It’s almost here! The film that smashed the record for most pre-ordered tickets for any Marvel film, hits theaters on February 16th here in the US. The hype is definitely real for the King of Wakanda’s solo adventure but why is everyone so excited?
Black Panther (real name T’challa) is the King of the nation of Wakanda which sits on the only source of Vibranium (the near indestructible metal that was used to build Captain America’s shield). This precious metal is one of the rarest in the MCU and has a value of around $10,000 per gram.
So while Iron Man's net worth is estimated by some to be around $12.4 billion, T’Challa is sitting on a number that looks more like $90 trillion. Imagine having that much money. You could afford to buy two meal deals at lunch and not bat an eyelid.
However, Wakanda isn’t just rich. The people of the nation have studied the metal for years and have seamlessly integrated it with all their technology allowing their technology to become the most advanced in the world. And while they’re super ballin’ and super powerful, they also have an incredibly rich culture filled with tradition, mysticism and rites of passage. There’s so much to expect with the introduction of this country to the MCU and we’ve seen nothing like this before.
2. A step in the right direction for diversity
Black Panther features a predominantly black cast with a black superhero as the lead. For many years POC characters have either been outnumbered, completely absent, or forced to take a back seat in major Hollywood motion pictures. Whenever there has been representation it has largely been in a stereotypical fashion or in a negative light (try to think of 5 major film/TV characters who are Indian who don’t have a thick accent, drive a taxi or work in a convenience store).
Black Panther is set to subvert this narrative and will provide a younger generation with the opportunity to see themselves represented on the big screen in one of the biggest films of 2018. At a time where there's been an outcry for diversity, Black Panther couldn’t have landed at a better time!
3. Black Panther: The Album
After Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1 and 2, you’d think Marvel Studios would struggle to match the hype. Guess again. How about an ORIGINAL soundtrack with none other than Kendrick Lamar as the Executive Producer?
The Album mainly features artists from Lamar’s record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) but is also set to feature artists such as The Weekend and Vince Staples. The album was released 9th Feb (although two tracks by King Kenny: “King’s Dead” ft. Jay Rock, Future & James Blake and “All the Stars” by Lamar and SZA were released earlier).
Check out the audio for “All the Stars” below:
4. The bigger picture
Marvel’s 10-year story-arc comes to a climax this summer with the release of Avengers: Infinity War. Never before has a more complex, interconnected and dynamic universe been created on screen and Infinity War is almost guaranteed to be the biggest film of the summer.
In the Infinity War trailer, we see members of Captain America’s anti-registration team fighting off Thanos’ army in Wakanda. But why would Thanos want to attack Wakanda in his search for the infinity stones? Also, how and why did #TeamCap go to Wakanda? …maybe these questions will be answered on February 16th.
5. The man himself
Black Panther is easily one of the most badass heroes Marvel has to offer. To prove it, let’s compare him to some of the other Avengers:
Hand-to-hand combat, speed and fighting skill comparable to Captain America. Bulletproof suit that absorbs kinetic energy allowing for stealth on the level of Black Widow. Sense of royal duty that extends beyond himself, much like the Asgardian King, Thor. Frequently listed as one of the most intelligent Marvel characters along with Bruce Banner. Rich and uses crazy gadgets, just like Iron Man. Quick reflexes and enhanced agility that would impress even Spider-Man.
We could go on.. but now you know he’s not just a guy dressed like a cat in the jungle - just check out the trailer below and get hyped:
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