Marvel’s Black Panther hit theatres on 16th February 2018 receiving overwhelmingly positive views. Fans call it the best Marvel movie ever to hit theatres. Apart from being the first mainstream MCU story with a black protagonist black panther is also a fresher and more adventurous story than the rest of MCU.
In the spirit of the King, T’Challa here are 20 things that you missed in Marvel’s Black Panther
20. Killmonger’s Mask
Loyal fans would have chuckled at this moment in the movie. When Erik Stevens also known as Killmonger went ahead to choose a mask and pulled a little too long over a large horned monstrosity, fans knew that MCU was playing their classic bait and switch tactic to showcase a comic storyline from the way in the past. This mask that showcases Killmonger breaking out his fellow conspirator was a throwback to the mask Killmonger donned in the comics when his conflict with black panther started in Black Panther #37
M’Baku was the leader of the fellow clan o gorilla worshipers from the old days of Black Panther comics. When adapting a comic to the silver screen directors are often presented with the problem of presenting characters in a non racially charged light. To do this, It seems, Black Panther ditched the name Man-Ape and gave M’Baku a more modern look. Although the armor of Winston Duke still extenuated his shoulders making the entire look of a gorilla worshiper complete. Winston even dons the traditional gorilla mask briefly while participating in the ceremony held in Wakanda.
Another day, another Marvel movie, another Stan Lee cameo. When T’Challa indulges himself in a little gambling before the chase sequence in Korea, he does so for tactical reasons rather than for actual winnings. Being the exceptionally well-trained intellectual that T’Challa is, he wins at the futile game without trying to. The king has little need for money and his endeavors are higher ones. This is made apparent when T’Challa excuses himself from the gathering setting up the chase scene and Stan Lee calmly appears to pocket Black Panther’s winnings.
Ever since her comic debut Shuri (Panther’s little sister) has always been acclaimed as one of the sharpest minds in Wakanda and a brilliant inventor. For all her brains Shuri is still, at her heart, a sixteen-year-old millennial. That is the reason that when T’Challa shows up wearing sandals, Shuri doesn’t stop from making a pop culture reference. Shuri’s “What are thooooossseee” phrase comes from a viral vine a few years ago where a police officer is criticized by the phrase for wearing sandals with his uniform.
16. The Nikes
Many would remember the self sizing Nikes from Back to the Future II, the movie treats the invention as a part of everyday life. Self adjusting pair of sneakers that resize themselves according to their user’s needs. The trope of Nikes are not itself referenced in the movie but T’Challa’s self adjusting Vibranium boots are clearly an adaptation of the Nikes from Back to the future 2.
Speaking from a historical standpoint the gold necklace worn by Erik Stevens or Killmonger in the movie was first worn by T’Challa himself. In the movie, this gold necklace is a perfect replica of Black Panther’s suit ultimately worn by Killmonger when The King chooses a more subtle variant with the silver necklace. This gold necklace, however, is identical to its comic counterpart which completes Black Panther’s king attire. Of course in the movie, the necklaces have a more prominent role than just jewelry. The necklaces are embedded with nanotech that contain the black panther Vibranium suit itself.
Everett k Ross makes an appearance in black panther as the buyer for Klause’s Vibranium. While this villainous appearance of the character does seem rather malicious. Everett proves himself a friend of Wakanda when he takes a bullet for Nakia. Upon being granted safe passage into Wakanda, Shuri comments on how Ross is just another white boy for her to fix. While not explicitly mentioned Shuri is obviously referring to Buck Barnes, or rather the winter soldier whom she also “fixed”.
For the comic fans among the masses that watch marvel movies, there has always been a desire for comic accurate movies. Black Panther delivered on one of the oldest comic accurate tropes for its secondary villain, Klaue’s. Ever since his debut in the silver age, the villain’s name is a pun on the fact that he possesses a bio claw-shaped cannon for his right arm. This cannon is capable of strong bursts of sound making it more reliable than any sidearm. The comic trope is finally achieved in the movie.
One of the earliest comic arcs of black panther comes from the pages of jungle books line of comics by Marvel. One of the earliest story arcs puts Erik Killmonger directly at odds with Black Panther himself. The story features a free panel where T’Challa faces off against a rhino. This scene is adapted in the movie when in the final battle rhinos are sent into consideration and black panther gets to show off his exceptional acrobatic skills and his combat prowess. You have to give chops to the visual team for making the whole sequence memorable.
It’s become a long-standing cliché in Hollywood movies to kill off the leading character by throwing him off of a waterfall. It is, however, a bigger cliché to misdirect an audience by calling the death of the main character only to bring him back in the next phase of the movie. Something similar transpired in the movie Black panther. But I’m this case the waterfall death scene was more of a callback to the classic events of “Panther’s rage” storyline Where T’Challa is met with a similar fate.
