14 Things You Should Know Before You Go See “Black Panther,”

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The new Marvel flick is far more complex and political than its predecessors.

1. Yes, Black Panther is a Marvel superhero movie and cinematic treat — but it’s also a masterful exploration of black identity and the African diaspora.

While most of the movie is set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda, the film also addresses themes on the black American experience, Pan-Africanism, and the history of colonization.

While most of the movie is set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda, the film also addresses themes on the black American experience, Pan-Africanism, and the history of colonization.

2. You may have already seen Wakanda before…

The isolated country, hidden from the rest of the world and ruled over by King T'Challa, made a brief appearance in Captain America: Civil War.

The isolated country, hidden from the rest of the world and ruled over by King T’Challa, made a brief appearance in Captain America: Civil War.

3. And you should know that the producers drew inspiration from several African tribes to fully flesh out the costuming, characters, and cultures of Wakanda.

So much of what you'll see is based on real places and people.

So much of what you’ll see is based on real places and people.

4. The film’s soundtrack is produced by Kendrick Lamar.

Lamar was originally only supposed to lend his talents for a couple of original tracks for the film, but after director Ryan Coogler screened some of the footage for him, the rapper ended up co-producing a full soundtrack with his label, Top Dawg Entertainment.

Lamar was originally only supposed to lend his talents for a couple of original tracks for the film, but after director Ryan Coogler screened some of the footage for him, the rapper ended up co-producing a full soundtrack with his label, Top Dawg Entertainment.

5. The resulting soundtrack, Black Panther: The Album, debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart on opening weekend.

You can listen to it here.
Universal Music

6. Moreover, Black Panther also showcases and celebrates an incredible slew of strong female characters.

In an interview, the film's star Lupita Nyong’o said that the women of Wakanda were able to "realize their full potential." In large part, women are the brains and the brawn of the movie.
MarvelIn an interview, the film’s star Lupita Nyong’o said that the women of Wakanda were able to “realize their full potential.” In large part, women are the brains and the brawn of the movie.

7. Despite being a relatively “new” hero in the Marvel universe, Black Panther has existed for decades.

The character was originally featured in a The Fantastic Four comic in 1966. Later on, he got his own series.

The character was originally featured in aThe Fantastic Four comic in 1966. Later on, he got his own series.

8. And he ended up becoming a very, very important character.

In addition to being the king of Wakanda and an Avenger, the character of T'Challa plays a major role in the comics. At some point, he was part of the Illuminati (a group of heroes who make all the important decisions pertaining to the Earth) and eventually had custody over one of the Infinity Gems.
In addition to being the king of Wakanda and an Avenger, the character of T’Challa plays a major role in the comics. At some point, he was part of the Illuminati (a group of heroes who make all the important decisions pertaining to the Earth) and eventually had custody over one of the Infinity Gems.

9. The plot of the film is very much connected to the events of Captain America: Civil War.

The death of King T'Chaka plays a crucial role in both films, and a couple of characters from Civil War reappear in Black Panther.
The death of King T’Chaka plays a crucial role in both films, and a couple of characters from Civil War reappear in Black Panther.

10. And it’s also connected to Avengers: Age of Ultron.

We've already met the arms dealer Ulysses Klaue in Age of Ultron, where he was a former friend of Tony Stark.
We’ve already met the arms dealer Ulysses Klaue in Age of Ultron, where he was a former friend of Tony Stark.

11. Vibranium, a fictional metal, is extremely important to Black Panther.

You'll learn that Wakanda has an almost unlimited reserve of vibranium, the most powerful metal in the Marvel cinematic universe — and what makes Captain America's shield and Vision's synthetic body.
You’ll learn that Wakanda has an almost unlimited reserve of vibranium, the most powerful metal in the Marvel cinematic universe — and what makes Captain America’s shield and Vision’s synthetic body.

12. This isn’t the first time that someone has tried to bring Black Panther to the big screen.

In the '90s, the actor Wesley Snipes tried to make a movie about the Black Panther. Due to problems with the script, creative differences and special effect limitations, the project was never realized.
Valerie Macon / AFP / Getty ImagesIn the ’90s, the actor Wesley Snipes tried to make a movie about the Black Panther. Due to problems with the script, creative differences and special effect limitations, the project was never realized.

13. And it also isn’t the first time you’ll see Michael B. Jordan in a Marvel movie.

The actor played Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) in the reboot of the Fantastic Four. Now he gives life to the villain Killmonger.
The actor played Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) in the reboot of the Fantastic Four. Now he gives life to the villain Killmonger.

14. Finally, be sure to stay through the end of the film — Black Panther has TWO important post-credit scenes.

It's a Marvel tradition.
It’s a Marvel tradition.

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