Black Panther was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe last year, and he cemented himself as one of Captain America: Civil War's most popular characters. His home country, Wakanda, however, is still rooted in mystery. First mentioned in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the African nation was briefly glimpsed in Civil War's mid-credits scene, as we saw the lab where Bucky Barnes was being put back into deep freeze, as well as the jungle area outside, which boasted an impressive panther statue. It was a nice teaser, but many MCU fans are eager for the main course.
Fortunately, 2018's Black Panther movie will primarily be set in Wakanda, allowing moviegoers to see more of what the country has to offer. We're almost an exact year away from Black Panther hitting theaters, but fortunately, Doctor Strange was released on Digital HD (opens in new tab) today, and one of its many special features included concept art of different areas of Wakanda. Let's take a look.
An Impressive City
Let's start with a metropolitan setting. As longtime comic book fans know, Wakanda is the most technologically advanced city in the Marvel comics universe, and that appears to be the same case in the MCU. So it's fitting that the biggest buildings in this image have a sleeker, almost futuristic look to them. The city isn't named, but more than likely it's the Wakandan capital, Birnin Zana.
Here we have what looks like some kind of ceremonial meeting room, going of the sparse setting and collection of people gathered around that stone platform. I'm guessing that this is an area located either within the Wakandan palace or elsewhere within the capital. Following the death of his father, T'Chaka, in Captain America: Civil War, T'Challa now finds himself Wakanda's new king. Fortunately, he'll have help running things, because Forest Whitaker's Zuri and Daniel Kayuuya's W'Kabi are confirmed to be among the people assisting T'Challa with his duties.
The Wakandan Streets
We talked earlier about how the tall buildings and skyscrapers in Wakanda looked sleek and impressive, but as you move to ground level, the sights are a little more conventional. The abodes in this piece of concept art actually somewhat resemble the smaller buildings from Tatooine in the Star Wars movies. However, looking closely, you'll notice that most of these buildings have a clear screen that's spread across their roofs. I suspect those are solar panels, providing easily accessible (and presumably cheap) power to Wakanda's citizens.
Being Wakanda's king involves more than just sitting on the throne and making bureaucratic decisions. The king must also serve as the Black Panther, Wakanda's defender, which is the main reason why we the audience are invested in his life. This artwork depicts T'Challa atop a car that appears to be moving, which would line up with a report from earlier this month about the movie shooting a car chase sequence in South Korea. It looks like at some point during Black Panther, T'Challa will have to chase after an unknown adversary on foot and in a car, but he already has experience doing that in Captain America: Civil War.
Moving away from the city, we venture deep into Wakanda's wilderness. This image shows T'Challa in front of an ancient temple, and since he's there in costume, something's probably going to go down there. Even with all its technological advances, Wakanda is a country that values its history, so it looks like we'll get to explore some of its ancient roots as Black Panther either searches for something within that structure or faces an opponent there.
This moment looks like it takes place outside the same temple we just talked about, but it's still worth gazing at. The verdant background meshes nicely with Black Panther's action-ready stance. The orange smoke at the bottom is strange, but it will be interesting to see how this scene plays out when the movie is finally released. All in all, it's great to see that Black Panther will be venturing outside metropolitan settings, because Wakanda is a country that has a lot to offer in its more untamed areas.
Finally, we have an intriguing cave that streams of water that are so blue and pure-looking that it illuminates the cave. Inside are two figures, although it's hard to tell who they are. It's possible that this area may rest deep within that ancient temple, but there's no way to know for sure until seeing the movie or Marvel spills the proverbial beans in a Black Panther trailer. Also, is it just me, or towards the top right-hand corner of the artwork, does it look like there's an 'E' or 'F' etched into the wall?
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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