Black Panther

Everything you need to know about Black Panther (and friends) before Avengers: Infinity War

Contributed by
Apr 17, 2018

SYFY WIRE's Infinity War Roundup is your go-to guide for everything you need to know about Marvel's massive superhero crossover, Avengers: Infinity War. In the weeks leading up to Infinity War's April 27th premiere, SYFY WIRE will be rounding up every important character arc and plot detail you need to know from the past 10 years and 18 movies.

Today's entry will transport you to the technologically-advanced nation of Wakanda so you can spend some time with its protector and ruler -- Black Panther.

Let's take a look at the MCU lives of King T'Challa/Black Panther, Shuri, Okoye, Nakia, and Queen Ramonda.

Black Panther, T'Challa

Credit: Marvel Studios

KING T'CHALLA/THE BLACK PANTHER (CHADWICK BOSEMAN)

Following the defeat of Erik "Killmonger" Stevens (Michael B. Jordan), T'Challa--crowned king once more--realizes that he does not want to be the kind of ruler that his father was and decides to open up Wakanda (thought to be just another Third World nation) to the rest of the world. He plans for outreach centers around the globe, including one just outside the apartment building in Oakland where Erik grew up.

Appearing before the United Nations, T'Challa makes it clear that he wants the world to be closer and only fools build walls instead of bridges. In a way, he does carry out the plan set forth by his uncle Prince N'Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) and Erik, both of whom wanted Wakanda to extend a helping hand to the rest of the world, albeit in a more violent manner.

Right before Infinity War: T'Challa returns to Wakanda, settling into his role as king. Trouble arises when Thanos appears on Earth to go Infinity Stone shopping. The Wakandan king will invite all the Avengers (including Tony Stark) to his home nation to help protect it against Thanos and his Black Order cronies. According to co-director Anthony Russo, they will be protecting the Mind Stone on Vision's forehead, although there are persistent theories that Wakanda's hiding a stone of their own, which, along with vibranium, has allowed them to build such an advanced society.

Black Panther, Shuri

Credit: Marvel Studios

SHURI (LETITIA WRIGHT)

The princess of Wakanda, Shuri doesn't care for any of the traditions or royalty stuff that her brother must go through before he becomes king. She's the most brilliant scientific mind in the country and is continually creating new technology for her brother. For example, she designs new models of the Panther suits that can absorb kinetic energy, store it up, and then be re-purposed for later.

She's also put in charge of healing Bucky from his Hydra brainwashing. In the Infinity War Prelude comic book, she can be seen observing all of the Winter Soldier's most painful memories.

infinity_war_prelude_shuri.png

Marvel

She helps her brother defeat Killmonger and when T'Challa decides to create the aforementioned outreach centers, he asks her to help in the teaching of Wakandan science to outsiders.

Right before Infinity War: In the second post-credits scene of Black Panther, we find Shuri welcoming Bucky back into the world, his head finally cleared of Hydra programming. With Killmonger gone, she's back to creating more gadgets and doodads that will prove invaluable during the coming conflict against Thanos.

okoye.png

Image Credit: Black Panther/Disney

OKOYE (DANAI GURIRA)

Okoye is the head of Wakanda's secret service/special forces, more commonly known as the Dora Milaje. Composed of exclusively female warriors, they are the best fighters in the entire country and are picked from the different tribes within Wakanda. They not only protect the king of the African nation, but also serve as his ceremonial wives-in-training. They're much more awesome than the American Secret Service, as they get to wear cool uniforms of gold and red while carrying staffs and spears.

We first meet Okoye in Black Panther where she is driving T'Challa home after his time hunting Bucky Barnes in Civil War. After Killmonger takes the throne from T'Challa, Okoye, filled with conflicted emotions, ends up protecting the new king, simply fulfilling her duty as the head of the secret service. Nevertheless, she turns on Killmonger when T'Challa returns from what many considered to be his death and aids in bringing down the false king.

Right before Infinity War: Okoye will be where she always is, at her king's side, protecting him. In the TV spot titled "Chant," she gets to crack wise on T'Challa opening up Wakanda to the world, saying that having the Avengers in their borders to fight a cosmic threat was not what she had in mind. "What did you imagine?" asks the king. Without hesitation Okoye replies, "The Olympics... maybe even a Starbucks." Yeah, this movie's gonna be so great.

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Image Credit: Black Panther/Disney

NAKIA (LUPITO NYONG'O)

While working abroad on secret missions for Wakanda, Nakia (a member of the River Tribe and T'Challa's best friend and love interest) is brought home by T'Challa while she fights for women's rights in Nigeria. Serving as a sort of guide and emotional pillar for T'Challa, Nakia assuades the new king's ambivalence about taking control of Wakanda, plainly stating that he gets to decide what kind of ruler he will be.

Nakia -- trained in judo, jujitsu, silat, and Filipino martial arts -- defies Killmonger and helps T'Challa return to full strength and end the tyrannical reign of Killmonger. Afterwards, T'Challa asks Nakia to help stay and help him run the country, a heavy-handed hint that he would like to make her his queen.

Right before Infinity War: With Thanos' forces (mainly the Black Order and Outriders) at the gates, T'Challa will not want Nakia to remain in Wakanda. He'll probably try to get her to leave for a Wakandan embassy or outreach center in America, but knowing her, she'll want to remain in her homeland and aid in repelling the enemy forces.

Black Panther Ramonda

QUEEN RAMONDA (ANGELA BASSETT)

Queen-Mother Ramonda, wife of King T'Chacka, welcomes her son home after his adventures in America. While no longer technically the queen of Wakanda, Ramonda sits by her son's side as he takes up the mantle of king. She gets to sit in on the meetings with the leaders of each tribe and help decide on Wakandan policy. She becomes horrified and heartbroken when Erik seemingly kills her son, but helps lead the small delegation of herself, Nakia, Shuri, and Ross to ask the Jabari for help. Upon the fall of Killmonger, she reprises her role as Queen Mother and adviser to T'Challa.

Right before Infinity War: Nakia might insist on staying, but Ramonda is elderly and King T'Challa will not want his mother anywhere near the danger about to strike. He might send her abroad, deep within the vibranium mines, or to the refuge of the mountains where the Jabari can watch over and protect her.