Wakanda Back Again


Maroon Staff

The sequel of Marvel’s Black Panther was released November 11, 2022.

Elliot Eisenberg

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film to hit theaters. The film generated over $330 million during the opening weekend as fans all over rushed to see what their favorite fictional country was up to. In 2020, the world was heartbroken to hear about the passing of Chadwick Boseman after his battle with colon cancer. Quickly, the question arose as to who would next carry the mantle of the Black Panther. Not only would director Ryan Coogler need to make a movie that would live up to the success of the first one, but he would also have to introduce a new Wakandan hero. Wakanda Forever is a movie that tackles grief while providing plenty of action, a likable antagonist, and a compelling plot line. 


The film immediately opens with T’Challa dying and Shuri frantically trying to save him with her technology. Shuri is unsuccessful and T’Challa dies, leaving behind a devastated family. From that point forward grief plays a major part in the film. And because the loss of Boseman mirrors the character’s experience of losing T’Challa, the raw emotion displayed by the actors is felt even more prominently. The most affected person is Shuri who goes through depression and significant anger, working secludedly in her lab. The surprise appearance of Killmonger is a turning point for Shuri. The confrontation not only helps her out of her grief but pushes her on the way to becoming a Black Panther the audience will love.

An area that Coogler is no stranger to is the creation of likable “villains.” Played by Tenoch Huerta, Namor has automatically become a favorite Marvel nemesis and is someone that viewers sympathize with. His backstory of colonizers destroying the home of his people makes the viewers feel for him. Additionally, he puts hard work into protecting and caring for the beautiful nation he’s created underwater. His substantial comic book appearances mean there will be many opportunities to see this character in the future.

Not only was the film itself executed excellently, but it introduced many new faces and ideas that will have a large role in upcoming MCU projects. While the majority of the characters were grief-stricken due to the loss of their king and protector, the introduction of Riri Williams provided a character who was unburdened with T’Challa’s passing. Full of energy, brains, and a good sense of humor, William’s debut was nothing short of enjoyable, making fans eager to watch her future series Ironheart. Setting up Thunderbolts and possibly Captain America: New World Order, including Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Everett Ross’s ex-wife), was exciting for the hardcore fans. While some thought her appearance cluttered up the movie, her ties to the future are important and brought to the screen what had been missing for a while: an interconnected Marvel film. Finally, the appearance of T’Challa and Nakia’s son in the mid-credits scene means many more Wakandan stories to tell. Whether he becomes a Young Avenger or the new Black Panther, he’s sure to have an impact on the rest of the MCU.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever definitely lives up to and beyond viewers’ expectations. Despite some weak Marvel entries, Wakanda Forever has reinstated my love for the MCU as a whole. This film is a perfect tribute to the great Chadwick Boseman. Between the bittersweet ending, stunning underwater visuals, and the oscar-worthy acting from each cast member, the movie was a solid 8.5/10. The tears wept in my theater only further prove how much applause is necessary to celebrate this fantastic film.