Even with Marvel basically telling the world that Black Panther is going to make his debut in [Captain America: Civil War](movie:994409), it hasn't slowed down the rumors and speculation about how [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) is going to introduce the Marvel character to audiences. Marvel true believers just won't take no for an answer.
After all, we've seen Andy Serkis menacing about in the trailer as Ulysses Klaw, the Marvel character who is perhaps most famous for plundering the Black Panther's hometown of Wakanda for its vibranium resources and killing T'Chaka, the Black Panther's father.
The trailer for Avengers 2 even seemed to provide a glimpse of what sure looks a lot like one of Black Panther's female bodyguards, the Dora Milaje. True, at the time of Age of Ultron it could be that T'Chaka is still the one in charge and this Dora Milaje could be in service of T'Chaka, not T'Challa - the Black Panther that Chadwick Boseman will be playing.
Whether or not Avengers 2 will feature a Black Panther cameo, or simply set the stage for his character to emerge in Captain America 3, the best hints at what could be bringing the Avengers to the attention of Black Panther may lie elsewhere in the trailers.
One of the long standing rumors for Avengers 2, which there is a good precedent for in the Marvel comic books, is that Ultron will be looking for a vibranium upgrade after the robot starts getting some ideas about how to perfect himself. Naturally, this is a pretty good idea for a sentient machine bent on world domination, and when Captain America fires off his vibranium shield at Ultron in the third trailer it looks like he might have been successful at his own vibranium make-over.
The way that Ultron is able to flick Cap's shield off of him like he's swatting away an annoying mosquito is indeed a sign that Ultron may have gotten some vibranium injections. This is bad news for the Avengers and probably some bad news for Black Panther as well.
International Hulkbuster Incident
But what really caught my attention is the fight between Hulk and Iron Man. I didn't notice it the first time around in the trailers for Avengers 2, but eventually I realized that this fight is taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa. There have even been some fan videos that were made during the Johannesburg shoot of the Hulkbuster scene and posted on youtube.
From the looks of things there isn't any effort made to make Johannesburg a stand-in for a city located some place else in the world. All the signs that appear in these scenes point to Johannesburg and so far there hasn't been an post-production effort to change that.
Johannesburg has its own world famous gold mines that could certainly double as the vibranium mines of Wakanda. And there is probably a good reason that Hulk and Iron Man ended up here to play out their Hulkbuster fight - but I would be surprised of Johannesburg, South Africa will end up being the stand-in for Wakanda, which has always been a Central or North African nation.
But I am tempted to think that there's a good possibility that this gigantic superhero fight in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) that takes place on the streets of Africa is certainly enough to get the attention of Black Panther and combined with the Ultron mess this could even be enough of an international incident to reasonably start the Superhero Registration Act that will be at the center of [Captain America: Civil War](movie:994409).
What do you think? Will Avengers 2 be the secret debut of Black Panther or will it only set the stage for the character to emerge?