She’s the matriarch of the royal family of Wakanda in the Black Panther film, but Queen Mother Ramonda is so much more than a Queen and a mother. She’s an honorary super.
2018 was the year of the Black Panther. With the big screen debut of T’Challa’s first solo outing after his introduction in Captain America: Civil War, the first black Marvel superhero on the big screen introduced a few interesting female characters in his solo film. One of those happened to be his mother, Ramonda.
In the film, we’re introduced to Ramonda as the Queen Mother upon her son’s return to Wakanda. A warm woman who suffers the loss of her husband, Ramonda is one of those rare characters in Marvel who shows you don’t need a superhero name or powers to be extraordinary.
Note: The information in this article comes from both the live-action screen adaptation of Black Panther and from Marvel Comics.
FULL NAME: Ramonda
Auntie (Killmonger – film)
Mother (Shuri – film and comics and T’Challa – film only)
COMIC BOOK FRANCHISE: Marvel
CREATOR(S): Don McGregor and Gene Colan
FIRST APPEARANCE: Marvel Comics Presents Vol. 1 #14 (March 1989)
Shuri/Black Panther (Alter ego in comics only)
T’Challa (son – film/stepson and Surrogate son – comics)
N’Jadaka/Erik Stevens/ Killmonger (nephew – film)
Killmonger’s mother (sister-in-law – film)
N’Jobu (brother-in-law – film)
Azzuri (father-in-law – film)
BIOGRAPHY – Original Depiction
Upon her first appearance in Marvel Comics Presents Vol. 1 #14 (March 1989), Ramonda was depicted as the stepmother of T’Challa. She was the second wife of King T’Chaka and the mother of Shuri.
After the birth of her daughter, Ramonda was kidnapped by white supremacist Anton Pretroius. Over years, she became a sexual plaything to Anton while T’Challa discovered where she was.
Ramonda was the only mother T’Challa ever knew. His birth mother died during childbirth. To rescue her, T’Challa used the Black Panther suit. The Queen punched Anton hard in the face when he claimed to love her. He only loved her for her body and not for who she was. Also, he was an abuser and thought he could take advantage of her because she was a woman.
As the wife and stepmother of kings, Ramonda knew injury. The Queen Mother became injured when Birnin Zana falls prey to terrorists. Because of the extent of her injuries, she falls into a coma. There was a possibility she might be paralysed, but she recovered and walked with a cane.
Ramonda hasn’t had too many appearances in mainstream Marvel media. However, she appeared in the Black Panther animated series. Here, Alfre Woodard voiced her. Unlike the comics and the Black Panther film, Ramonda’s name isn’t spoken and is known only by her title ‘Queen Mother’.
Her most recent appearance was in Ryan Coogler’s first Marvel film, Black Panther. Angela Bassett plays Ramonda. She’s depicted as T’Challa’s birth mother, not his stepmother. Also, she is one of T’Challa’s lead advisors.
Bassett wore a wig silver dreadlocks for the role when it was required for the character to have her hair uncovered. In conclusion, the actress was also required to train and follow a diet plan for the role.
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