Chadwick Boseman has been speaking more and more about the upcoming Black Panther solo movie. While details are still scarce, it has been known for some time that the film will go into detail about Wakanda, the homeland of T'Challa/Black Panther. But Boseman has revealed to Yahoo Movies that there will be appearances from other Black Panthers. What exactly does that mean? Are there a team of Black Panthers within Wakanda? Well, the answer is a bit simpler than that.
Talking To The Dead
In the comics, the current Black Panther has a unique ability. The Black Panther is a title passed down from king to king; when the previous king dies, they join a unique afterlife that is available to only those who have held the title. Whoever the current Black Panther is, they can tap into the ability to communicate with their ancestors. Why would they do that? It's mostly used to gain knowledge and insight.
In Captain America: Civil War, we met the king of Wakanda and T'Challa's father, T'Chaka. Needless to say, T'Chaka does not make it out of the movie alive. We don't learn much about the man other than that he and his son slightly disagree about the events at hand, but they still respect and love each other deeply. It is also established that he was leading the charge on making Wakanda less insular and becoming more of a world power. Now that T'Challa is king, he has to deal with the events that his father set up. No doubt he will want some words with him on how to proceed.
Learning More About Wakanda
If you saw Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, Wakanda plays an important part in those movies. The only catch is that the country never actually appears other than in a small post-credits cameo. This was mostly because those films were already packed, and establishing a whole mythology would be distracting and take away from the project at hand as well as the Black Panther movie.
Now that Black Panther is finally getting a film, Wakanda will be at the forefront — and now we must learn about the MCU version of the country. All we know so far is that it has been fairly isolated until after the events of Age of Ultron, and that is is the primary source of vibranium. Comics readers know that the country has never been colonized and so any attempts at invasion have been successfully repelled off.
It's hinted in Civil War (but comics readers also know) that Wakanda is one of the leading scientific countries in the world. This is something that is far from reality. From T'Challa's ability to speak to his ancestors, we can learn how Wakanda got to this point without an exposition info dump.
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Expanding The Marvel Cinematic Universe Mythos
Black Panther has always been an interesting hero, as he walks between two worlds. The Wakandan culture is one of technology and science, which we have seen since Iron Man. It is also one filled with mysticism and otherworldly facets that will be fully explored in the upcoming Doctor Strange. The Black Panther lineage is one that can really flesh out these two worlds and bring them together. By seeing previous Black Panthers, we can learn how the Wakandan culture started from more mystical beginnings and how it has changed into a techno-mysticism one.
In the comics, T'Chaka actually fought Captain America in World War 2. While this never happened in the movies, there is nothing to say that a previous Black Panther hasn't had encounters with other figures in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Who is to say that the ancestors of T'Challa have not had encounters with important figures similar to how the Norse were visited by the Asgardians? There may be a more cosmic reason as to why vibranium is such a strong presence in Wakanda.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to grow and expand in a variety of different directions. Black Panther has been pegged as very important to that continued growth. This will certainly be an important movie for all MCU fans.
Black Panther opens July 6, 2018. What do you hope to see in the movie?