The ‘Black Panther’ Trailer Has Deep Roots In Marvel History

In case you missed it, the Black Panther trailer has arrived. And, with it, we’ve seen a lot of interesting tidbits about the movie and how it’s put together. From shelved villains to shout-outs to the comics, here’s what the trailer tells us about what’s happening.

It’s All About Killmonger

Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger is practically the star of the trailer. In fact, he’s the first person we see, surrounded by elephant tusks. And he appears to be sticking to classic Marvel. Killmonger, in the comics, is an exiled Wakandan bitter over his treatment who attempts to overthrow T’Challa and nearly succeeds. And, as you can see from his fancy gold outfit, he succeeds, at least temporarily. Killmonger appears to be driving the show, which is especially interesting since Avengers: Age Of Ultron talked up Ulysses Klaw and his love of vibranium. But Andy Serkis’ Klaw seems to be just a henchman in it for the conflict minerals, although he does get to show off his signature wrist-mounted sound cannon:

Wakanda Is Its Own Society

One of the central conceits of Black Panther as a hero is that he’s king of an isolated African society with technology decades, or even centuries, ahead of our own. Recent writers, most notably Ta-Neisi Coates, have depicted Wakanda as less utopian than simply different, for better and worse, a culture that evolved completely separate from the contact with the West and untouched by the ensuing wars, slavery, and political interference. It looks like the movie draws heavily on Coates’ and Brian Stelfreeze’s view of Wakanda in particular. Right down to draining the waterfalls for ceremonies:

The king’s guard being entirely women:

And the fact that society tends to stratify, like it or not:

And, hey, his ceremonial palace is pretty neat.

The Film Will Touch On The Spiritual Aspects Of Wakanda

It appears, if the above snippet is any indication, that we’ll see the spiritual aspect of Black Panther as well. The Black Panther moniker is a ceremonial title that extends back across centuries of Wakanadan regents, and this appears to be a form of the spiritual plane where T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) can commune with past kings and ask for advice. We’ll be curious to see how this is woven into the movie, especially since Killmonger can burst into it himself once he’s Black Panther.

And, Of Course, Black Panther Will Kick Ass

While this may have a unique design unlike anything we’ve seen from Hollywood while abiding by the spirit of the comics, this is still a superhero movie, and T’Challa is still going to beat up some jerks. Part of being Black Panther is getting hands-on with people who try to mess up your kingdom, as this tracking shot shows us as T’Challa drops from his personal jet to hand-bomb a bunch of trucks:

The action scenes simply look amazing, here, like the bit where he hops over a building and rips the tire off a car:

February 16th seems like a long ways away. Until then, we’ll just have to watch that tire GIF again and again.