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BLACK PANTHER Character Posters Embrace “Wakanda Forever”

While Thor: Ragnarok is currently rocking the box office, Marvel Studios’ next film is bringing the action back to Earth in Black Panther. However, fans may find that Wakanda is just as mysterious to outsiders as Asgard. What we know is that Wakanda is the most advanced country on the planet, but the royal family’s control will be tested now that T’Challa is the new king.

The primary cast members from Black Panther have released new character posters on their respective Twitter accounts, branded with the words “Wakanda Forever.” In the first poster, Chadwick Boseman‘s T’Challa takes over his father’s role as the latest in a long line of Black Panthers.

Angela Bassett is playing T’Challa’s mother, Ramonda, in the film. In the Marvel Universe, Ramonda was T’Challa’s stepmother, with whom he shared a deep bond.

The Wakandan royal family does have a princess, but Letitia Wrigh‘s Shuri is more like the “Q” to her brother’s Bond. Shuri designs many of the high tech gadgets that T’Challa will use in the film. And if she follows the path of her comic book counterpart, Shuri may one day become the Black Panther as well.

In Wakanda, the royal family is protected by the Dora Milaje, an all-female group of elite warriors and spies. Think of them as the CIA and the Secret Service rolled up into one. And who would be better to lead that organization than The Walking Dead‘s Danai Gurira? She’ll be appearing as Okoye in this film.

In the comics, T’Challa’s history with Nakia is complicated, to put it mildly. Like Okoye, Nakia is a member of the Dora Milaje, and she is devoted to protecting T’Challa. During Christopher Priest‘s run on Black Panther, Nakia had very one-sided romantic feelings for T’Challa, which sent her down a dark path. In the film, Lupita Nyong’o will potray Nakia as a former lover of T’Challa’s, which suggests that their relationship might be more equitable in this incarnation.

T’Challa won’t face the challenges ahead alone. Daniel Kaluuya is portraying T’Challa’s best friend W’Kabi, a warrior who serves as the head of security for the Border Tribe.

Forest Whitaker will have a large presence in the film as T’Challa’s mentor, Zuri. He is also a spiritual leader and the keeper of the Heart-Shaped Herb that gives the Black Panthers their enhanced strength and agility.

Martin Freeman made his MCU debut alongside Boseman in Captain America: Civil War, where his character, Everett K. Ross, had a somewhat antagonistic relationship with the Avengers and company. In the comics, Ross was introduced as an unwitting ally to T’Challa who went on to become one of his closest friends. But there were always a lot of jokes at Ross’ expense, and that’s probably going to stay the same in the movie.

Within the Marvel Universe, Michael B. Jordan‘s Erik Killmonger is one of the few foes who can match T’Challa mentally and physically. Killmonger is an exile who attempts to overthrow T’Challa, and he may actually be able to pull off the coup.

Killmonger isn’t the only enemy that T’Challa has to worry about. Winston Duke is playing M’Baku, the leader of the Jabari tribe that is already openly protesting T’Challa’s reign. While M’Baku won’t become the villain known as Man-Ape in the movie, he’s still going to be a major thorn in T’Challa’s side.

Finally, Andy Serkis is reprising his role as Ulysses Klaue from Avengers: Age of Ultron. That film set up Klaue’s history with the people of Wakanda, and that may have given him the desire to strike back at T’Challa so early in his time as king. In the poster, Klaue teases his new artificial hand, applied to replace the one that he lost to Ultron.

Black Panther will hit theaters on February 16, 2018.

What do you think about the new character posters? Let us know in the comment section below!

 Images: Marvel Studios

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