The King of Wakanda sure knows how to make an entrance. Earlier tonight, fans were treated to a teaser trailer giving us a first look at the much-anticipated Black Panther film. We get glimpses of all the main antagonists: the potential usurper Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), the villainous “Master of Sound” Klaw in the opening (Andy Serkis), and the powerful Man-Ape (Winston Duke), seen yoking up a hapless victim. We should also note another adversary in usual ally W’Kabi, who is seen walking at Killmonger’s side (Daniel Kaluuya of Get Out fame).
On the heroes side, the ladies are well represented. We see the return of the statuesque Ayo (Florene Kasumba), who you’ll remember from Civil War when she warned Black Widow to move. This time, we see what happens when someone doesn’t get out of her way. Also on hand and ready for battle from Panther’s Dora Milaje (personal female bodyguards) are Nakia (Lupita Nyon’go) and Okoye (Danai Gurira), his gray-haired mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett), and daughter and heir to the throne Shuri (Letitia Wright), who comes to battle equipped with twin hand cannons.
In other words, we might have a game-changer on our hands concerning Marvel. Just from the teaser, this feels entirely different from all the previous films. The ideas of preserving cultural identity and fighting off exploitation look to be central themes. And unlike previous heroes, Panther is very unique in that he also has to do battle politically on the international stage.
Black Panther hits theaters on February 18.