'Black Panther' Teaser Breakdown: The King of Wakanda Emerges...In Style

Right off the heels of DC and Warner Bros. bringing us our first (good) female-led superhero movie in Wonder Woman, Marvel and Disney have unleashed our first look at one of the comics' most dynamic African-American characters in Black Panther. With the first teaser trailer for Feburary's Black Panther reeling in fans new and old with tech-laden jungles and a brilliant cast, the first feature from Marvel Studios in the new year looks to deliver yet another compelling comic-book favorite to the big screen. With the trailer teasing much more than just the captivating setting and central heroes of the project, I'm here to break down all the secrets hidden in our long-awaited journey to Wakanda.

With the trailer beginning within the walls of a murky interrogation room, we get our first look at the return of two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's newest faces: Martin Freeman's snooty subordinate, Everett Ross, from Captain America: Civil War, and Andy Serkis' nefarious arms-dealer Ulysses Klaue from Avengers: Age of Ultron. With Klaue captured -- and brutally disarmed, no thanks to Ultron -- we find Ross questioning the smuggler's true intentions. As Klaue brings up the mystical country of Wakanda, he reveals the technologically-advanced African nation is far more than just your average third-world country. Revealing his knowledge of the nation's unique protector in the Black Panther, Klaue says he's the only one to have seen the coveted protector, and lived.

Right away, we see one of the central conflicts of the film in Serkis' Klaue. As Age of Ultron worked to establish his character as a corrupt businessman with ties to Wakanda, the film aims to expand his industrial interests beyond simply the country's most valuable resource, vibranium. With the trailer offering us not only a peek at Klaue's connection with the Black Panther, aka the now-king of Wakanda, T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), but also clues as to how the arms-dealer might escape the imprisonment we find him in, we can assume Serkis' bizarre villain plays a heavy role in the film. As we see later on in the teaser, however, factions within T'Challa's own kingdom might bring further conflict to the story.

After a few glimpses at what could be T'Challa's coronation to become king, following his father's assassination in Captain America: Civil War, we get a peek at some of the supporting characters of the film. From Lupita Nyong'o's love interest in the Wakandan special forces agent Nakia to Michael B. Jordan's intriguing turn as Wakandan exile Erik Killmonger, we can already see just how fantastic the cast of the film truly is. With others including the likes of Forrest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, and Get Out's breakout star Daniel Kaluuya rounding out the rest of the cast, the film feels very much at home with its African setting. Pulling together a dynamic range of African-American actors, the film aims to display a very centralized tale of culture and heritage within its fictional yet distinctive nation. Within a nation of such distinct culture and technological advancement, however, remains a political hierarchy that could crumple from within its ranks at the slightest conflict.

While our first peek at February's Black Panther might not have shown much, it presented fans with enough talking points to chew on for the next few months. Laying out the basic premise of the film, which finds a post-Civil War T'Challa returning to his new kingdom only to find his sovereignty tested by factions both new and old, Black Panther aims to deliver one of Marvel's most personal stories yet, set within one of their most distinctive settings in Wakanda. With Chadwick Boseman's outstanding performance as the warrior-king in Civil War already sealing up most of the hype for the 2018 film, things should be smooth-sailing for Marvel as we coast towards the new year--

--Yes, while we might have next month's Iron Man 4...err I mean Spider-Man: Homecoming and November's promising Thor: Ragnarok to look forward to from Marvel, Black Panther will surely be just as fresh and inviting as last year's Doctor Strange (with hopefully a much more memorable villain this time). Easily one of my most anticipated films from the studio, our first look at the king in action only makes me wish it were 2018 already.

With that, what is your favorite moment from the Black Panther teaser trailer? Mine was definitely that sick beat. Also, which MCU film are you most excited to see next? Tweet me and let me know in the comments below, and stay tuned as I continue this simmering summer with more movie reviews, trailer breakdowns, and more!    

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