Erik Killmonger dons a gold version of the T’Challa necklace which officially becomes his when he beats black panther in combat. Although, the golden suit has some significant visual differences from Black Panther’s origin design and is more akin to the golden jaguar garb from the comics. It is also true that eagle-eyed loyal black panther fans find it more reminiscent of a suit donned by Preyy the leopard.. One of Erik Killmonger’s sidekicks. The suit itself has gold spots that make Killmonger look more like a black leopard and not the golden jaguar.
Shuri is the next to join the brilliant minds of the MCU. When we meet her in black panther it becomes clear how incredibly smart this young inventor is. She is on the precipice of technological enhancements unheard of anywhere else in the world. Shuri makes her lab in the midst of Mount Bashnega. A little-known fact, one not discussed in the movie is that Mount Bashnega is named after the first king of Wakanda. BASHNEGA was blessed by the Panther God Bast herself more than 100000 years ago. Bashnega was also blessed by Bast with the mantle of Black Panther.
In the movie Erik Killmonger is showcased in all of his “Oakland glory” when in the early moments of the film we are taken to Oakland for Erik’s humble origin. This is the reference to directors own humble origins. The fact that Black Panther movie features Oakland is also because there is a political party constituted in 1966 (just years after T’Challa’s comic debut) and a not so subtle political affiliation with Marvel has continued ever since. The party is also based in Oakland.
7. Black Panther public enemy
When we visit N’Jobu’s apartment in the movie, fans can spot a Public enemy poster on his wall. While it might seem that the poster is just a well-placed prop intended to represent the time frame of Black Panther’s Oakland scenes, but in reality, the prayer refers to the r&b hip hop group of which the poster is a reference to. Not only the music group but the poster also glorifies the black panther party to whom the public enemy music group have a political affiliation
Fans got to know only little about king T’chaka before his demise in Civil War. We get a little background on the king in a fishing scene in Black Panther. The catch is that the actor playing a younger T’chaka is the son of actor John Kani. That is the reason for such marginalized resemble in both iterations of the character.
One of the greatest things to come out of Black Panther was perhaps the tires of Bucky Barnes as a fully cured soldier in the past credits scene. Seemingly fixed on his brainwashing by Shuri, Bucky Barnes wakes up from his cryosleep as a new man. But he is never referred to as the white wolf. Be that as it may, it seems that is exactly where the story arc is leading, to raise Bucky Barnes as the most trusted soldier in T’CHALLA’s army.
The mission in South Korea was one filled with action, deception and espionage. T’Challa Okoye and Nakia hid in plain vision as they carried out reconnaissance and infiltration. What fans might have noticed are the colors of dresses that Nakia and Okoye don in the scene, namely red and green. Along with T’Challa’s black suit these colors make up the pan American flag, which is made up of three horizontal lines, red, black and green.
The comic version of the golden jaguar was one of the greatest nemesis that T’Challa ever faced. Exiled for the actions of his father against king T’chaka, Killmonger and his family were excommunicated from Wakanda forcing them to live out their lives in exile. But Erik swore vengeance and appeared as a villain to the black panther in the comics. However, in the movie, N’Jadaka is referred to as a member of the royal family whom his fellow soldiers’ dub “Killmonger” for his prowess in battle. The Erik Stevens of the MCU has a legitimate claim to the throne unlike the comic version of the character.
2. Every breath you take is a mercy from me
In the events of New Avengers #52, the king of Wakanda and the king of Atlantis from the Marvel comics (Namor and T’Challa) go head to head. This is where Black Panther speaks his one of the most badass lines ever “Every breath you take is a mercy from me”. A line repeated at Klause’s when he is captured in South Korea and spared by panther because the world is watching. The line not only instills fear in the heart of the villain but also showcases T’Challa’s innate resolve and strength. The fact that he can make a threat with a resolve to follow through is what makes black panther so indomitably intimidating.
1. Doctor strange reference
Okay, this one is a long shot but hear me out. Once N’Jadaka takes over as the king of Wakanda he immediately mobilizes his spies around the world to start a power struggle for world domination. This plan is resisted against by his spies because they ’re, understandably, hesitant. N’Jadaka is informed as much and then told that the forces at New York, Hong Kong, and London are ready to attack. This is no coincidence, these are same cities that hold the sanctum santorum in their grounds and hence, the three strongholds from Doctor Strange.
Black Panther is successfully running in theaters right now, so go check it out. Here is the official synopsis:
“After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and as Black Panther — gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people”.