New Black Panther character bios revealed
With Black Panther just six weeks away from release, Marvel is on a mission to kick anticipation for the superhero flick into overdrive.
The studio's most recent effort to boost hype came on Tuesday, when it unveiled new character bios for the movie's main characters. First revealed via the "Movie HQ" section of the official Toys R' Us website, the bios offer intriguing details about the citizens of Wakanda (both the good guys and the baddies), their motivations, desires, and positions in the burgeoning war.
Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa/Black Panther is up first. His short summary notes him as the "new king of Wakanda," whose determination can't be thwarted even in the face of immense grief. "T'Challa is struggling to cope with the loss of his father T'Chaka, but is determined to live up to his great legacy," says his bio. When Wakanda finds herself beset by two enemies intent on the nation's downfall, Black Panther must use his new suit and heightened strength, speed, and senses to defend Wakanda and the rest of the world."
We learn that Lupita Nyong'o's character Nakia, a powerful spy, will be a great professional asset to Black Panther–despite the two having previously had a romantic relationship. "A Wakandan spy pulled from her mission abroad by her former flame T'Challa, Nakia consistently gets involved in conflict for the good of others, adamant to use her abilities to help those in need. In the wake of King T'Chaka's death and the rise of Wakanda's new enemies, Nakia puts her skills of subterfuge and hand-to-hand combat to use in order to fight alongside Black Panther," her bio states.
Okoye, played by Danai Gurira, is another force to be reckoned with. "The head of the Dora Milaje, an all-female special forces group, Okoye is a fiercely loyal protector of Wakanda who isn't afraid to question her king, but would defend him with her life," her bio reads. "A staunch traditionalist who is as formidable with her spear as she is with her tongue, Okoye finds herself torn between her allegiance to her country and her king when T'Challa begins to challenge ancient Wakandan rules."
Black Panther's sister Shuri, portrayed by Letitia Wright, is described as follows: "Shuri is T'Challa's younger sister and the head of the Wakandan Design Group, where she designs and builds futuristic tech such as the Black Panther suit with vibranium mined from the Great Mound. She is an innovator, intelligent beyond her years, and always ready to give her big brother a hard time."
The new bios also give us more insight into the villain of Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger/Erik Stevens. "Erik Stevens was an American black-ops soldier who earned the nickname 'Killmonger' while in the field. However, after disappearing off the grid, he has reemerged with a plan that threatens to put Black Panther and all of Wakanda at risk," Killmonger's bio reads. "Using his charisma, considerable skills in combat, and surprising knowledge of Wakandan customs, Erik Killmonger is a dangerous threat to all that T'Challa holds dear."
Then we have Winston Duke's M'Baku, a quasi-enemy of Black Panther who leads a tribe that opposes traditional Wakandan values. "Armed with hardened Jabari wood armor and a battle staff, M'Baku is the formidable leader of the Jabari tribe, a group of Wakandans who have shunned the use of vibranium and removed themselves from mainstream Wakandan life," states his character bio. "In the wake of T'Chaka's death, M'Baku is faced with the choice of challenging T'Challa for the throne, or joining forces with his would-be adversary to defend Wakanda from malevolent outside forces."
Last on the list is Everett Ross, played by Martin Freeman. "A CIA agent and former liaison with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Everett Ross is reunited with T'Challa when they both find themselves after the same adversary: Ulysses Klaue," his bio explains. "A skilled tactician with advanced weapons training, Ross becomes an invaluable ally to the Black Panther."
Joining these seven stars for Black Panther are Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Florence Kasumba, Sterling K. Brown, Andy Serkis, and John Kan. The film, directed by Ryan Coogler, will open in theaters on February 16.