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Even though he was only around for a couple seconds, seeing Black Panther was one of the highlights in last week’s Captain America: Civil War trailer. We’ve known for a while that the ruler of Wakanda will play a key role as the movie’s "third party," but when concept art showed he would side with Iron Man’s team during the conflict, some were left wondering why he would work with Tony Stark. While the exact circumstances of that alliance have yet to be seen, now we know why he isn’t siding with Captain America and his gang. It’s been confirmed that while in the United States, T’Challa will have an axe to grind with Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. the Winter Soldier.
Fans will remember that shot from the trailer of Black Panther kicking Winter Soldier in the face, which appropriately has been replayed in gifs everywhere. In fact, here it is again!
Well, that aggression is due to to Black Panther’s mission being connected to a "horrible crime" that Bucky has been framed for. While no other details were provided on what this mission is, it was reported earlier this year that T’Challa’s father T’Chaka might die, and EW speculates that T’Chaka might have been one of the world leaders caught in the explosion quickly glimpsed in the trailer.
If that’s the case, then understandably Black Panther would want to seek justice. As the mind-controlled Winter Soldier, Bucky committed a lot of horrible crimes for HYDRA. Their control over him has since been wiped away, and while he’ll never be the same as he was during World War II, he’ll try to redeem himself in Captain America: Civil War. Unfortunately, his reputation as a killer can’t be easily fixed, which is why he would make the perfect scapegoat for a terrorist attack.
Whether Black Panther is avenging his father or involved for another reason, we’ve seen how dangerous he is in the comics and briefly in the trailer, so Bucky’s going to have to contend with this vendetta while on the run on top of other government agencies and pro-Accords Avengers looking for him. T’Challa working with Iron Man would also make more sense if Tony also finds a personal reason to track down Bucky for revenge, as it was heavily implied in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that Winter Soldier caused the car crash that killed Tony’s parents Howard and Maria. They may not agree on everything, but they would have at least one goal in common.
We’ll find out what’s in store for Black Panther when Captain America: Civil War hits theaters on May 6, 2016, and following that, he’ll get to lead his own solo adventure on February 16, 2018.