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Black Panther Fans Are Loving The More Relaxed Humor In Wakanda Forever

While Marvel has crafted its fair share of memorably comedic moments, there are times when the comedic tone can get out of hand. This has been a notable criticism for some of the projects within Marvel's Phase 4, with a review for "Thor: Love and Thunder" from the San Francisco Chronicle noting that, "Thor must have read all the reviews of 'Ragnarok,' because now he's not just occasionally funny. He's funny all the time — or rather, trying to be funny. But now all the comedy, absent a serious context to play off of, doesn't even warrant a wan smile." A similar emphasis on humor can be found in Marvel's Disney+ series as well with shows such as "Ms. Marvel" and "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law." The balance between effective drama and comedy is certainly a challenge, but for the MCU to be struggling with it is something that brought concern to longtime fans. 

This was especially the case for the highly anticipated sequel, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," which follows the nation of Wakanda as they battle with a powerful underwater nation following the sudden passing of the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). There was worry that it would follow in the footsteps of recent MCU offerings by overdoing it with the comedy, which would have been especially out of place for a film meant to pay respect to the late great Chadwick Boseman. Thankfully, the team behind "Wakanda Forever" were aware of the tall task that lay ahead of them. 

Riri Williams was an effortlessly funny highlight of the film

Amongst some of the most effective humor found within "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" came from scenes involving Riri Williams (Dominique Throne) who later becomes Ironheart in the film. On a Reddit thread created by u/MSSmods discussing the film, Redditor u/DoginShi commented on how funny they found the line "Oh s*** she's got an Iron Man suit!" — an exclamation made by an FBI officer when Williams reveals her Ironheart suit during her escape with Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Okoye (Danai Gurira).

Many others noted how well-executed Williams was in the film. Redditor u/MissSweetMurderer found the character a highlight, saying, "Riri had some of the most natural reactions the whole movie ... Seriously, the 'can I call my mom?' was sweet, real, and heartbreaking ... and made us remember she's just a kid." Redditor u/TheJack0fDiamonds called the humor especially believable, calling the quote, "effortlessly funny ... it's exactly what a casual MCU movie watcher would say to describe her suit anyway."

Throne, a longtime Marvel fan, was thrilled after discovering her involvement in both "Wakanda Forever" and the upcoming Disney+ series "Ironheart." In an interview with Elle, the actress expressed what she ultimately gained from being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, saying, "Of course, I've seen films that have moved me ... but being in the MCU has given me a new and far more intimate relationship with film. It excites me for what's to come."

Fans found the natural humor in Wakanda Forever refreshing

Fans found other moments of solid humor in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" outside of Riri's scenes. Redditor u/TallanoGoldDigger said that they "laughed out loud when M'Baku was punking the River Tribe rep and it was Kamaru Usman. He had a lot of lines too, they gave him some considerable screentime." As M'Baku's (Winston Duke) tribe is no longer isolated from Wakanda, the sequel allows more time for the rough-and-tough Jabari warrior to shine with plenty of scenes that are touching and comedic. Meanwhile, Redditor u/olgil75  similarly found it an improvement from some of Marvel's recent attempts at comedy, saying, "That's the type of humor that these movies need, not some of the cringier things we've seen them resort to in the past. It was a realistic and natural response, but also genuinely funny." 

The team behind "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" pulled off a grand task to get the film made, and needed some laughs as well. Nakia actress Lupita N'yongo recalled in an interview with Entertainment Weekly the times when director Ryan Coogler would playfully refer to the film as a "big movie." "He said it to pump us up when the day was getting long and arduous," the Oscar winner explained. "If you know Ryan, you know he is a very modest human being, so it would tickle us to hear him say that. We would echo it all around the set to get refocused and re-energized."