Both a celebration of life and a space for exploring mourning, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever tells a largely self-contained story. Although the film is the final chapter of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, its only nod to what else might come is the inclusion of Riri Williams, aka Ironheart (Dominique Thorne), a character confirmed to star in his own upcoming film. Disney+ series. This allows Coogler to patiently explore how Wakanda and the world have changed in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. Still, sharp-eyed viewers will find a handful of references to comic book lore.
Shuri’s (Letitia Wright) new AI assistant is named Griot (and is voiced by Trevor Noah). In West African culture, a griot is an itinerant poet, musician, or storyteller who carries on oral tradition. During the 2016 Ta-Nehisi Coates race on Black PantherShuri dies and is reborn as a griot, endowed with knowledge of all of her country’s history and the supernatural ability to revive ancestors, becoming a living manifestation of the griot’s role as historian and guardian of the dead. .
Namora (Mabel Cadena) is second in command to Namor (Tenoch Huerta). She sports a feathered headdress, a reference to the simpler one she wore in her original comic book appearances. On the page, she’s Namor’s lover and cousin (not by blood!) and, oddly enough, she has the same mutant powers and winged ankles as Namor. There is the subtle suggestion of a romantic relationship between the two in wakanda forever but it is not explored in depth.
Attuma (Alex Livinalli) is Namor’s warlord, who gives Okoye (Danai Gurira) the fight of his life in a brutal spear battle. He is one of Namor’s oldest enemies in the comics and has often challenged the submariner’s right to rule. But before they became enemies, they were friends. wakanda forever positions Attuma as one of Namor’s most trusted allies, but his bloodlust is clear. One wonders how long the relationship between them will remain civil, especially if Attuma disapproves of Namor’s alliance with Wakanda.
The chyron of CNN’s first newscast starring Anderson Cooper references the memoir of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). Earlier this year, Ms. Marvel revealed that Lang had hosted a podcast called big me, little me. While the reference might seem small (pun intended), Lang opening up about his experience with the Avengers explains how audiences are aware of some key details from the Avengers films, such as Captain Marvel’s (Brie Larson) power levels. and Scarlet. Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), referenced in Wanda Vision and Ms. Marvel.
Throughout the film, Shuri can be seen working on a prototype armor for the Dora Milaje. Okoye disapproves of the design as it breaks Dora’s traditions, but she and Dora’s new addition Aneka (Michaela Coel) dress up in the prototypes anyway for the final battle against the Talokanil. The armor debuted in the first issue of Ta-Nehisi Coates Black Panther run and was designed by artist Brian Stelfreeze. In the comics, Aneka murders a chief she found abusing the women of her tribe, is relieved of her duties to the Dora, and dons the Midnight Angels armor with Ayo. The couple part ways with the Dora and form their own group of Wakanda Protector Women.
While delivering his origin story to Shuri, Namor drops the M-word, confirming that he is in fact a mutant. He is the second character to be called a mutant in the MCU, the previous one being Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) in Ms. Marvel. However, Namor’s mutation does not appear to be associated with the X gene as it is in the comics. Rather, at least according to Namor, her pointy ears, winged feet, and speed are the result of her mother ingesting the Vibranium-infused aquatic plant that transformed her people while she was pregnant.
During his last fight with Shuri, Namor lets out his famous battle cry, “Imperius Rex”. The phrase comes from a comic book appearance in 1970, 31 years after Namor’s debut. In Latin, the term translates to “Empire King”. There was never a concrete explanation for the battle cry, but Namor creator Bill Everett came up with his character’s name by spelling “Roman” backwards, and Atlantis has always been linked to Greco-Roman history. So maybe we could make the jump from there to “Imperius Rex” as a natural expression for Namor? More realistically, it probably became Namor’s battle cry because Stan Lee saw or heard it somewhere and thought it sounded good, which was the basis of many of his naming practices and slogan.
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