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Chadwick Boseman's Best Moments In The MCU

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were left stunned and devastated when news broke that Chadwick Boseman, who played King T'Challa — otherwise known as the Black Panther — passed away at the age of 43. After undergoing multiple treatments and surgeries to treat stage IV colon cancer, Boseman died with his family by his side on August 28, 2020, leaving Hollywood and his fans reeling.

In a short leading man career spanning just seven years — his first starring film role was in 2013's 42, where he played real life baseball star Jackie Robinson — Boseman gave so much to the world, including his work within the MCU. Throughout Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, which were released between 2016 and 2019, Boseman created the role of the Black Panther on the big screen, giving inspiration and hope to young children everywhere that they, too, could be superheroes. Incredibly, Boseman performed in many of these films while in treatment, which is an unbelievable testament to his passion, power, and force of will.

Losing Boseman in his prime is incredibly painful, and as fans, it seems like the most appropriate tribute is to remember the unforgettable performances left behind by this talented artist. Here are just a few of Boseman's very best moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — not an easy category to narrow down.

The car chase with Bucky in Civil War

While Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is brainwashed and programmed to kill in Captain America: Civil War, he carries out a mission too close to T'Challa's heart, setting off a bomb that ultimately kills his father, King T'Chaka of Wakanda (John Kani). Vowing revenge against Bucky, T'Challa pursues him through the streets of Bucharest, giving audiences their very first glimpse of T'Challa as the true Black Panther in action.

The chase that follows is as thrilling as it is intense, and eventually, Captain America (Chris Evans) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) join in, but none of them are able to overpower this mysterious newcomer. T'Challa later joins in during Civil War's epic fight that pits the Avengers against each other — during which he scratches Captain America's famous shield, a seemingly impossible feat — but as far as introductions go, his fast-paced chase through Budapest is a true classic.

A heartfelt talk with Natasha

Losing his father, King T'Chaka, is a tragic and formative moment in T'Challa's origin story, and in the moments after his father's death in Civil War, T'Challa is given an important emotional beat alongside Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), the Avengers' Black Widow.

When Natasha tries to comfort T'Challa, he tells her that in his culture, death is "not the end," and that when a Wakandan dies, he is brought to another plane to live among his ancestors. However, it's immediately clear that T'Challa seeks revenge; when Natasha says that the authorities will surely find Bucky, who was identified on security footage as the killer, but T'Challa simply tells her he'll do it himself, leaving her puzzled as he walks away. This moment is already poignant enough, but in the wake of Boseman's tragic and untimely passing, the Wakandan concept of the afterlife has never felt more powerful.

Visiting T'Chaka on the ancestral plane in Black Panther

At its core, Black Panther is really about family and legacy, and as the film opens, T'Challa is preparing to step into his late father's shoes and take the crown of Wakanda for himself. After he defeats rival M'Baku (Winston Duke) in ritual combat to become King, another ritual must take place, wherein T'Challa visits the ancestral plane, which we first learned about during Civil War, and sees his father, T'Chaka.

In one of Black Panther's most emotional moments, T'Challa bows to his father, who tells him to stand as a king and achieve his true destiny. Reminiscent of classics like The Lion King, T'Chaka and T'Challa share a moment in which T'Chaka makes sure he has prepared his son for his death, and T'Challa asks how he can be a great king. The answer? It'll be hard, but T'Challa is a good man, and must surround himself with people he trusts.

T'Challa returns in Black Panther

T'Challa's short rule over the small yet powerful nation of Wakanda is, unfortunately, cut short upon the arrival of Erik "Killmonger" Stevens (Michael B. Jordan), T'Challa's first cousin and the son of T'Chaka's brother. Years ago, T'Chaka killed his own brother and left Killmonger fatherless, and Killmonger seeks revenge, as well as full control of Wakanda's considerable technological resources.

After defeating T'Challa and apparently killing him to take the crown of Wakanda, Killmonger is the country's newest king, horrifying queen mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright), and spy Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o). When the three travel to the nearby Jabari camp, M'Baku reveals that they found T'Challa, and have been working to heal him ever since. Eventually, they work together to heal T'Challa, and when he crash-lands in central Wakanda to bring down his cousin, it's one of the most thrillingly heroic moments in Marvel's entire pantheon.

Black Panther's post-credits scene

Part of the central conflict running through Black Panther's central narrative is the question of whether or not Wakanda, a hyper-developed civilized nation masquerading as a country of poor, humble farmers, should share its gifts with the world. For centuries, Wakanda has lied to the rest of the world, pretending that it's nothing more than a rural African nation, but in reality, Wakanda is built on top of a seemingly unending source of vibranium, one of the world's most powerful natural resources. Thanks to vibranium, Wakandans are able to create the best weapons, medicine, and technology in the world, but they keep it to themselves, electing to remain quiet rather than help the rest of the world.

Though some high-ranking Wakandans, like Nakia, want T'Challa to reveal the secret of Wakanda and share their resources, he always demurs, saying that the world's problems are too massive for Wakanda to take on. (Killmonger is also a fierce advocate of expanding Wakanda's reach, though he approaches it... quite differently.) Ultimately, after defeating Killmonger, T'Challa realizes that Nakia — and, by extension, Killmonger — is right, and brings Wakandan technology to America for the first time. In a post-credits scene, he announces his intention to share their knowledge with the world, and when asked what a nation of "humble farmers" has to offer, T'Challa, in a subtle and excellent moment, offers up only a small smirk before the credits resume.

"Wakanda Forever"

After the events of Black Panther, T'Challa comes into his own and puts Wakanda on the map by hosting the rest of the Avengers in the lead-up to the fight against Thanos. When Black Widow, Captain America, and several others need help extracting the Mind Stone from Vision (Paul Bettany) — one of the six Infinity Stones Thanos needs to build his all-powerful Infinity Gauntlet — T'Challa and Shuri offer up their technological and medical skills. However, while Shuri carefully works on Vision, the rest of the heroes must hold off an attack from Thanos' forces on Wakandan soil.

After getting Captain America a new shield (paying him back for that scratch in Civil War), T'Challa takes his place next to M'Baku and loyal Okoye (Danai Gurira), who wonder if this is the end of Wakanda itself. Despite their fears, this is the moment when T'Challa truly becomes a king, corralling his considerable military forces to help defend Vision and the Mind Stone. As they watch Thanos' army charge towards them, T'Challa proves himself to be the leader his people deserve, shouting, "Wakanda forever!" before donning his powerful Black Panther suit and charging into the fray.

Black Panther leads the portal charge in Endgame

Despite an incredible fight, Thanos ultimately adds all six Infinity Stones to his gauntlet, and famously, at the end of Infinity War, he changes the universe with one simple snap. In that moment, half of all living beings are extinguished, and naturally, this means several heroes are "dusted" into nonbeing, each chosen at random to become one of Thanos' many, many victims.

T'Challa, along with several other superheroes, gets "dusted," leaving his Wakandan allies M'Baku and Okoye devastated. However, in Endgame, the survivors travel back through time and space to capture the Stones before Thanos can, and Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) succeeds in opening a network of portals that bring the now-revived victims together for one last stand. It makes for one of the most rousing moments in modern movie history, as just when all seems lost, Captain America looks to his left only to see T'Challa — flanked by Okoye and Shuri — arriving first, followed by the rest of the once-lost heroes, turning the tides toward good. Iron Man may eventually defeat Thanos, but Black Panther gets the best entrance by far.