BY RICHARD SUPLEE GEEK SPACE CORRESPONDENT Captain America: Civil War (2016) excited movie fans with Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa/Black Panther and this trailer appears to pick up where Civil War left off, with T’Challa returns to his country of Wakanda to assume the throne in the wake of his father’s death. Beyond that, not much is known about the plot of Black Panther, which was written and directed by Ryan Coolger (Creed, Fruitvale Station). The film also stars Lupita Nyong’o (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 12 Years a Slave) as leader of Wakanda’s all female special forces/secret service unit the Dora Milaje along with Martin Freeman (Sherlock, The Hobbit) and Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead).
Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Fruitvale Station) are the main villains. Serkis’s Ulysses Klaue is a black market arms dealer, first seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron, who wants to plunder Wakanda for its weapons, while Jordan’s Erik Killmonger is an exile from Wakanda who wants the crown. He believes Wakanda’s advanced weapons technology and vast deposits of virbranium (the metal that Captain America’s shield and Black Panther’s suit is made out of, which is able to absorb any vibrations) should be used to conquer the world. In the trailer, Wakanda looks like somebody smashed a Star Trek set into Tarzan — which is exactly how it should be, given that both Black Panther and his ancestral home are a hybrid of futuristic science and ancient tribal mythology.
Created in 1966 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Black Panther was Marvel’s (and mainstream comics’) first major black superhero and predates the formation of the Black Panther party by three months. The Black Panther is a title passed down the line of Wakanda kings. Initiates are given a suit made of vibranium and sent into battle with the current Black Panther as wells as six of Wakanda’s mightiest warriors all at once. If they are victorious they anointed with the mythical Heart-Shaped Herb, a mystical plant that connects them to the panther god and grants them enhanced strength, speed, and other functions on the level of Captain America. Black Panther is set for release on February 16th, 2018. Can’t wait.