Thanks to Age of Ultron, the African nation of Wakanda is now more than a blip on the map. The inclusion of Ulysses Klaw, the mark of the Panther, and of course the casting of Chadwick Boseman to portray T’Challa, are definitive signs that the Wakandan king is making his long awaited MCU debut just in time for Captain America: Civil War. Though Cap and Iron Man are slated to have a bipartisan tug of war over the Super Hero Registration Act, Black Panther presents a possible wildcard. As both the leader of a sovereign nation and a mask clad vigilante, it will be interesting to see how he changes the political climate of Civil War and future MCU films.
In the comics, T’Challa is portrayed as a warrior-king whose only true loyalty is to his people. He’s also a master strategist known for making preemptive moves in order to better serve his kingdom. It’s likely that he never firmly chooses a side, but instead plays both sides to his advantage. The Black Panther’s presence in Civil War is more than a glorified cameo, but an appearance that could change the landscape of the MCU.
Whether or not the aforementioned legislation is strictly American could determine T’Challa’s willingness to enter the fray. In Age of Ultron, we saw Sokovia decimated during the Avengers’ battle with the rogue A.I. In Thor: The Dark World we saw parts of London similarly destroyed. Let’s not forget that it was Thor’s original battle with the Destroyer in New Mexico that prompted a response from S.H.E.I.L.D. If the Registration Act is a similar response that points to superheroes being more of a global threat, then this could pose a threat to T’Challa. If the legislation is strictly American, it’s likely that his involvement could be behind the scenes to prevent a similar act from being pushed through globally. The true question and second factor is, what is the threat to Wakanda? It has been well-documented that the highly valuable alloy known as Vibranium exist solely on Wakandan soil. The Registration Act may give outside parties the cover they need to depose T’Challa from a seat of power.
T’Challa is a strong third opinion, the likes of which Thor could never truly be. With a pair of spies, a drifter, and a god, no one else presents a strong voice to oppose either Cap or Iron Man. Thor’s concern for Midgard is as a planet as whole, and the day-to-day politics mean little to him. Spies are known to change factions often. Banner, of course, has his own issues to deal with. The New Avengers don’t remedy this much either. T’Challa is a much more invested party. His intentions are never quite known to those around him, which could change the dynamic of the Avengers. He’s willing to work with the group as long as their goals align.
T’Challa is a capable warrior and leader with responsibilities outside the world of masks and capes. His skill set, political swing, and resources all make T’Challa an important part of the coming battles facing the Avengers. His allegiance could decide the outcome of the Civil War, and ultimately the future of the Avengers heading into the Infinity Wars.
How do you think the Black Panther will play into the future of the MCU? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!