San Diego Comic Con in 2017 may be over, but thinking through everything that was shown, the ramifications of each announcement — all us nerds will be sifting through the footage and quotes looking for revelations for months to come.
Marvel Studios rarely disappoints at SDCC and this year was no different, bringing footage from Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War and making announcements for Captain Marvel and Ant-Man and the Wasp.
But one of the best received trailers and footage was for Black Panther, which will see Chadwick Boseman returning to his Captain America: Civil War role as Prince T’Challa, now King, and the primary protector of Wakanda — The Black Panther.
Since there’s no footage for you to go and watch, we thought we’d do our best to summarize the footage for you here.
It starts off with T’Challa and two of his Dora Milaje, Nakia, played by Lupita Nyong’o, and Okoye, played by Danai Gurira, all dressed to the nines, walking through a metal detector into an underground, criminal casino in South Korea. What’s funny about them walking through the metal detector and it not going off is that we, the audience, know that they have nothing but metal all over them, but since it’s Vibranium, they know how to hide it. We also have a pretty good idea that these three are absolutely not there for libations, gambling and fun all around. This is a business trip. They start talking into their ear pieces and you immediately get that they are here on some sort of sting operation.
Okoye goes up, walking on the upper balcony, scoping out the floor from above, as both Nakia and T’Challa stick to the main floor below her, navigating the tables, their eyes open for unexpected threats as well as their target. We quickly see that Everett Ross, played by Martin Freeman, is also there and working with the Wakandans. As they scope the place out, we see Ulysses Klaue enter, followed by a large entourage of very intimidating men.
From above, Okoye urges T’Challa and Nakia to jump into action, but the other two urge caution. However, a guard notices Okoye and the sting is a bust. It is impossible to describe just how immediate Okoye jumps into action. Danai Gurira in this role is perfect casting as, after years of work on The Walking Dead as Michonne, she is certainly no stranger to fight scenes and quick action work. She reaches a hand out and a spear grows to full length in absolutely no time, allowing her to immediately knock the living crap out of two nearby guards, immediately taking them down. In fact, she rips her wig off and throws it at a dude as a weapon, knocking him off the balcony,onto the floor where T’Challa and Nakia are also both already in action.
That’s right — Okoye is SUCH a badass that even her wig is a weapon.
The fight choreography is hard to describe. It’s somehow the same thing we’ve always seen, but also completely different. It’s a fighting style that’s been perfected in Wakanda and only in Wakanda, so it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen, it’s still very human and recognizable. Klaue opens fire on Ross, who ducks behind his steel briefcase filled with diamonds. Klaue runs upstairs, but T’Challa panther-leaps a full story up onto the balcony. Klaue turns his gun on him, but he’s out of bullets.
And that’s when he reveals that this is no ordinary prosthetic arm — it’s the blaster we all associate with him from the comics. The prosthetic arm transforms, the hand folding down, revealing the cannon, which he fires directly at T’Challa. He then says, “You know, you look just like your old man.”
BOOM! T’Challa dives out of the way as the balcony and part of the floor splinter from Klaue’s blast.
From here, we go into a trailer sequence and it’s unlike any other Marvel movie we’ve seen. Much like the fight choreography, it’s immediately recognizable — we’ve all seen a Marvel movie, we’ve all seen a superhero movie, we know how this goes. And yet, this is still somehow fresh and new and the footage has us convinced this could be the absolute coolest, freshest film yet and wholly unique. It’s impossible to really fully get across what we mean here, but saying this film is a cross between the drama of The Godfather II and every James Bond film ever seems like the best possible description.
But it’s also more than that. Part way through the trailer, Kendrick Lamar’s song, DNA, kicks in and it instantly becomes one of the coolest music videos ever. Since we’re having to go completely from memory in a panel that immediately followed this footage with Infinity War footage after also coming after the Thor: Ragnarok footage, we’re doing our best to summarize it all, but there was ritual combat at Warrior Falls where T’Challa was up against Killmonger and possibly M’Baku (if we saw that correctly), T’Challa riding on a car driven by his younger sister, Shuri, played by Letitia Wright. This car later on is driving itself as Shuri leans out the window with her Panther gauntlets firing them at Klaue as they pursue him in an epic car chase. There’s a lot more fighting with Klaue, who was confirmed in the panel as the primary antagonist.
The Kendrick Lamar song kicks in after T’Challa, the Black Panther, is told by his mother, Ramonda, played by Angela Bassett, to be the ruler he believes he should be, not the one everyone else is expecting. At this, we see him in the dark, in silence, seemingly on a plane as two doors open up underneath him and he plummets through the plane down into the jungle below. DNA kicks in as he kicks the ass of every person on earth all at once (not really every person, that’d make him a villain, but it’s a lot bad dudes and it’s fast and awesome). It seems like this is on the border with his BFF W’Kabi, played by Daniel Kaluuya, as the fight seems similar to the sequence we saw in the released teaser.
But we’ve saved this last bit for last because it was our favorite.
His suit. The Black Panther suit. You thought it was badass before, but just wait. Back in South Korea, at the casino, as Black Panther jumps out the window in hot pursuit of Klaue, he’s still in his very expensive, very dapper suit. But it’s not a suit. It’s THE suit. He activates it somehow and when he does, his entire suit shimmers and reveals that he’s been wearing his bulletproof, high-tech Vibranium Black Panther suit this whole time. He pulls the helmet on. BOOM! He’s out of his suit and in full Black Panther mode within the blink of an eye. It’s amazing.
But multiply that by two, because quite possibly the best reveal of the trailer is that Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan, also has one, but his is gold, and looked like a jaguar. The two men wear their suits as they fight each other, falling off of the Warrior Falls and trading punches all the way down.
Black. Motherf****ng. Panther.
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