Since he premiered in the blockbuster that was Captain America: Civil War, people have been fervently awaiting the arrival of Black Panther’s solo film. Black Panther’s solo film was originally supposed to be released on November 3rd of this year, however the deal that brought Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) ended up pushing T’Challa’s solo film to February 2nd of 2018. While the hype surrounding that Spider-Man film has hit fever pitch, Marvel decided to drop a Black Panther teaser trailer this week that essentially broke the internet. While the trailer was a teaser, and thus pretty limited in regards to what it showed, there still was a tremendous amount of information in the trailer (if you know where to look). So, let’s go through some of the things that you may have missed while watching the teaser trailer for Black Panther.
Quick warning. There are Spoilers ahead!
So, let’s go through the trailer scene for scene to see what we can derive from it and what it means for the film.
15. Ulysses Klaue is Back, and Under Arrest
Anyone that follows Black Panther knows that one of his largest enemies, if not the largest enemy he has is Ulysses Klaue, better known as Klaw. In the comics, his right arm has been converted to a sonic emitter on his right wrist that can emit “solid sound” constructs. Those constructs are able to weaken the strength of Vibranium, which is obviously why Black Panther wants nothing to do with him. In the MCU, Klaue doesn’t appear to be the genius level physicist he is in the comics, but rather he is a rambling black market weapons dealer that was able to go into Wakanda (the home of Black Panther) and come out with a ton of vibranium, alive (he was branded as a thief, however, literally). Apparently, after his introduction in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where his arm was severed after Ultron flipped his lid when Klaue compared him to Stark, he ended up in the custody of the CIA/Everett Ross (played by Martin Freeman). While that essentially is Bilbo interviewing Golem, it still shows that the Western world is completely ignorant of Wakanda’s technological superiority as a nation.
14. Wakanda is Hidden from the Rest of the World
In the comics Wakanda has been very secretive and mysterious and that appears to translate into the film. In the above scene, Klaue shows that the rest of the world isn’t aware of what Wakanda really is, and that should lead to some extremely interesting interactions in the film when the same people behind the Sokovia Accords find out that Wakanda has technology that makes Stark Industries look like Hammer Industries. It appears that Wakanda has hidden itself from the rest of the world (successfully). At least in the teaser, it appears that the only entrance to Wakanda is through an amazingly beautiful waterfall. Especially in the days before human flight, there really would’ve been no way for man to get into Wakanda. Like Klaue alludes, the myth of El Dorado (Spanish for the Golden One) is in fact real, but it was in Africa “The entire time”. As Captain America: Civil War alluded to, Wakanda is beginning to open itself up to the world. I’m sure Black Panther will explore exactly why the recently deceased King (T’Chaka) made that decision and what it means for Wakanda as a whole.
13. Wakanda’s Diversity
There’s a scene that looks to be T’Chala’s return to Wakanda after his father was killed by Baron Zemo, who set off a bomb under in an attempt to frame The Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes. From what it seems, the Black Panther film will follow the comics and show the diversity that does exist within Black Panther’s home country. In the comics there are multiple tribes that make up the citizenry of Wakanda. Ethnically, the people of there would best be similar to those people in Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya (as they border the fictional Wakanda, according to a map in Captain America: Civil War). There are four main cults in Wakanda, as well. Those are the Panther Cult, the White Gorilla Cult, the Lion Cult and the Crocodile Cult. These cults seem to be alluded to in this scene and most likely will end up being antagonists in Black Panther as well (especially the White Gorilla Cult).
12. He’s Mad OP
One of the better scenes from this trailer shows Black Panther defending his country from what looks like some sort of militia or terrorist group. Much like the scene from Captain America: Civil War (when he was absorbing bullets from a helicopter’s machine gun), this scene shows that the Black Panther is very much bullet proof, and strong. There was some debate online after Civil War about whether or not T’Challa himself was an enhanced human being (like Captain America or Winter Soldier). This scene answers that question by showing Panther throwing one of the terrorists into his own truck so emphatically that his body dents the side of the truck while moving it in the process. In the comics, T’Challa gains super-human strength by essentially rubbing a heart shaped herb all over his body (or eating it, in some iterations). Whether or not they’ll show that during the movie remains to be seen, but there is word that there’ll be flashbacks in this film.
