Now that 2017 is finished, we can look ahead to the 2018 movie lineup unobscured. And while it wasn't that long ago that Thor: Ragnarok hit theaters, Marvel Studios is only a month and a half away from releasing another MCU entry to the masses. Almost two years after his live action introduction in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther will shine the spotlight fully on T'Challa and Wakanda, and to help ring in the new year, Marvel dropped a new image from the upcoming movie.

Here we have Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa and Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia dressed to the nines in Black Panther. While their attire would have been perfect for a fancy New Years Eve party, within Black Panther, the reason they're so finely garbed is because they're visiting a posh casino. T'Challa and Nakia will also be joined by Danai Gurira's Okoye. Of course, if you've seen the Black Panther teaser trailer, you know that this will also be the site of some major craziness, but fortunately, all three of the Wakandan visitors can still kick ass even while wearing such nice duds. Hopefully the trio can at least enjoy a game of blackjack or craps before having to beat up assailants.

With a mid-February release date, Black Panther marks the earliest time Marvel has released a movie in a year. However, as Captain America: The Winter Soldier proved with its April 2014 release date, people will come in flocks to check out an MCU installment no matter what time of the year it is. It also helps that Black Panther was one of Captain America: Civil War's highlights, and while the character has built a sizable fanbase from his comic book and other media appearances over the last five decades, Chadwick Boseman's portrayal of the Wakandan hero has drawn even more people to that group.

Returning to Wakanda to embrace his new royal duties following the assassination of his father, T'Chaka, Black Panther will see T'Challa combating two enemies who are conspiring to destroy the Wakandan kingdom: Erik Killmonger, an exile from the African nation, and Ulysses Klaue, an arms dealer last seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Along with Nakia and Okoye, T'Challa's allies in Black Panther will include his mother, Ramonda; his sister, Shuri; Zuri, a Wakandan statesman; the Border Tribe's head of security, W'Kabi; and CIA agent Everett Ross, who was also introduced in Captain America: Civil War.

Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther slashes its way into theaters on February 16, 2018, and T'Challa will be back in action several months later for Avengers: Infinity War. Don't forget to look through our Marvel movies guide to see what else this franchise has coming up, and as for non-MCU movies, you can find release date information in our 2018 premiere guide.

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