On February 16, cinemas nationwide will experience the first standalone movie of the first Black superhero ever created in mainstream comics; Black Panther. After the events of Captain America: Civil War, which saw T’Challa try to avenge his father’s death at the hands of Baron Zemo, the former prince of Wakanda will head home to his African nation to take the mantle of King.
Now in case you don’t know much about the Black Panther universe, this guide will tell you the important things you need to know so that you wouldn’t get lost while watching the movie.
Who Is The Black Panther?
Unlike other superheroes who own their superhero names, the Black Panther is the official name given to the King of Wakanda. Which means T’Challa isn’t the first Black Panther, as his father (T’Chaka, who died in Captain America Civil War), and his grandfather were both Black Panthers in their own time.
In fact, the Black Panther title actually stretches back to comic book’s BC era, since the nation of Wakanda was formed (which means there have been thousands of Black Panthers). Normally, the title is meant to go to the next in line in the royal lineage, but you still have to prove your worth and battle the leaders of other tribes in combat. If you lose the battle, then the title goes to someone else (usually the winner of the competition).
What makes Wakanda a feared nation?
Wakanda is one of the most-feared nations because it has many different tribes (like a country like Nigeria for example) that are actually bred for battle. Wakanda is also a very spiritual land with many tribes having spirit animals to guide them; T’Challa’s tribe has the Panther (hence the name Black Panther), there’s also a Gorilla tribe, a Jaguar tribe, and others. But what makes Wakanda one of the most feared and formidable countries in fictional history is how technologically advanced the place is.
Thanks to Vibranium (which crash-landed in the country during T’Challa’s grandfather’s reign as king) the country – with the many smart scientists and tech gurus, actually advanced the country lightyears beyond the comprehension of other countries on earth using the rare metal. The city itself has many defence techs, a cloaking mechanism, and of course, the Black Panther protecting it. Hardly has any criminal entered Wakanda and come out alive/unscathed.
Who are the Dora Milaje?
The Dora Milaje are the King’s personal royal guards. They are an all-female elite squad who are skilled in various forms of combat and are said to rival the likes of Black Widow and the best martial artists/hand-to-hand maestros in a fight.
In some iterations of the Black Panther comics, the Dora Milaje also double as possible wives for the Black Panther (because a queen should be strong enough to take care of herself in battle, like both Thor and Wonder Woman’s mother). Their skill and level of teamwork have seen them take down many foes without the Black Panther himself having to interfere. Yes! They are that formidable.
Who is Killmonger and what does he want?
Erik Killmonger is the main villain and one of Black Panther’s greatest arch-nemesis. He is from the Jaguar tribe and one of its strongest soldiers. He was exiled by T’Chaka and may have come out of exile to challenge T’Challa for the throne after the death of the former King which kickstarted the events of the Civil War.
Note that Killmonger has either fought to a standstill or beaten T’Challa a couple of times in the comics, that’s just how skilled and strong he is. He will work hand-in-hand with another villain of T’Challa – Ulysses Klaw (who made his debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron and had his hand severed by Ultron) to take down the Black Panther and usurp his throne, amongst other things we would get to see in the movie.
What are the Powers and Abilities of the Black Panther?
Thanks to regularly eating some heart-shaped herbs, the Black Panther is super strong (with strength level enough to stop a charging elephant in motion and lift 800 pounds), has super reflexes, can see and hear perfectly in the dark, has speed faster than the normal human, can do everything the agilest cat can do 10X over, is durable (able to withstand heavy blows from stronger people) and can heal fast also (his healing isn’t on par with the likes of Wolverine, Deadpool, and Hulk, but given enough time, he does heal eventually), etc.
He also has amazing tech that dwarfs the likes of Iron Man’s. His suit is made of vibranium, which can’t be destroyed except with things made of vibranium (like Captain America’s shield) or powerful cosmic energies/gods, he has cloaking devices embedded in his suit, can release powerful bursts of energy, has vibranium claws, radar senses, and many other things I’m sure you will see in the movie.
Another great plus is the fact that he has the ability to seek wisdom from the Great Spirit Panther and can also draw knowledge from and sometimes communicate with other ex-Black Panthers.
Note that Kilmonger also has a Jaguar suit, which may be able to do many of the things Black Panther’s suit can.
Personally, I think the movie may also be a battle for the Soul Stone as well (the last of the Infinity Stones that we are yet to see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), hence the reason Thanos sends his Black Order and legions to Wakanda to retrieve it, from what we noticed in the trailer of Avengers: Infinity War.
Black Panther will start showing across Cinemas nationwide on February 16. Which traditional attire are you wearing to see the movie? Tell us that, as well as any other thing you need info for about the movie or contributions about the possible plots for the highly-anticipated movie in the comment section below.