – the immortal being who grants the Black Panther additional, more mystical powers including the ability to speak with currently dead, former Black Panthers.

Anyway, you have a hundred melted candles around your Bast “altar” (an end table with a propped-up issue of National Geographic focusing on jungle cats), and you’re dutifully adding daily offerings like potato chips, a co-worker’s man bun, organic chicken sausage, and several sticky notes denoted with phrases like, “Let’s make it happen, ” and “I can’t wait to commune.”

Unfortunately, your daily beseeching goes unnoticed. Ready for “Plan B?” Good.

Do you have a pet? Specifically, a cat? No? Do you have access to one? Yes? Excellent.

Remove the National Geographic and replace it with the cat. If the cat leaves the altar, please pick up the cat and place it back on the altar. If it leaves again, please put cat food on the altar next to the cat.

Why a regular house cat? You see, Bast is the god of ALL cats, regardless of their habitat/size/demeanor. If you can make a spiritual connection with the fuzzy little fellow eating organic chicken sausage on your homemade altar, Bast will sense this connection and immediately possess his whiskery little acolyte.

Ready to exchange your cat’s timid (but mostly indifferent) soul for the spirit of a raging, unpredictable panther deity? Let’s go!

  • With the cat on the altar, carefully touch your forehead to the cat’s forehead.
  • Focus on the image of a giant purple cat with paws spanning galaxies and eyes glistening with crystalized infinity.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply.
  • Repeat the following litany in a low monotone voice: “Great Bast, please hear my calls through your Earthly vessel and fill it with a single breath of your glorious, growling magnificence.” Is it working? Are you successfully summoning Bast?
  • Look into the cat’s eyes. Are they gold and filled with swirling star clusters?
  • Look at the cat’s fangs. Are they twelve-to-fifteen-inches long?
  • What’s the temperature feel like? Can you see your breath?
  • When you offer it another bowl of organic chicken sausage, does it tell you to “@#$% off” and burn a hole through your hand with a flaming tail?

If you answered “yes” to more than one question, chances are…. you’re screwed. Blessed! I mean…blessed!

Step Four – Creating Your Ceremonial Super-Suit: Getting the Most Out of Old Beach Towels, Aluminum Foil, Plastic Knives, and Oven Mitts

Let’s face facts – you don’t have -- or have access to – Vibranium. Heck, the hardest substance in your possession is frozen chicken. What you do you have, however, is access to softer, more malleable materials like toweling, aluminum foil, and easily duct-taped plastic cutlery. So, let’s design your (not at all comparable) version of Black Panther’s nearly invincible body suit representing superior tribal authority!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3-5 full-length beach towels
  • Black spray paint
  • Aluminum foil
  • An umpire’s chest protector
  • Duct tape
  • Plastic knives
  • More duct tape

First, spray the towels with black spray paint. After the towels dry, wrap them around yourself and secure with 15-205 pieces of duct tape (spraying the duct tape is optional, but we recommend skipping it to simulate Vibranium metal accents).

Put on the umpire’s chest protector.

Great work! You’re almost there!

Now, wrap your head with aluminum foil and secure with 12-407 pieces of duct tape (making sure to cut out holes for the eyes and mouth). After your “mask” is secure, spray the foil with black spray paint (we highly recommend keeping your eyes and mouth closed during spray paint application).

Still have that spray paint handy? Good – spray those two incredibly ornate oven mitts. Later, after the oven mitts are relative dry, duct tape four plastic knives to each mitt. Voila! Vibranium claws!

Wait! What about the ears??

Apply spray paint to two plastic knives. Adhere each painted knife to the appropriate cranial ear center via, yes, duct tape.

Take a look in the mirror. You don’t recognize that person anymore, do you? No, you don’t. Why? Because that person is no longer the weak, timid toy collector who likes double-fudge chocolate ice cream and watches The Notebook by himself every Valentine’s Day. Nope that person is now the ultimate symbol of fantastical Earthly utility and dark, tribal sorcery. My friend, welcome to your new life as…the Black Panther (or any comparable, cat-themed superhero who may or may not be related to the Black Panther).

Step 5 – Country of Origin: Creating Your Very Own Sovereign Super-Nation with Nary a Rampaging Lion

The Black Panther comes from Wakanda, a mystical, pseudo-futuristic, mostly hidden African nation. You, my friend, have a condo, a very large TV, and a very soft couch contoured perfectly to the “unique” shape of your derriere. How does one manufacture a sovereign nation from one’s modest dwelling and the accompanying, supportive citizenry?

Well, I…uh…ummmm…uh… Do you have a lot of Facebook friends? How about a healthy number of followers on Instagram? Would any of them agree to move in, pay rent, and swear fealty to your self-proclaimed kingship? Wait. Yes? Really? Okay, okay. Uh….

Are any of them doctors, construction workers, soldiers, economists, teachers, flautists, or computer programmers? Yes? Bring them in immediately and give them a discount on the rent – they’re essential to building your social and economic infrastructure.

Too many new followers responding to your “Wakanda Is My Home, Literally” Facebook page (and subsequent ads)? Is one-and-a-half baths insufficient for your booming micro-nation? Then it’s time to expand through a mutually agreed-upon land purchase.

Thankfully, your followers kept their day jobs, so after the necessities are paid for (food, rent, mattresses, pillows, herbal tea, rain sticks and digeridoos) the leftover cash goes towards an official expansion fund.

So, it’s time to purchase a cabin and a few acres of land. Upon this land – let’s call it “New Wakanda” or “Wakanda Jr.” – you’ll create a sizable camping ground. Once a camping “village” is created, your first New Wakanda (or Wakanda Jr.) settlers will begin building more cabins to serve multiple purposes, like schools, trading posts, coffee shops, comic book stores, movie theaters, courthouses, and bumper car courses.

Attracting the ire of local government officials, police, fire departments, and TMZ? Tell them you’re a foreign dignitary empowered by Bast, the panther god, who commands you through a house cat. Do they find your answer…unsatisfying? Grab the cat, and the let the fiery tail do the talking.

So, there you have it. Formerly the poster child for grueling mediocrity, you are now the epitome of self-appointed royalty thanks to these easy to follow, step-by-step instructions, a few household items, and a purposely possessed, easily aggravated, floating and fiery house cat. Feels good, doesn’t it?