Happy Birthday, Marvel! 2018 marks the tenth year of the ever expansive Cinematic Universe, and it’s a double celebration. February is Black History Month in America, and Black Panther is black history, and the first Marvel-and Hollywood- movie to bring Afrofuturism into the mainstream.
SPOILERS- WHETHER YOU WANT IT OR NOT
After Civil War, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is set to inherit the throne as King of Wakanda, but first he rescues his ex-girlfriend Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) from human traffickers, alongside Okoye (Danai Gurira) the general of the Wakanda royal guard, the Dora Milaje. T’Challa then returns home to Wakanda, meeting with his mother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and his younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright). After completing the rituals of succession, T’Challa is crowned King of Wakanda.
All while this has been happening, Wakanda’s mortal enemy Ulysses Klaue(Andy Serkis) has re-surfaced and is working with mercenary Erik Stevens(Michael B. Jordan), better known as ‘’Killmonger’’ for his high body count. After Klaue is captured by T’Challa, Killmonger breaks him out, only to later arrive on Wakanda’s border with Klaue’s dead body. Gaining an audience with T’Challa and the rest of the Royal Court, Killmonger reveals himself to be N’Jadaka, the son of King T’Chaka’s brother and therefore cousin of T’Challa and Shuri. (So it’s like the Lion King meets Game of Thrones).
Killmonger challenges T’Challa to trial by combat for the crown and title of Black Panther, with the aim of starting worldwide revolution armed with Wakandian Vibranium weapons. With T’Challa seemingly defeated, Nakia, Shuri and Ramonda along with CIA agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) must stop Killmonger before it’s too late.
While Killmonger is a villain, he’s not unsympathetic, and his reasons are valid, wanting to arm oppressed people all over the world to overturn those in power who capitalize off their disenfranchisement. Conversely T’Challa is faced with the dilemma of whether to be a King or a hero and how much he can do to make the world better. And the women of Wakanda prove to be as every bit capable, Shuri is possibly smarter than Tony Stark and Okoye is steadfast and utterly fearless, and she leads the Dora Milaje who are all warrior women who make the Amazons look like pin up girls by comparison. Praise the ancestor and thanks be to Bast, because Wakanda is here to stay. I pity the fool who thinks Wakanda is a sh*thole country.
And also, they have cyborg rhinos.
Klaue got himself a new arm with built-in sonic cannon, now I imagine him in the waiting room of a robot arm clinic sitting next to Misty Knight, Nebula Phil Coulson and Bucky.