It is typical of every superhero universe to introduce their protagonist(s) through an elaborate origin story. From Iron Man to Dr. Strange, many Marvel characters have received the traditional approach, but it looks like the superhero movie-making machine has finally decided to dig deeper into the culture and characteristics of the King of Wakanda in other ways.
In an interview with Complex, Marvel producer Nate Moore opened up about how 2018's Black Panther will trace T'Challa's rise from the position of a prince to the mantle of King,
What’s great is that people have already met Chadwick [Boseman] in 'Civil War', so now we get to jump in feet first without having to tell a more traditional origin story. We meet him as his world is changing.
Black Panther takes place right after the events of 'Civil War', so T’Challa’s father has just been killed, he has returned home to Wakanda, and T’Challa has to navigate potentially becoming the new ruler of this nation. He never intended to become the king for years because he figured his dad would be around for a long time. T’Chaka’s death is, in a lot of ways, the catalyst for everything that’s happening in Black Panther.
As a majority of the #MCU's demographic consists of audiences that aren't familiar with the character's source material, an origin story is usually essential to usher them into the character's world. MCU's Phase 1 has successfully introduced their key characters this way, but with the current momentum of the universe following the events of Civil War, it seems unnecessary to show fans what led up to Black Panther suiting up to fight crime.
Black Panther wouldn't be the first Marvel hero to skip an origin story. The MCU has been successful in introducing a wide range of characters without us even noticing. While Natasha Romanoff was introduced in Iron Man 2 and Hawkeye in Thor, Matt Murdoch and Luke Cage were already established vigilantes in their respective universes. In a similar fashion, Black Panther and Spider-Man had the most explosive debuts in Civil War, by the time the credits rolled.
So, Why Doesn't Black Panther Need An Origin Story?
The reason why the world doesn't need an origin story for #BlackPanther is because Civil War was already a successful stepping stone for T'Challa. The Russo Brothers established the history of Black Panther, while also giving him the necessary motivation to take on the mantle. As T'Challa's story was so tightly wound with the events of Stark and Rogers, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely were able to complete his character arc with the culmination of the central conflict.
So, as the audience has already seen Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa rise from the position of an impulsive Prince to a wise hero, Ryan Coogler is free to explore the culture of Wakanda and showcase the psychological and political aspects that comes along with the duty of a King - a direction that is bound to make Black Panther stand out from the crowd and avoid criticisms of being formulaic.
Black Panther was certainly one of the most intriguing aspects of Civil War and the post-credit stinger was only a peek at his kingdom's rich history. With an impressive cast consisting of Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong'o, it will certainly be interesting to see what the MCU has in store for us in 2018.
Do you think Black Panther required an origin story? Let me know in the comments!