Black Panther is now an Oscar-winning movie three times over, but, even before that, it was already one of the most groundbreaking and enjoyable movies in the entire MCU. The characters in Black Panther were all well-developed, distinct, and interesting, and this includes the multiple women in the film.
Most of the characters in Black Panther were pretty badass and able to hold their own as warriors and fighters, and they also broke the mold and inspired us even as they kicked some major butt. We’ve collected a list of 8 of the most important moments when the Wakandan Warriors broke the mold.
8 WHEN SHURI SHOWED THAT PROGRESS AND THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX CAN SAVE THE DAY.
Princess Shuri was definitely a fan-favorite character who will hopefully feature a lot more in future MCU films, too. Shuri is sarcastic, likable, and a genius. Her approach as a fighter was to continue to develop technology using vibranium to make the best weapons and technology in general.
There were multiple times when her tech was shown to be revolutionary, such as when she has Agent Ross fight in a jet from afar. Shuri is the perfect example of how being a good warrior isn’t all about muscle or physical skill. Sometimes, being the smartest and most inventive person around makes you one of the most important players.
7 WHEN NAKIA TAUGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF HELPING OTHERS WHO ARE DISADVANTAGED IN SOCIETY.
While Killmonger might have had some good points about how Wakanda hid in safety while other black people in the world were being oppressed, he came from a place of war. Nakia, however, also urged Wakanda to provide aid to those less safe and privileged, but she did so in a way that was not about her own power and gain.
At the beginning of Black Panther, we see that Nakia is a great spy as well as a warrior and that she uses her skills to try and help people who are being kept down in the world. Nakia is an amazing example of how people in power should use their abilities to help others.
6 WHEN M’BAKU BROKE STEREOTYPES BY BEING A VEGETARIAN.
At the start of the movie, M’Baku seems like he is going to be one of the main bad guys of the movie. While he clearly has his own concerns and ideas about who and how the King of Wakanda should be, in the end, M’Baku is a good man and a great leader. He saves T’Challa’s life and helps Shuri, Nakia, and Queen Ramonda, too.
He also comes to aid Wakanda in the fight against Killmonger. When M’Baku lets Shuri and the rest know that he and his tribe are vegetarian, he let us all know that you can be a big, strong warrior and still have a gentle side.
5 WHEN OKOYE WAS ONE OF THE BEST WARRIORS AND GENERALS IN THE MCU.
There are many female characters in the MCU, but they often don’t seem as powerful or capable as some of the male characters. Black Panther was definitely groundbreaking when it comes to showing female characters in powerful roles. One of the most memorable characters to originate from the film is Okoye, who quickly made her mark on the MCU.
As the general of the Dora Milaje, Okoye was T’Challa’s most trusted warrior and the most capable one. She is clearly extremely powerful, strong, and a great leader. Okoye never came across as one-sided, however, and clearly also cares deeply about her country and doing what is right.
4 WHEN T’CHALLA SHOWED THAT A GREAT WARRIOR COULD ALSO BE A GIANT NERD.
T’Challa is a lovable character who is a good man and a good kind. He definitely goes on a journey throughout the movie to figure out how he will take up the mantle of King of Wakanda and the Black Panther. While T’Challa is an extremely capable hero and warrior, he’s also kind of a major nerd, in an endearing way.
We see Shuri make fun of him for his dorky sandals and see Okoye and Shuri tease him for freezing in front of his ex-girlfriend, Nakia. T’Challa is a great example of how you can be a bit of a softie and still kick a lot of butt.
3 WHEN WE GOT TO SEE WOMEN TAKE THE WHEEL IN THE CAR CHASE.
The car chase scene in South Korea is definitely one of the best car chase scenes in the MCU. This scene features catchy music, great visuals, and hilarious lines. One of the best things about this scene is how it's all about the women taking the wheel.
Even Shuri gets to be a part of this scene as she drives the car from afar in Wakanda. Nakia also shows her high-speed chase skills as Okoye throws her spear with precision. Everything in this scene is fun to watch, and these women really show what they can do in a high-pressure situation.
2 WHEN OKOYE REMINDED US HOW PRIMITIVE GUNS ARE.
Okoye, played by the talented Danai Gurira, is a dynamic, powerful, and sometimes funny character. Her one-liners are often sardonic and displeased, and she clearly isn’t impressed by incompetence. She is fiercely loyal to the throne and is even willing to kill her love, W'Kabi, to protect it.
At one point, she says "Guns... So primitive!" With this line, Okoye reminds us that Wakanda is an advanced, futuristic society and that they don’t have the need for the kind of guns we use. Wakanda has much better technology and weapons than guns. Plus, Okoye doesn’t need a gun to do some major damage. All she needs is a spear.
1 1.WHEN THE DORA MILAJE WERE THE FIERCEST WARRIORS IN WAKANDA.
The Dora Milaje are the king’s guard of Wakanda, meaning they are the most well-trained, powerful, and deadly team of warriors in the entire country. It’s definitely breaking the mold that all of these warriors are women. The Dora Milaje break down gender barriers, but this is never even an issue in Wakanda.
It’s clear that Wakanda is a place where gender equality is much more apparent and women being powerful and strong isn’t questioned. The Dora Milaje quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, and showed that the women of Marvel should never be underestimated. We can’t wait to see how the women of Wakanda continue to break the mold in the future.