It's no surprise that often many elements in Marvel movies are overlooked but are actually in the work for years before we even see the final result on-screen. And a drawback to the sprawling, decade-long franchise which contains nearly 22 movies with complicated interlocking plot threads, it can be hard to keep a track of it all.
Which is why we've come here to give you a breather and list down all the things you need to keep in mind before you watch Black Panther. Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we?
1. Black Panther's power
While some get their superpowers from a radioactive spider or had a genius brain or maybe a mighty hammer to swing (not anymore though), it didn't take long before their eyes gleamed with power. But, if one is the T'Challa, King of Wakanda, according to Marvel, his "senses and physical attributes have been enhanced to superhuman levels" by a heart-shaped herb. And even though he's actually a "royal descendant of a warrior race," it has only helped him to be able to think one step ahead of his prey and incorporate a "hybrid fighting style [that] incorporates acrobatics and animal mimicry."
Wakanda takes that juxtaposition of old and new up several powerful notches, however. It’s a place framed by old-school ruling structures (chieftains, kings, warriors, etc.) but also one of the wealthiest and most technologically advanced nations in the world. Because of its access to the valuable ore Vibranium, Wakanda is a thriving country in the comic books and the movie.
3. Everett Ross
Martin Freeman's Everett Ross appeared in Captain America: Civil War as the Deputy Task Force commander of the Joint Counter-Terrorist Centre, and he answered to U.S. Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross. Black Panther lore from the comics knows that Ross has a history with T'Challa from his time at the State Department, eventually becoming one of the United States' main experts on Wakanda. Given that they met in Captain America: Civil War under stressful circumstances, Ross and T'Challa might not necessarily be friendly with one another at first in Black Panther, but hopefully, Ross will take after his comic book counterpart and prove himself to be a valuable ally to the hero in the end.
We all know that Captain America’s mighty shield is made of the stuff, but Vibranium has a surprisingly long and storied history for such a mysterious metal. The extremely valuable material is also inextricably linked with Black Panther and forms the basis of King T’Challa’s entire history, identity, and motivation. It has been the source of much conflict in the Marvel universe, and even after centuries of experimentation, it still has a great untapped potential to do even more.
5. Soul Stone
There are a couple convincing theories about how the Soul Stone appeared in Black Panther. The one that seemed most likely for most of the movie was that the Soul Stone was the orange sand within Wakanda's palace that the people use to bury their new leaders so that they may commune with their ancestors. Infinity Stones can take any form so the Soul Stone could very well be a sandy expanse. the sand also displayed the supernatural abilities of the Soul Stone by allowing T'Challa and Killmonger to enter a spirit world to speak with their dead fathers.
With Avengers: Infinity War on the horizon, we're grasping on to every thread we can find. Let us know what you think about Black Panther in the comments below!