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Iron Man 2 Had An Awesome Black Panther Easter Egg

Vibranium Has Been Building Up To Black Panther TOo

Iron Man 2 may have contained the first Easter Egg pointing to the existence of Wakanda, but it wasn't the last one. Vibranium was introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger a year later, when Steve Rogers hefted Howard Stark's prototype shield. "It's stronger than steel, and a third the weight," Stark explained of Earth's rarest metal, "It's completely vibration absorbent". At the time of the Second World War, that shield was literally all the vibranium the U.S. could acquire. An official tie-in comic, Captain America: First Vengeance, revealed that Stark's own researchers discovered vibranium in what he described as "deepest Africa".

In 2013, Marvel Television launched their first TV series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The team was initially based on "The Bus", a mobile headquarters that Coulson claimed had been popular in the '90s. Interestingly, the Bus was equipped with a single cell made of "a silicon-carbide vibranium alloy". It seems that S.H.I.E.L.D. had acquired a small amount of vibranium, possibly on the black market, and used it to construct cells to contain superhuman prisoners. Later, Nick Fury gave Coulson his "Toolbox", a compact digital storage device. The Toolbox was composed of pure vibranium, making it almost impossible to break into.

RELATED: Black Panther Character Guide

The black market theory was supported by 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, which introduced viewers to Ulysses Klaue. A notable smuggler, Klaue stole Wakandan vibranium - although at "great personal cost." He ultimately sold the last of his stock to Ultron, who had his own evil intentions for it. Ultron combined vibranium and Chitauri technology in an attempt to wipe out the entire human race.

Captain America: Civil War Finally Introduced The Black Panther

Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther in Captain America Civil War

Finally, 2016's Captain America: Civil War introduced the Black Panther himself. Speaking at the signing of the Sokovia Accords, T'Challa's father suggested that Ultron had forced Wakanda to reconsider its ways. "When stolen Wakandan vibranium was used to make a terrible weapon," T'Chaka explained, "We in Wakanda were forced to question our legacy". He argued that it was time for Wakanda to step out of the shadows, and "fight to improve the world we wish to join."

Tragically, Zemo's terrorist attack cost King T'Chaka his life. Seeking vengeance, T'Challa launched a ruthless campaign to hunt down and kill those responsible. In so doing, he revealed the Black Panther's existence to the world. While T'Challa finally had his chance to kill Zemo, he chose to relent. By now, the Black Panther had realized what Iron Man had not; that vengeance was a foolish pursuit.

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The scene has been carefully set. Marvel has subtly teased the existence of Wakanda for years - ever since Iron Man 2 - but now the secretive African nation is being brought out of the shadows. It's unlikely to be a pleasant experience, though. T'Chaka's last acts committed Wakanda to a path that contrasts its isolationist tradition. His son will find himself facing fierce opposition, while outside powers covet his nation's vibranium wealth. Black Panther won't be easy for T'Challa.

Next: All the Black Superhero Movies That Came Before Black Panther

Key Release Dates
  • Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
  • Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
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