Today's fight pits T'Challa, the African Avenger, the deadly Black Panther, against the venerable Ted Grant, Justice League of America founding member, Wildcat. Yessir, Wildcat. (I figure two so-so links are as good as one well-executed one.)
Well now. When I first decided to feature today's match-up, I thought it would be a rock 'em, sock 'em battle between two fairly evenly matched, human-level warriors. The fact that they both have dark costumes and feline names only sweetened the deal!
However, upon doing a little light reading (Google, a few issues of T'Challa's title by Priest) I realized that it would be a rather one-sided affair. The Black Panther has a suit made out of vibranium, a fabric which, as I understand it, deadens sound, absorbs impacts from damaging blows, and breathes like cotton. Not only that, but it turns out that the Black Panther, clearly a dope-fiend from way back, gobbles some kind of herb to increase his strength and stamina! What a cheat! Oh yeah, and apparently he uses some kind of energy-knife now. An energy knife! He's the Tony Stark of Wakanda!
In contrast, Ted Grant is just an aged ex-heavyweight (who, by the way, at 170 pounds, would be considered a light heavyweight today, which is not one but two weight classes under heavyweight. Just saying is all, he's not that large a guy. Lennox Lewis, let alone the Klitschkos, would dwarf him). His costume? Made out of an unidentified but very mundane fabric. And it is, in fact, rather silly-looking. I mean, why did he include the little puff balls cats have under their noses? Even his name, when you think about it, is less than awe-inspiring. Here is a wild cat. Not too dangerous to human types. Which would you rather meet in the jungle --- one of them, or a black panther? I believe it was Mirror Master who once sneered, "Think I'm scared by ye? An old man dressed like a kitty?"
I rest my case.
In sum, Ted's decades of experience wouldn't help him much against a foe of T'Challa's caliber. The Black Panther beats Ted's ass down in double time. (Now, if they fought to the death, old T'Challa would get quite a shock when Wildcat poppped back up again after being killed and caught the Panther a hard one on the chin --- but T'Challa wouldn't go that far, so he'd get the win.)
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