The wait is nearly over. After being announced in late 2014 and Chadwick Boseman debuting as the hero in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther is now just a little over two weeks away from hitting theaters. The movie is a big deal for a number of reasons, from being the MCU's first black superhero-led movie to giving us our first full look at the technologically-advanced nation of Wakanda to being the final MCU movie before Avengers: Infinity War arrives. After decades of T'Challa being an important Marvel player in the comics, TV shows and video games, now he finally gets to shine in his own movie.
Over the last couple years, Marvel has done a good job of slowly providing Black Panther details through reports, photos and previews, but even with everything we've learned, there are still a few questions about the plot on our minds. It won't be much longer until the answers are provided, but in the meantime, here are the Black Panther mysteries we're still wondering about, starting with how one of the key supporting characters fits into the story.
What's M'Baku's Role In The Story?
For years, M'Baku has battled Black Panther in the comics as Man-Ape, and that conflict will carry over somewhat to the Black Panther movie. However, the Man-Ape moniker has been set aside due to its "offensive" implications, and M'Baku's status as leader of the Jabari, the Wakandan tribe that prays to the gorilla gods, has been emphasized. So far our only good look at M'Baku in Black Panther is when he's holding up a Wakandan not of his tribe and yelling fiercely. Despite being a Black Panther villain in the comics and clearly not the world's biggest T'Challa fan in the MCU, M'Baku hasn't been identified as one of the movie's main antagonists alongside Erik Killmonger and Ulysses Klaue. We know he and his people have issues with how the Wakandan kingdom is run, but it remains to be seen how M'Baku actually becomes involved in the story. Given that M'Baku is confirmed to appear in Avengers: Infinity War, that rules out him being killed in Black Panther, so I suspect that during the latter half of the latter movie, M'Baku and T'Challa will strike up an uneasy alliance to stop Killmonger and Klaue. It will be an "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" kind of situation.
How Does Sterling K. Brown's Character Fit Into The Story?
Around this time last year, This is Us star Sterling K. Brown was added to the Black Panther cast as N'Jobu, who was only described as a figure from T'Challa's past. Since then, however, there hasn't been much mention of Brown's participation in the movie, and we haven't seen him in any of the Black Panther marketing. It's reasonable to assume that Brown might not have nearly as much screen time as the main cast members, but we're still intrigued by how his character will fit into the proceedings. N'Jobu isn't a character from the comics, so we can't turn to printed page stories for clues about him. Will he be one of T'Challa's allies or have an adversarial relationship with him? We also shouldn't discount that N'Jobu won't even appear in the present day storyline, and instead only show up in flashbacks. If that's the case, then maybe has has a connection with T'Challa's late father, King T'Chaka.
Will We See The Last Infinity Stone?
Five Infinity Stones have been seen in the MCU so far, leaving just one left to be officially introduced: the Soul Stone, a.k.a. the orange one. For a long time it was speculated that the Soul Stone might show up in Thor: Ragnarok, but that movie has come and gone, and the only Infinity Stone that appeared there was the Space Stone. So officially, the location of the Soul Stone remains a mystery, but ever since the first Avengers: Infinity War trailer showed T'Challa, some of his fellow superheroes and Wakandan warriors battling Thanos' forces within Wakanda, the prevailing theory is that the Soul Stone has been in the African nation this whole time. A Japanese Black Panther trailer strongly implied this last month, and it wouldn't be the first Infinity Stone to be hidden on Earth. However, even if the Soul Stone is in Wakanda, we have no idea if it will be seen or if it will be saved for Infinity War. If it's the first option, that would make one hell of a mid/post-credits scene.
Why Does Klaue Have A Personal Vendetta Against T'Challa?
Like his comic book counterpart, Ulysses Klaue is one of the greatest threats to Wakanda. As Andy Serkis' iteration of the character bragged, he's the only outsider to make it in and out of Wakanda alive, and he's obsessed with obtaining as much vibranium as possible. However, unlike the original Klaw, Klaue isn't the one who killed T'Challa's father in the MCU. Helmut Zemo was responsible for that murder, and it happened when T'Challa was an adult rather than a child, which is when Klaw did the deed in the comics. So when it's mentioned that Klaue is motivated by a "personal vendetta" against T'Challa in Black Panther, we can't help but wonder what's going on there. We already know that Klaue wants to expose what he perceives to be Wakanda's hypocrisy, but what does he specifically have against T'Challa? My guess is that the then-Wakandan prince was the one who branded Klaue as a thief when the arms dealer snuck into Wakanda the first time.
Where Did Erik Killmonger Get His Black Panther Suit?
When it was announced that Michael B. Jordan would play Erik Killmonger in Black Panther, many Marvel fans expected that this would mean that T'Challa would come to blows with the antagonist. After all, in the comics Killmonger is a skilled warrior. However, the Black Panther trailer in October showed that only does Jordan's Killmonger retain his comic book counterpart's fighting skills, but he has also obtained his own Black Panther suit. It follows the MCU trend of having the main villain being a twisted and evil doppelgänger of the hero, though early reactions to Black Panther indicate that Jordan's Killmonger is one of the movie's highlights. Regardless, given that Killmonger has been exiled from Wakanda for years, it begs the question of where he obtained his own state-of-the-art feline costume. Vibranium and this kind of technology aren't readily available outside of Wakanda, so I suspect that Killmonger will steal one of these suits after he's made it into Wakanda during the movie, as opposed to sneaking it in beforehand.
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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