T’Challa aka Black Panther is the son of King T’Chaka who inherited the kingdom of Wakanda and saved thousands of people from many threats. He is a top-notch scientist, tactician, and strategist who is always ahead of his adversaries. He has a hybrid fighting style where he incorporates acrobatics and animal-like manoeuvres.
The character of Black Panther was introduced into the MCU in Captain America: Civil War when T’Challa lost his father in UN bombings perpetrated by Baron Zemo through Winter Soldier. As a result, Black Panther joined Team Iron Man and took down Bucky Barnes pretty quick.
Marvel brought in Ryan Coogler who directed Creed to be at the helm of Black Panther which made him the first Black man ever to direct a Marvel movie. Here is what he said:
“What’s great is that people have already met Chadwick Boseman in Civil War, so now we get to jump in feet first without having to tell a more traditional origin story. We meet him as his world is changing. Black Panther takes place right after the events of Civil War, so T’Challa’s father has just been killed, he has returned home to Wakanda, and T’Challa has to navigate potentially becoming the new ruler of this nation. He never intended to become the king for years because he figured his dad would be around for a long time. T’Chaka’s death is, in a lot of ways, the catalyst for everything that’s happening in Black Panther.”
“In this movie, a lot like politics, it’s a little tricky to define who’s a good guy. The film very much plays with those concepts, looking at conflicts and different motivations, and who’s with who. What makes him different from other superheroes first and foremost is he doesn’t see himself as a superhero. He sees himself as a politician. That’s the first thing on his mind when he wakes up in the morning: ‘How am I going to fulfill my duties as king of this place?'”
Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther totally nailed it and it was quite clear that he will eventually get a solo Black Panther movie and he did. The plot of the movie was centred on the challenges that T’Challa faced once he ascended to the throne of Kingdom of Wakanda. After the grieving for his father’s death was over, his throne was challenged by Eric Killmonger who has a personal score to settle with T’Challa.
But the secret of Black Panther or the Kingdom of Wakanda amassing so much power is the rare metal that is found there i.e Vibranium.
Vibranium is a well known fictional metal that debuted in the MCU. Found in Wakanda and in the Savage Lands, Vibranium is extremely rare and ridiculously valuable. It is so potent a metal that it turned a tiny landlocked nation like Wakanda into a thriving and technologically advanced utopia.
Vibranium may be scarce but somehow it has always been a staple of Marvel Comics fiction. Vibranium bullets, Vibranium armours and small arms, even Vibranium tattoos have been featured in the MCU.
Several superheroes and villains have found creative uses for Vibranium turning the metal into a precursor of mass destruction. Whoever possesses the most Vibranium is the de facto winner of the match.
That is exactly how Wakanda converted itself from a third world nation into a country with economic, technological and military might to rival the United States of America – the sole superpower of the World.
Using alien technology, the Wakandans discovered ways to mould Vibranium and use it for anything and everything, starting from combat to transport.
Vibranium’s peculiar molecular structure allowed for a unique property that turned it into one of the most revered substances on planet Earth. Vibranium can absorb almost infinite amounts of vibrations. No matter how many punches or kicks or freaking bombs you throw at it, Vibranium can absorb the kinetic energy from the momentum of those hits, rendering all physical attacks ineffective.
While the comics certainly made the most out of the metal, the Marvel Cinematic Universe also took a good step by introducing the metal long before during Captain America: The First Avenger movie.
Steve Rogers, after becoming the Super Soldier, was gifted a Vibranium Shield by Howard Stark, father of Tony Stark. Cap’s Shield became the most iconic feature of Marvel movies. His Shield tended to defy the very laws of Physics when he threw it at his enemies.
Cap used it to take down Hydra, alien armies from the far reaches of the Galaxy, Robotic megalomaniacs and will soon be using it while going toe to toe with Thanos, The Mad Titan.
But if you think Captain America’s Shield is indestructible because it is made of Vibranium, you are seriously mistaken. Vibranium is not unbreakable. It can still be broken. Wakandan Vibranium is not the strongest metal on Earth. It is ONE of the strongest metals to have been ever discovered but it most certainly isn’t invincible.
“The big thing about Wakanda is its Vibranium, which is one of the strongest metals, not the strongest but one of the strongest and most expensive metals,” Beachler said during a set visit last year. “T’Challa is the wealthiest man — more so than even Batman — and a lot of it is because of their Vibranium and their knowledge in being able to handle Vibranium and turning it into this.”
So there you have it. Vibranium doesn’t just get strong the moment it is mined out of Wakanda. The ore itself is as brittle as any other metal’s on Earth. It is only when the ore is processed and the metal crafted to given shape by a skilled Wakandan metal-smith aided by superior Wakandan technology that Vibranium attains its legendary status.
“We do have over here our Wakandan Design group, which over time evolved into where all the tech is being created,” Beachler said. “We’ve got our Vibranium mine, which is [where] we’ve come up with this little blue glowing rock. We went around a lot about what is Vibranium, because we see it in Cap’s shield, and it’s very much a metal, so we have different stages of Vibranium. We’re going to see it a lot in its raw form and not the alloyed form which is the stainless look.”
Does that mean Vibranium is just some ordinary chunk of scrap? Hell No!!! Vibranium is still a metal that could do a lot of damage if it falls into the wrong hands. In Good hands, it can be a force of good while in the hands of evil, it could become a force of nature.
In the comics, Hawkeye’s arrowheads, Warpath’s daggers, Misty Knight’s bionic arm and even the Avengers Tower boast of a Vibranium lined build. The Metal’s on-screen presence in the larger MCU is not going to drop anytime soon.