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Posted February 11, 2018 by Angelo Trinos in Movies/TV
 
 

10 Fun Things to Know About Black Panther

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Marvel’s first blockbuster of 2018, Black Panther, is only a few days from release, and yet its more specific plot details and its connections to Avengers: Infinity War remain a mystery. But before these burning questions are answered, here are 10 things to know about King T’Challa’s first solo-feature in the expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) before watching it on the big screen.

SOME OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BLACK PANTHER COMICS INFLUENCED THE MOVIE

For Black Panther, writer/director Ryan Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole took inspiration from the comics written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Christopher Priest, who are considered to be the best writers of the titular character. Where Coates – a correspondent of The Atlanticdelved deep into Wakanda’s politics in the critically-acclaimed arc A Nation Under Our Feet, industry veteran Priest saved T’Challa from relative obscurity by redefining him as a monarch and a hero. Priest’s run is the longest that Black Panther enjoyed and he also created Everett K. Ross, the diplomat played by Martin Freeman in the film.

BLACK PANTHER BEGINS WHERE CIVIL WAR ENDED

Captain America: Civil War ended with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) hiding in Wakanda, where he hopes to evade the authorities and find a way to cure Bucky Barnes’ (Sebastian Stan) HYDRA brainwashing. Black Panther will pick up directly where the last major Marvel crossover ended, and show just what happened to the first Avenger and his best friend before they return in Infinity War.

T’CHALLA WILL STRUGGLE WITH HIS LEGACY

Another plot point from Civil War that Black Panther will tackle is how T’Challa copes with his newfound kingship. Previously, T’Challa’s father King T’Chaka (John Kani) was killed when a vengeful Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) detonated a bomb during the ratification of the Sokovia Accords. The movie will show how T’Challa, his family and his country cope with the loss of their king in both the personal and political arena.

THE DORA MILAJE ARE AN “ALL-FEMALE SEAL TIM SIX”

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Black Panther will introduce the Dora Milaje, aka the Adored Ones: King T’Challa’s bodyguards. Described by executive producer Nate Moore as “an all-female SEAL Team Six” – the elite American soldiers known for assassinating terrorist leader Osama bin Laden – the Dora Milaje served the kings of Wakanda for generations. Compromised of the best fighter from each of Wakanda’s 18 tribes, the Dora Milaje are a fighting force who are rightfully feared. In the comics, they were able to best Black Widow, Namor the Submariner and even the mutant Storm.

THERE ARE NO DAMSELS TO SAVE IN WAKANDA

Lead actor Chadwick Boseman promised that there will be no damsels in distress in Black Panther, since the women in the movie can defend themselves and are even on par with the male fighters. A problem that plagued the MCU was its treatment of female characters, and the cinematic universe has been making up for this by giving its heroines more authority and presence.

This was made evident with the Dora Milaje, who were changed from how they were in the comics. Originally in Priest’s run, the Dora Milaje were “wives-in-training:” bodyguards who were also betrothed to the king. In an interview with comicbook.com, Moore confirmed that this specific aspect was removed for being “a little creepy.”

SHURI IS THE SMARTEST GIRL IN THE MCU

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Black Panther marks the debut of Shuri (Letitia Wright): T’Challa’s 16-year-old sister and the smartest character in the MCU. Moore described Shuri as “the smartest person in the world, smarter than Tony Stark” – the genius, billionaire playboy, philanthropist who became an expert in thermonuclear astrophysics overnight in The Avengers. While talking to Interview Magazine, Wright described her character as someone who would make a good role model for young black girls, and someone who had “a great fashion sense.”

WAKANDA IS A FIRST WORLD NATION IN DISGUISE

On the outside, Wakanda resembles a Third World Nation known for its agriculture and textiles. But in reality, Wakanda is First World Nation in the world thanks to being the only source of the most powerful metal in the MCU: Vibranium.

In the comics, T’Challa’s grandfather Bashenga concealed his nation from the rest of the world upon discovering the potential that Vibranium had. This was done to prevent Wakanda from being exploited by foreign powers, and as a result, Wakanda became the most technologically-developed city in the world while remaining isolated from the rest of the world.

JAMES BOND INFLUENCED THE ACTION

To make the fight scenes as effective as they should be, the filmmakers turned to James Bond for inspiration. In his movies, Bond relied on his fighting skills and wits when he doesn’t have his trusty Walther PPK, and this grounded yet adrenaline-filled style of combat will take center stage in T’Challa’s solo film. Thanks to director Coogler’s action chops seen in his previous movie Creed, audiences can expect Black Panther to have some of the best action scenes to come from a Marvel movie.

Lupita Nyong’o, who plays the Dora Milaje warrior Naika, described the fight training as “intense” during an interview. She also revealed that she trained in both Judo and Jujitsu to realize Naika’s physical prowess, which will include a lot of jumping, rolling and kicking.

THERE WILL BE FEW MCU CAMEOS

Black Panther boasts a massive case of characters played by talented actors. To let these characters shine in what’s shaping up to what could be the most culturally significant blockbusters of recent memory, the movie may go against the Marvel tradition of having cameos and shout-outs to previous MCU entries. According to Moore, this was done so that the film could stand on its own and not “rely on cameos from other movies.”

FIXING THE MARVEL VILLAIN PROBLEM

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Black Panther also aims to address the problem that Marvel movies have had with their villains. Rather than have one-dimensional antagonists again, T’Challa will have to face well-rounded foes with their own personal ideals and motives. These are the mercenary Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) who was first seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron who also has a past relationship to Wakanda, and Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), a Wakandan exile who has his own opinions on how the secretive nation of Wakanda should be run and how it should interact with the rest of the world.


Angelo Trinos