Editorials

Ranking the MCU: The Road to ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – #7

Black Panther is the newest of all the MCU movies leading up to Infinity War. The King of Wakanda arrived in February of 2018. The cast of Blank Panther is large and quite possibly the best cast. Chadwick Boseman was cast as T’Challa / Black Panther, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Angela Bassett as Ramona, Forest Whitaker as Zuri,  John Kani as T’Chaka, Sterling K. Brown plays N’Jobu, Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, and Michael B. Jordan as N’Jadaka / Erik “Killmonger” Stevens.

The story takes places centuries ago when five tribes were at war over a meteorite containing Vibranium. One warrior ingests a “heart-shaped herb” affected by the metal and gains superhuman abilities, becoming the first “Black Panther”. He unites all the tribes except for the Jabari tribe to form the nation of Wakanda. The Wakandans use the Lupita Nyong'o, Chadwick Boseman & Danai Gurira in Black Panther
vibranium extremely advanced technology and isolate themselves from the world and make themselves seem as if they were a poor Third World country. In 1992, King T’Chaka visit’s his brother N’Jobu in Oakland, California and is working undercover. T’Chaka accuses N’Jobu of dealing and assisting black market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue with vibranium from Wakanda. N’Jobu’s business partner Zuri, reveals he is an undercover Wakandan, who confirms N’Jobu’s involvement.

In the present day, following T’Chaka’s death in Captain America: Civil War, his son T’Challa has returned to Wakanda and his reign as King has begun. T’Challa and Okoye, the leader of the Dora Milaje, extract Nakia, T’Challa’s ex-girlfriend, from an undercover mission so she can attend his coronation ceremony with his mother Ramonda and younger sister Shuri. At the ceremony, the Jabari Tribe’s leader M’Baku challenges Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o & Florence Kasumba in Black PantherT’Challa for the crown in ritual combat. T’Challa defeats M’Baku and persuades him to yield rather than die.

In London , Klaue and Erik Stevens steal a Wakandan artifact from a museum. Back in Wakanda, W’Kabi, T’Challa’s close friend and Okoye’s lover, urges him to bring Klaue back dead or alive. T’Challa, Okoye, and Nakia decide to travel to Busan, South Korea after the find out Klaue is there selling the Wakandan artifact that he stole to CIA agent Everett K. Ross. A fight ensues where Klaue tries to flee but is caught by T’Challa, who then decides to leave him in the custody of Agent Ross. In custody, Klaue tells Agent Ross that Wakanda’s third world country image is a front and is actually technically advanced civilization. Erik breaks in and gets Klaue, but Ross is gravely injured protecting Nakia. Instead of pursing Klaue, T’Challa takes Ross to Wakanda, where their technology can save him.

T’Challa leaves Agent Ross with his sister Shuri to heal him, while he confront Zuri about N’Jobu’s past where he tells T’Challa about N’Jobu’s plan to share Wakanda’s technology with people of African descent around the world to help them conquer their oppressors. When T’Chaka went to arrest N’Jobu, he attacked Zuri forcing T’Chaka to kill him. T’Chaka ordered Zuri to lie that N’Jobu had disappeared and left behind N’Jobu’s American son, Erik, in order to maintain the lie. Erik became a U.S. black ops soldier, adopting the name “Killmonger”. We then see Killmonger kill Klaue and takes his body to Chadwick Boseman & Michael B. Jordan in Black PantherWakanda. When he gets to Wakanda he shows the tribe elders the body while revealing his heritage. Killmonger challenges T’Challa to ritual combat; after killing Zuri, he defeats T’Challa and hurls him over a waterfall, where he is presumed dead, becoming the new King. After ingesting the heart-shaped herb, Killmonger orders the rest incinerated, but Nakia extracts one last one. Killmonger, supported by W’Kabi and his army, prepares to distribute shipments of Wakandan weapons to operatives around the world.

Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda and Ross flee to the Jabari Tribe for aid. They find a comatose T’Challa, rescued by the Jabari in repayment for sparing M’Baku’s life. Healed by Nakia’s heart-shaped herb, T’Challa returns to fight Killmonger, who dons his own Black Panther suit and commands W’Kabi and his army to attack T’Challa. Shuri, Nakia, and the Dora Milaje join T’Challa, while Ross remotely pilots a jet and shoots down the planes carrying the vibranium weapons. M’Baku and the Jabari arrive to reinforce T’Challa. Confronted by Okoye, W’Kabi and his army stand down. Fighting in Wakanda’s vibranium mine, T’Challa disrupts Killmonger’s suit and stabs him. Killmonger refuses to be healed, choosing to die a free man rather than be incarcerated.

T’Challa establishes an outreach center at the building where N’Jobu died in Oakland, California, to be run by Nakia and Shuri. In a mid-credits scene, T’Challa appears before the United Nations to reveal Wakanda’s true nature to the world. In a post-credits scene, Black Panther Official PosterShuri helps Bucky Barnes with his recuperation.

Black Panther was easily one of the most highly anticipated origin superhero movies of all time and it showed at the box office. The movie has crushed every record in its path. It currently sits at #10 on the list of highest grossing films of all time, making $1.3 billion dollars and counting. The movie itself is just fantastic and you can’t say enough good things about it. Marvel brought a new level of diversity into film and showed that an all black cast can make a lot of money. Michael B. Jordan as the villain Killmonger, is arguably one of the best villains that has ever crossed the Marvel Cinematic Universe, up there with Loki, Red Skull, and the Winter Soldier. It is so hard to place movies from here on out and honestly any of the movies can be argued for a higher spot from here on.

So what do you think? What did you think of Black Panther? Where do you believe that Black Panther should be on our list? Or do you agree where it is ranked. Let us know in the comments below.

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