Just what makes Black Panther so deserving of his own movie? Aside from his 50 something years in Marvel’s comic book history, Black Panther was the first black superhero to debut in mainstream comic books. Created by none other than Marvel’s iconic duo Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Contrary to popular belief, this super hero was not named after the political activist group known as the Black Panthers. Stan Lee has stated in an interview, that he was inspired by a Pulp Fiction hero who had a pet black panther. King of the fictional African country of Wakanda, qausi-member of the Avengers, and even crucial plot device to Captain America’s Civil War, T’Challa is the honorary Black Panther.
Introduction to MCU
Let’s pick up where Civil War left off. After a questionably successful mission in Sokovia resulting in the death of 11 Wakandan citizens, over 100 countries rally and meet to discuss the Sokovia Accords. A bill that would outlaw vigilantes and require Super Heroes to register with their corresponding government and only take action when approved and directed by the United Nations. It was at this peace summit that an explosion was rigged which resulted in the death of Wakandan King T’Chaka. In that moment T’Challa took his rightful place as the new king of Wakanda. T’challa follows in his father’s footsteps of ratifying and demonstrating his country’s support of the Sokovia Accords yet little did everyone know that T’Challa himself was the Black Panther. As Black Panther, T’Challa tracks down Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier who was reported to be responsible for the death of Wakanda’s King and begins a rooftop chase under helicopter gunfire and pursuit by Captain America himself. This ends in the three vigilantes captured and arrested by War Machine. It is here that T’Challa’s secret identity is revealed. In the back of an armored transport Falcon can’t help but ask T’Challa “So you like cats?”
The Black Panther has a number of abilities and technical gear at his disposable. Super human strength, stamina, and senses give him the ability to see, hear, and smell over distances way beyond the capabilities of a standard human being. On top of that the Black Panther has engineering prowess, can speak multiple languages fluently, and even has a level of Diplomatic immunity due to his status as ruler of a nation. His Black Panther suit just ups the ante with anti-metal claws which can cut through any metal at the molecular level, a vibranium micro-weave mesh which dissipates the momentum of any incoming projectiles, and even the ability to camouflage itself as civilian street clothes or render T’Challa invisible.
The Black Panther movie is going to expand on T’Challa’s home country of Wakanda. In the Marvel comic’s universe, the country remained hidden from the rest of the world for years. Being close to a natural source of the mineral vibranium (which sells for $10,000/gram) Wakanda became a nation rich in wealth and technological superiority. Put it this way, Wakandan scientists split the atom almost a century before the rest of the world. This makes their military powerful and a force to be reckoned with. The Black Panther movie will explain how Wakanda fits into the MCU.
Looking at Black Panther’s IMDB page you can find out who the bad guys are and with a little bit of comic book reading- I mean research, guess as to what conflicts will play out in the movie. Andy Serkis, who played Ulysses Klaw in Avenger’s Age of Ultron plays you guessed it- Ulysses Klaw in Black Panther. You might also remember him as the voice and motion capture actor for Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars and Gollum in Lord of the Rings. Ulysses Klaw was born son of a Nazi general who had previously attempted to invade Wakanda for its precious resource vibranium but failed. Ulysses grows up to develop high tech weapons that would need the rare mineral in order to work. So you can guess that Ulysses’ role in this movie will be to extort Wakanda for its most valuable export. And let’s not forget who will most likely play the bigger antagonistic role, Michael B. Jordan acting as Erik Kilmonger. You might remember Michael from his roles as the Human Torch in Fantastic Four (how about we forget that one?) or his impressive display as Adonis Johnson in the beautifully directed Creed. Hopefully his role in this movie falls at the better end of the acting spectrum. For those who do not know Erik Kilmonger, he was originally named N’Jadaka and was born to a father who was forced to work for Ulysses Klaw. This led to the exile of young N’Jadaka by the then king of Wakanda T’Chaka. N’Jadaka then grows up in New York where he earned an MBA and PhD in engineering and brushed up on his physical fitness and martial arts. He then changes his name to Erik Kilmonger and vowes to avenge his father’s death. So it makes sense as to why the film would feature both villains as one will lead to the development of the other.
It comes as no surprise that today’s relevant and chart-topping Hip Hop artists collaborated together on the Black Panther movie soundtrack. The lead song “Pray for Me” sung by the Weeknd and featuring Kendrick Lamar is a beat filled brooding and self-reflecting ode to war. The rest of the album features even more heavy hitters from 2 Chainz to Travis Scott and even pop stars like SZA and Khalid. The soundtrack alone is more than enough to motivate those who would otherwise not be inclined to watch a comic book movie, line up at theaters on opening night.
Regardless of how you feel about Marvel’s current domination of the movie box office or the Super Hero movie pop culture take over, Black Panther is a film you do not want to miss. This will be one for the history books and will be talked about long after it’s time. Just remember that we brought you the scoop on all you need to know. From everyone here at Metahuman Entertainment, thanks for reading.