The White Wolf has a very different origin in the comics!
In recent years, the story of the Winter Soldier has had a huge impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From a WWII veteran to a ruthless assassin, he has undergone a monumental journey of redemption, becoming one of the most precious and important warriors in Captain America’s core. However, a significant part of his life in the franchise came when he became a refugee in Wakanda.
In the nation ruled by the Black Panther, he has won the noble title of White Wolf – which may be a hint of what awaits him in the future. However, the white wolf from the comics is another character with an entirely different story. Here we went a little deeper into the Wakanda jungle to tell more about this character’s story, which has a direct connection to T’Challa!
Who is the white wolf from the comics?
In the comics, the White Wolf is a character who sometimes appears as a villain or an anti-hero in the Black Panther comics. His original name was Hunter (although we have no more information as a last name or even if Hunter was his real name). As a child, Hunter and his family were involved in a plane crash. The boy’s parents died in the collision, but he survived amid the wreckage, which fell on the northern border of Wakanda.
Found by the nation’s guards, the boy was taken to T’Chaka, the then black panther. The King raised Hunter as if he was his own son, giving him the best and the best. However, with the birth of T’Challa, the boy realized that he had no chance of ascending the Wakanda throne and began to harbor a severe envy and rivalry with his adopted brother. For this reason, many fans like to compare Hunter and T’Challa to Loki and Thor.
Despite the resentment, Hunter loved the nation of Wakanda with all his heart and would do anything for the land. Very young, he joined Hatut Zeraze, a sort of secret police force in the country. Developing great physical aptitude and enviable combat training, he was given the nickname White Wolf, earning a costume that closely resembled the Black Panther, despite being almost entirely white. However, the “happiness” will not last long, as one of T’Challa’s first attitudes when he became king was precisely to dismantle the Hatut Zeraze due to the high level of corruption and brutality of its members.
Angered by the decision, Hunter confronted T’Challa and the two declared war on each other. Once defeated, the White Wolf decided to leave the country with other members of Hatut Zeraze, who became much sought after international mercenaries. Yet Hunter often returned to Wakanda, always to save the country from very dangerous threats. When this happened, he did his best to put aside his differences with T’Challa.
Adaptations outside of comics
Before the name “Lobo Branco” was even mentioned in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we had a few brief adaptations of the character for other media. For example, we can cite the fifth season of the cartoon The Avengers United, which in turn is well centered on the kingdom of Wakanda and the complex history of the Black Panther.
In the animation, the White Wolf is the adopted brother of T’Challa and Shuri, who has very similar origins to his comic book counterpart. He’s apprenticed to N’Jadaka – the villain we know as Erik Killmonger. And just like in the comics, he seems to have a complex relationship with T’Challa, which ranges from utter contempt to envy and admiration.
At the start of the season, he is seen as an antagonist, so much so that he ends up being arrested and spends a lot of time off stage. It comes back more towards the end, when the Black Panther and Shuri need your help in an attempt to save the Wakanda Kingdom. Ultimately, he always has a dramatic ending to being killed by the Tiger Shark, which sparks an almost uncontrollable fury in T’Challa.
The character’s story is very comprehensive and complex in the animation, creating a figure full of layers and nuance. In addition, the character has also appeared in the LEGO Marvel’s Avengers game, where he is not only featured in the repertoire of comic book heroes and villains, but is also a playable character with abilities similar to Black Panther.
White wolf in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
As previously stated, the White Wolf also appears to be a part of Wakanda and Black Panther mythology in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the meaning of the character here is quite different. To our knowledge, there is no adopted brother of T’Challa named Hunter. Instead, the White Wolf appears to be a title of some significance to Wakanda culture and traditions.
The first time we heard that name was in Black Panther (2018), in the post-credits scene where we have Bucky Barnes’ brief special participation. Then the name was heard again when the Winter Soldier returned to active duty in Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Now the name has been mentioned more than once in Falcão and the Winter Soldier, the new MCU series on Disney +.
The white wolf here appears to be a foreign hero raised in Wakanda, subject to the traditions and rites of the African nation. We still don’t know if there is a specific costume or even significance for the White Wolf in the Royal Wakanda System, but that should be fine tuned to Falcão and the Winter Soldier, especially after the special appearance. which occurred at the end of the third episode.
Many believe that by the end of the series, the two titular heroes will undergo some drastic changes. The Falcon, as planned for two years, is expected to take on the role of Captain America, while the Winter Soldier will gain a new costume and become the White Wolf full time. As of now, we still have no way of knowing if that’s what’s going to happen, or if Bucky will follow a similar dynamic to the Hunter in the comics. We can only wait for the next episodes …
Hawk and the Winter Soldier is available on Disney +. New episodes air on Fridays.
Below, see the Easter eggs and references from the third episode of the series: