All good things come to an end, eventually. While the MCU has been thriving with the same familiar faces, the introduction of Phase Three of Marvel's shared universe has made room for a new influx of characters to take over the superhero mantel. One in particular, Black Panther, is an exciting addition who looks set to become part of the fabric of the evolving franchise.
Chadwick Boseman's debut in Captain America: Civil War was a joy to watch; we were introduced to a superhero unlike we've seen before in the MCU. Not only does Black Panther fight incredibly well and look badass, the man behind the mask, T'Challa, is an intriguing conflict of vigilante and royalty.
Unfortunately, there are still a number of releases in the MCU before we see the Black Panther movie, so we're going to have to be patient. But it looks like it'll be worth the wait; screenwriter Joe Robert Cole — who also wrote the acclaimed TV series American Crime Story — has divulged some information on where the movie will pick up, providing insight into the future of the MCU. In an interview with Slash Film, while discussing the narrative of the movie, Cole said:
"Our standalone movie will begin shortly after Civil War ends. So we’ll be able to see him mourning and him starting to take command as king of his own nation. Lots of things are going to occur within regards to that."
Bridging The Gap Between Civil War And Infinity War
Black Panther was moved forward due to its importance in telling the story in Avengers: Infinity War, so we can assume Ryan Coogler's feature will bridge the gap between the two Avenger's team-ups. Events in the latest Avengers offering, Civil War, show T'Challa's father T'Chaka killed by an explosion, causing T'Challa to seek revenge in the guise of his alter ego.
After he uncovers the truth of Helmut Zemo's plans, T'Challa exercises humility and prevents him killing himself, in order for him to be punished in the appropriate way. That leads to him changing his view on the Avengers, and he offers sanctuary to Captain America and Bucky in his home nation of Wakanda.
Considering Black Panther will lead on closely from that finale, it could mean we get to see Captain America or Bucky appear as they recover from the fallout from Civil War. The latter has been confirmed for Infinity War and, in terms of the narrative, it would make sense for him to pop up in the Wakandian adventure.
As well as T'Challa's engagement with the Avengers, we're guaranteed to see his adjustment as he struggles with the death of his father and takes over as King of Wakanda. The fictional African Nation, too, looks set to become integral in the overall make-up of the MCU. Cole added:
"The country will be under threat from inside and out so we’ll learn what Wakanda is, that nation, as the most technologically advanced nation on the planet. Also, as Wakanda’s rise to prominence happens, it will affect the MCU moving forward which is really exciting."
The Important Role Of Wakanda
We only saw a brief insight into the misty forestation that outlines the land of Wakanda, but as well as providing a rich backdrop to the Black Panther movie, Cole's comments suggest it'll take more prominence as Phase Three unfolds. When you consider the significance of T'Challa's home nation, it's not surprising it'll become an important part of MCU folklore.
Prior to Civil War the nation has been mentioned only in passing in Avengers: Age of Ultron and is shown discreetly behind Tony Stark in Iron Man 2 while he watches a video of the Hulk's college blowout. It's exciting news the MCU will explore the nation further, not only because of its aesthetic appeal, but for the positive impact that can result from such a prominent franchise making an African nation central to its story.
Yes, Wakanda is fictional, but it's draped in African culture. Chadwick Boseman carefully studied neighboring countries when researching the role in order to hone his accent. Plus, it's portrayed as an incredibly powerful nation, with strong elements of Afrofuturism (a cultural movement which reimagines history and critiques issues people of color face in the form of fiction).
In the fictional history, Wakanda is an isolated nation that has evolved at its own rate, becoming, as Cole says, the most technologically advanced nation in the world. Its computer technology is much more powerful than other nations, and immune from hacking. However, it has the ability to emulate other systems, meaning Wakandians can hack other systems. Furthermore, following a meteorite crashing into the land, the nation has a rich source of vibranium, the fictional metal used to make Captain America's shield.
For all the possible story arcs and fresh avenues to explore, Black Panther, and the melding of Wakanda into the MCU, is also an exciting development on a wider level as it offers an antidote to the lack of diversity in Hollywood in the best way possible: Through the high-profile, ass-kicking realm of superheroes.
Black Panther is released on February 16, 2018.
Will the introduction of Wakanda be the biggest shakeup of the MCU to date?
Source: Slash Film