Strength. Pride. Patience.
The new poster for Black Panther is accompanied by a very specific message for fans who are eager to get a glimpse of Wakanda, the secretive, advanced African nation that T’Challa calls home: The wait has paid off. It’s coming Friday.
The Marvel Studios film, starring Chadwick Boseman as the title hero and directed by Fruitvale Station and Creed filmmaker Ryan Coogler, doesn’t hit theaters until Feb. 16, but the studio announced that the trailer would debut during this evening’s match-up between the Warriors and Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
In the comics, Black Panther is particularly notable for being the historic first black superhero. And from this image, sitting on the throne of his homeland, you can see that the qualities mentioned above remain an indelible part of the character.
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So is mercy. In the movies, we last saw T’Challa providing sanctuary to a handful of refugees: Chris Evans’ Captain America and his fellow fugitive The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) among them, seeking shelter after the the events of Civil War.
Wakanda doesn’t typically welcome outsiders, and it has never been conquered, so its people have many secrets. Sometimes they have them from each other, too.
Mostly, they are united in protecting their supply of the rare Vibranium element (the same thing that makes up Cap’s indestructible red, white, and blue shield.) A meteor containing this substance crashed in their part of the world eons ago, and as humanity rose up the people of that territory learned how to harness its unique technological powers.
Panther’s armored suit is woven from the substance, allowing him not only to absorb punishment, but to compound it and push it back. As he faces treachery from those he once considered friends, allies, and even family … He’s going to need it.
And for now, anybody who needed a new inspirational cat poster has a fearsome option.