The long wait is finally over. Black Panther is now in theatres, bringing some much-needed (and long overdue) diversity to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The groundbreaking Ryan Coogler film stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda and the titular Black Panther, telling a deeply personal story will have major ramifications for the rest of the MCU. Black Panther is packed to the brim with great action and great characters (check out our review), so we’ve compiled this handy recap to help you keep everything in order.
We recommend you see the movie first, but just in case, this your official SPOILER WARNING.
These are the 15 most important reveals in Black Panther, presented in (roughly) chronological order. Read at your own discretion:
15. Wakanda is a nation in transition
T’Challa first appeared in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, where he chased Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes after the Winter Soldier was framed for the terrorist blast that killed T’Chaka (John Kani), the reigning king of Wakanda and T’Challa’s father. Black Panther opens shortly after those events, with T’Challa preparing for his coronation alongside his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) and their mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett).
The transition is a time of great uncertainty for Wakanda. T’Challa is worried about living up to his father’s legacy, while the rest of the nation is waiting to see what kind of king he is going to be, especially with regards to Wakanda’s longstanding isolationism. For centuries, the country has hidden from the rest of the world, erecting an invisible forcefield to deflect outside interest and safeguard its supply of vibranium. In the wake of Civil War, there is a growing sense that that laissez-faire approach may no longer be sustainable, becoming a theme that will resonate throughout the film.