Would you believe that the above pic was the only image I liked??!!
As always before I actually go into the film, let’s mention the bits that link up with the MCU canon.
Black Panther made his first appearance in the MCU in Captain America: Civil War ( or Avengers 2.5) where he sided with Cap’s team.
There’s also the reappearance of Ulysses Klaue, who made his first appearance in The Avengers: Age of Ultron and had his hand lopped off by Ultron and provided the evil robot with the material vibranium, which was stolen from Wakanda, the only place where one can find vibranium, in 1992.
The film begins with the people who stole the vibranium and sold it to Klaue, which is a neat way of tying everything up and exploring new possibilities, which Coogler does with Black Panther.
As such this is an origin story but honestly given the plot the focus is not on Black Panther per se.
The Black Panther is T’challa and at the start of the film he has succeeded his deceased father as the king of Wakanda. At this point int he film Wakanda is an area that is closed off and does not offer any aid to the poorer African countries. In fact the Wakandians go out of their way to portray their city as a third world one, when in reality vibranium is making the city one of the most technologically advanced one in the world. One main rule is that no stranger can enter Wakanada. Despite this they and the three other tribes that live in this city are peaceful people. T’Challa himself is a noble person and wants to promote stability in Wakanda.
Things start to go awry when T’Challa’s cousin, Killmonger returns to Wakanda ( I can’t tell the back story to this as it will spoil a lot – one thing though, Klaue features heavily) and battle T’Challa and manages to take over the throne. Killmonger has one aim: to make Wakanda known to the world and to silence anyone who has oppressed black people, unfortunately the method he chooses are akin to terrorist ones.
So on one side we have the peaceful T’Challa being oppressed by the chaotic Killmonger and after being banished from his kingdom he has to restore Wakanda to its former state.
So far, so lion king or so Shakespeare (and James Bond). As this is a superhero movie you can guess what happens and Wakanda is restored while T’Challa promotes Wakanda’s richness through peaceful and diplomatic methods.
Personally Black Panther is a secondary character in this film. It is Wakanda that is the main focus and I liked that about Black Panther. Coogler manages to take the usual superhero tropes and turn them into something fresh. At first one thinks one is watching a normal Marvel movie but then Coogler changes your mind about half an hour in and still manages to create things that make superhero movies great: stunning visuals and amazing, thrilling battle scenes.
Black Panther is a triumph. Weaving Black empowerment philosophy with feminism, trust me there’s no damsel in distress here: total gender equality. This may be the cleverest film in the MCU AND it is definitely capable of being a stand alone film in the process, something the majority of the films in this series are not really able to do. Personally Black Panther is officially my number one of the Marvel movies.