Marvel may have one more film to go in 2017, but anticipation is already high for next year’s Black Panther. And after the teaser took the Internet by storm earlier this year, the brand-new trailer for the MCU’s next epic is likely to be even bigger.
For months now, we’ve heard hints about what to expect in Black Panther. From footage shown at San Diego Comic-Con to the Congressional Black Caucus, it’s been clear that the teaser only scratched the surface of T’Challa’s return home after the events of Captain America: Civil War. But while the new trailer may show more footage, it’s just as impressionistic as the first look at the film. As such, every new tease comes with plenty of additional questions.
While only time and the release of the movie will truly be able to provide answers, here’s a breakdown of everything that happened in the new Black Panther trailer.
‘I Have Never Seen Anything Like This’
When Martin Freeman was cast in Captain America: Civil War, Sherlock, The Hobbit, and The Office fans everywhere were ecstatic. And while the actor certainly made his presence felt as Everett K. Ross in the film, it was a small role. Luckily, Marvel decided to reconnect the character with his roots for Black Panther.
In the comics, Ross generally factors into Black Panther stories as point man for the U.S. in Wakanda. Though his title and purpose will be a bit different in the movie, he’ll essentially be serving the same function: to serve as the audience surrogate. As Ross states in the opening narration for the trailer, he’s seen Thor, Iron Man, and the Chitauri, but they’re practical mundane compared to Wakanda. And while we’ve had a taste of the high-tech nation so far, it will be nothing like what we’ll see in the film.
The Hidden Nation
As the trailer unfolds, we see just why Wakanda is such a mysterious in the world. Not only are they an isolationist nation, staying out of world affairs, but they literally live in a protective bubble. And it doesn’t just shield them from harm, as the force field around the nation renders it invisible to the outside world. While there have always been some logistical issue with this concept in the comics, it’s still a fascinating conceit.
As the nations of the world vie for technological and military supremacy, the cradle of humanity has been harboring a people more advanced than anything we’ve ever seen before. Even Tony Stark’s genius and inventions pale in comparison to what Wakanda has achieved. With T’Chaka reaching out to the world in Captain America: Civil War, however, that period of isolation has ended and Wakanda is now on the global radar.
We also get a tease of the more ground-level world of Wakanda. Thor: The Dark World showed a bit of the non-royal side of Asgardia, but most of the focus has been on the golden halls of the city. In Black Panther, it looks as if we’ll see more of how the average person lives in Wakanda, at least for those who dwell in the city. Given that T’Challa’s enemies often come from his own disaffected people, this tease could hint at the troubles the new king will confront when he attempts to rule his people. Rather than alien threats, Black Panther will see the hero working to quell civil unrest.
M’Baku and the Mountain Clan
T’Challa will be facing a number of antagonists upon his return to Wakanda. Some will seek his crown, others his life, but they’ll all represent a threat to him and his ability to both rule and protect Wakanda. The first teaser gave us a glimpse of one of these claimants, M’Baku, as he held someone up to the cheers of his followers. Here, we get a more ominous tease of the ruler of Wakanda’s Mountain Clan.
Though an advanced nation, Wakanda still has divisions like any other country. It’s also a fascinating blend between the old and the new. Even the Black Panther straddles the line between the nation’s high-tech future and its mystical and tribal past. M’Baku, known as Man-Ape in the comics (but thankfully not in the film), believes he can better rule Wakanda and will be butting heads with T’Challa in the movie. In an early shot in the trailer, we see his rather impressive throne room high up in the mountains. There’s no telling how much he’ll factor into the story, but it’s clear he won’t be an easy foe to vanquish.
The Spirit World
There’s a number of elements from the comics that fans are hoping will appear in Black Panther, and one scene from the new trailer proves that Wakandan spirituality will factor into the film. In a scene reminiscent of American Gods, we see T’Challa in a dream-like world where a number of panthers watch him from the trees. While we don’t know the specifics of the MCU’s take on the Spirit World, T’Challa provided a hint in Captain America: Civil War.
“In my culture, death is not the end. It’s more of a stepping-off point. You reach out with both hands, and Bast and Sekhmet, they lead you into the green veld where you can run forever.”
Given the multitude of panthers in the scene, it’s not clear if they’re all deities or merely servants of Bast and Sekhmet. Generally, it’s the all-white Bast that T’Challa (and other Black Panthers) communicate with in the comics. Likely, some version of this will feature in the film. We might also glimpse the Necropolis, the sacred city of the dead that T’Challa also oversees and becomes increasingly involved with in the comics once Shuri becomes the new Black Panther. Whatever the case, the film looks to explore a fascinating new side of the MCU.
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