This is a guest post written by Octavius A. Newman
How many times have you seen Black Panther? Five weeks out and the World of Wakanda is still breaking records! While some have been fans of the Black Panther for years, for others Ryan Coogler’s cinematic adaptation of Marvel Comics’ first Black Superhero will be their first trip to Wakanda. Upon rewatching the movie, I picked up on a few things that I missed during my first viewing. So with that said, here are a few Black Panther insights, comic book references, and Easter eggs that you may have missed.
- Black Panther’s Premier
The Black Panther made his first comic book appearance in the pages of Fantastic Four #52 in July of 1966. That’s about 3 months before the Black Panther Party was founded on October 15th, of 1966. Marvel attempted to distance themselves from the Black Panther Party by changing the characters name to The Black Leopard. Marvel eventually reverted the character’s name back to the original title of Black Panther. Good decision on their part. Black Panther is a WAY cooler name.
- Oakland – One of the main locations in the movie other than Wakanda is Oakland. This city has more significance that just being the hometown of Erik Killmonger. The Black Panther Director, and co-writer Ryan Coogler is from Oakland. His second film “Fruitvale Station” took place in Oakland. Also, The Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland.
- The Great Mound – In the movie we learn that a “Great Mound” of Vibranium is the source of Wakanda’s wealth. But just how much is Vibranium worth? According to the comics Vibranium sells for $10,000 a gram, and there’s about 10,000 TONS of Vibranium in Wakanda. This makes Wakand the most wealthy country in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Down With The King
In Marvel Studio’s Captain America: Civil War, King T’Chaka is killed in an explosion initiated by Helmut Zemo. However, in the comic books it is Ulysses Klaue that takes King T’Chaka’s life while trying to steal Vibranium from Wakanda.
- Gold All On My Suit
The gold on King T’Chaka’s Panther Suit is also a call back to the comics. In the Black Panther run written by Christopher Priest, T’Challa’s suit has gold accents on it as well. In the comic this was made of a different kind of vibranium called anti-metal.
- “Look At The Flicka Da Wrist”
You may have noticed the beaded bracelets on the wrists of the people of Wakanda. Those aren’t just fashionable accessories. Those are Wakandan communication tech called Kimoyo beads. They made theirs first appearance in Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Brian Stelfreeze’s Black Panther run. Specifically Vol. 6, issue #1.
- Red, Black, & Green – The Casino Brawl is one of my favorite parts of this movie. The fasion and fisticufs of the scene are amazing. With all of that excellence on the screen at one time you might have missed the shout out to the Pan-African flag that was hidden right in plain sight. You can see it more clearly as Nakia, T’Challa, and Okoye are standing side-by-side looking over the balcony when they first walk in. Nakia has on a green dress, T’Challa is rocking one of the sharpest black blazers I’ve ever seen, and Okoye is wearing a red dress. If you go see Black Panther again (of course you will) keep an eye out for it.
- Killmonger – In the comics Erik Killmonger is a foe that T’Challa has faced on various occasions. Something you may not know, is that in the comics Killmonger has as a pet cheetah named Preyy. Did you happen noticed that Killmonger as played by Michael B. Jordan had a couple of gold fang-like teeth? That and the cheetah pattern on his Black Panther suit may have be a call back to Killmonger’s sidekick from the comics.
- “What Are Those???” – The Black Panther movie introduces Shuri as a technological genius, the Princess of Wakanda, and T’Challa’s little sister. We get a great glimpse into the dynamic of their relationship when Shuri makes fun of T’Challa’s sandals and introduces him to his new “sneakers”. During this scene, Shuri says that’s T’Challa’s new kicks are “fully automated” like the “Old movie Baba used to watch.” If I was a betting man, I’d put $5 on the fact that she’s talking about the self-lacing Nike’s that Marty McFly wears in Back to the Future 2. Another thing, they said there’d be hoverboards in 2015. It’s 2018, where are our hoverboards?
- Praise The Ancestors – In the movie T’Challa visits a place called the Ancestral Plane on a few different occasions. In the comics this place is called The Djalia, and it represents the collective memory of Wakanda’s past.
- Nakia – Nakia fights side by side with T’Challa and Okoye in the movie. In the comics she does plenty of fight along side and on behalf of the king. But she’s eventually takes on the name of Malice and and becomes one of T’Challa’s enemies.
- Vegetarian You Say? – There’s a great moment in the movie where M’Baku threatens to feed agent Ross to his children. In the next scene he reveals he was joking because the members of the Jabari Tribe are vegetarians. This is a bit different from the version of M’Baku found in the pages of Marvel Comics. There he goes by the (problematic) name Man-Ape and got his powers by eating the flesh of a white gorilla and bathing in its blood.
- The White Wolf of Wakanda – In the movies second after credits scene we see that Sergeant James “Bucky” Barnes is still in Wakanda after the fallout from Captain America: Civil War. During this scene a group of young children refer to him as “White Wolf”. This is a call back to a character in the Black Panther comics named Hunter, that also goes by the alias “White Wolf”. Hunter aka the White Wolf was adopted by King T’Chaka after his parents died in a plane that crashed in Wakanda.
I can’t wait to go back to Wakanda again. We may not have to wait long because, based on the trailers for Avengers: Infinity War, it seems like some parts of the movie take place in T’Challa’s kingdom. May 4th can’t get here fast enough. In the meantime, what Easter eggs did you notice that I may have missed. Are you excited to see Avengers Infinity War? What are your predictions for Black Panther 2? Leave us your comments down below.
Until next time.
Octavius A. Newman is a Designer and self proclaimed Geek Culture Philosopher. He co-hosts a weekly podcast called Comic Book Junto in which he provides Geek Culture commentary, Move/TV Reviews, and Interviews.