11. Ulysses Klaue is Working with Killmonger
Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler has a history of working with Michael B. Jordan. That trend continues in Black Panther, where Jordan plays one of the antagonists, Erik Killmonger. In the comics, Killmonger is perhaps Black Panther’s most adept foe. He’s the son of someone who was exiled by T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka. During that exile, he was educated at some of the best schools in the world (MIT) and also learned and mastered multiple martial arts styles. It appears that in the movies, Killmonger breaks Klaue out of custody, while rocking the face mask that he wears in the comics (the MCU is really going all out at this point!). That means, like the comics, Killmonger is working with Klaue in an attempt to create a coup d’etat and take over Wakanda together. It’s assumed that Killmonger wants to be king, while Klaue wants access to the meteorite of pure Vibranium that Wakanda surrounds. One would wonder what Klaue’s motivations are as he was made an instant billionaire by Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron, perhaps he’s just there for vengeance? Either way, it’s interesting.
10. Wakanda’s Skyline
In the comics Wakanda is essentially the most advanced city on the planet earth and the movie seems to be pulling zero punches in that regard. It’s amazing that when questioned about what he knows about Wakanda by Klaue in the beginning of the movie, CIA Agent Everett Ross refers to Wakanda as a “Third world country” that’s known for mostly “Textiles, herds and cool outfits”. Again, that means that Wakanda has done an amazing job hiding it’s true identity (perhaps because it’s hiding an Infinity Stone?) from the rest of the world. The question then becomes, why? Perhaps they don’t want people to come knocking for the Vibranium their main town surrounds, or perhaps there’s more too it than that. Considering the fact that it’s been stated that the film will contain flashbacks of a young T’Chaka as king, there may be more to their hidden identity than meets the eye. Either way, the fact that the MCU is going to give Wakanda the respect it deserves is really, really encouraging.
When it was announced that Ryan Coogler was going to direct Black Panther you knew that there would be a role for budding superstar Michael B. Jordan. Coogler and Jordan have worked together multiple times and is essentially Coogler’s Michael Rooker (who is in every movie by James Gunn). Initially, people assumed that Jordan would be playing M’Baku, who is the villain Man-Ape in the comics. Man-Ape has to be part of the future of Black Panther, as he’s the second best warrior in Wakanda (behind Black Panther himself) and the leader of the White Ape Cult. He actually has a lot in common with Killmonger, who is also an amazing warrior with genius level intellect. Both seek to usurp T’Challa’s power, especially when he’s away dealing with Avenging. Both Killmonger and M’Baku have had some seriously hilarious hair in the comics, so it’s great to see that the movie doesn’t shy away from letting his soul glow.
8. The Dora Milaje
Black Panther’s body guards got a brief glimpse during Captain America: Civil War (as one of them said to Black Widow “Move, or you will be moved”) but should get a ton of exposure during Black Panther. The word is that T’Challa’s love interest will be played by none other than Lupita Nyong’o’s character, Nakia (who is part of the Dora Milaje). The Dora Milaje may be the most bad ass group of soldiers the MCU has ever seen. Comprised of women from every tribe in Wakanda, they serve multiple purposes for the King. First off, if he’s not married they essentially serve as a group of potential wives. Beyond that the fact that they come from every tribe means that each tribe has direct representation with the King himself. In the comics, T’Challa views the much younger Nakia as more of a daughter than a potential wife, and this creates an obsession that eventually leads her to turn on her King with the help of… You guessed it, Erik Killmonger. Nyong’o isn’t much younger than Chadwick Boseman, so we’ll see if that’s the story-line that Ryan Coogler and company end up utilizing.
7. T’Challa the King
In a scene that I’m certain is towards the end of the film, you can see T’Challa sans his Black Panther mask, almost smugly showing the seven different tribes of Wakanda that he is King. I’m assuming that this is after the final one on one battle against Killmonger. Perhaps some of the tribes backed Killmonger’s attempts to overthrow the new, young king? In the comics, essentially, Killmonger and company resented the fact that T’Chaka decided to open up Wakanda to the rest of the world and wanted to go back to the “Old ways”. Perhaps that’s the story-line that director Ryan Coogler decided on. That wouldn’t surprise me, but the fact that this is the last MCU movie before Avengers: Infinity War, you’d think that there’s some additional narratives going on behind the scenes.
6. Klaue in Action
There is a scene that shows Klaue dressed up as some sort of paramedic. What’s interesting here is that they’re not showing his arm as a weapon, despite the fact that it does show that he has some sort of prosthetic arm. In the scene he is using a pistol which seems odd considering if he did have a weapon of mass destruction that is capable of creating/emitting different levels of destructive sound, you’d think he’d be using it. Or perhaps, the powers that be are waiting to show Klaue as Klaw, in action. As the trailer showed earlier, Black Panther is essentially invincible when he’s inside his suit, or at least he was before Klaw discovered the perfect wave length or vibration to destroy Vibranium. Either way, you know that Klaw is coming, and I think it was smart for Coogler to not share everything in a teaser trailer.
5. Angela Basset
Now this is exciting. Angela Basset is playing Ramonda, who is T’Challa’s step-mother and the Queen Mother of Wakanda. Remember the reference to M’Baku earlier in this article? Where, apparently it appears that both Ramonda and Everett Ross are being kidnapped by M’Baku aka Man-Ape! Wow. It really looks like Coogler is going all in in terms of Black Panther’s history, and that obviously leads to the Spider-Man 3 comparison. When you have Klaw, Killmonger and Man-Ape all in the same movie, one has to wonder whether or not that’s too much of a good thing. It’ll be interesting to see how things pan out but if you follow the MCU at all you’re aware of the main issue that people have with Marvel movies (outside of the boring music), the so called “Villain problem”. It appears that Coogler is going to address that issue head on, which seems like a great idea considering that Marvel’s grand-master Kevin Feige recently said that Thanos is pretty much the “Main character” of Avengers:Infinity War.
4. Killmonger vs. T’Challa?
There’s a scene that appears to be a flashback that shows both Erik Killmonger and T’Challa [last name withheld] fighting one another with spear and shield in hand and with just their fists and their wits, as shown above. This appears to be most likely to be part of a flashback sequence, and if so, implies heavily that both Killmonger and T’Challa most likely trained together before Killmonger’s father was exiled. That implies that perhaps Killmonger and T’Challa were friends before he was forced to leave as his family was disgraced. If so, that’ll add another layer of interest/drama to the story of T’Challa and his essential equal. That would make sense in the MCU as most villains, especially in origin stories, are reflections of the hero. Whether it’s Iron Monger, Yellowjacket, Loki, Red Skull, The Winter Soldier, etc. The MCU typically has a villain that is a mirror image of the hero. While it’s formulaic and in this case, extremely relevant, it’s compelling and really does seem to make sense in the grand scheme of this movie (in regards to tribes supporting his approach because he’s so similar to T’Challa in the first place). Either way, we’re going to see what appears to be two friends that are both battling for the same thing, which sounds like fun.
T’Challa’s Mother is Ramonda, as stated above. T’Chaka had a daughter with her, and her name is Shuri. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Black Panther Director describes Shuri as essentially on-par with Tony Stark when it comes to her genius, especially from a technological stand-point. This clip actually excites me more than anything in the trailer (almost), as it shows Shuri using two amazing looking energy weapons that appear to be the heads of Black Panthers that shoot lasers out of their mouths. Does that remind anyone of anything? Think SNL and Laser Cats. But seriously, having another genius around in the MCU is amazing, especially considering the fact that they can’t bring Reed Richards into the fold and that they’re about to finally fight Thanos (where they’ll need all the help they can get). It looks like Shuri showed up just in the nick of time.
He’s here! While (as stated above) some thought that Michael B. Jordan was cast as Man-Ape, it appears that Winston Duke is the perfect fit for the role. M’Baku leads the White Gorilla Cult in the comics and essentially has the strength, agility and craving for bananas of a gorilla (thanks to a rather disgusting ceremony in which he literally eats white gorilla flesh and bathes in gorilla blood, at least in the comics). While he’s been considered a campy villain from the Silver/Comics Code Authority era of the comic books, as of late he’s become a much more serious villain. Because of that, it’s not surprising to see him in this movie. While he is probably stronger than both Black Panther and Killmonger, physically, he lacks the intelligence of either and will probably be used by Killmonger as a lackey in an attempt to create a coup d’etat. This scene implies that he has taken both Ramonda, Ross and some of Dora Milaje captive. That means he may not make it to Black Panther 2.
1. The Final Scene…
Everyone is flipping out (get it?) about the final scene in the teaser, that shows Black Panther essentially flipping in slow motion from one car to another. One thing that may have been missed upon first view is the fact that it appears that Black Panther himself may be causing the first car to flip by emitting some sort of energy pulse. While that pulse could’ve come from Klaw, as well, it could also be coming from T’Challa’s suit. Because Captain America: Civil War wasn’t Black Panther’s movie, we didn’t really get a chance to see how his suit works. It appeared that it’s really just a bullet proof suit that has claws and the ability to absorb jumps from high distances. However, considering the amount of tech that Wakanda has, it wouldn’t be surprising if his suit had a ton of different tech inside of it. In the comics, Black Panther has a lot of abilities thanks to the Panther God that he gets his powers from (from that Heart Shaped Herb), for example he can track people by scent and communicate with all of the former Black Panthers, including his father. One scene from Captain America: Civil War that piqued people’s interest was when T’Challa’s ring (which he got from his father) got stuck to Bucky’s metal arm. That ring may have mystical properties in the new film, especially considering the success of Doctor Strange. So, regardless of whether or not they go the mystical route in this film, it’s looking like Marvel has yet another hit on their hands.