Unlike his buddy Thor, Black Panther didn’t release any new footage online during Marvel’s Comic-Con panel. But luckily for you, we were in the room where it happens – and let’s just say this thing looks friggin’ epic.
Like, “worth standing in the Hall H line for” epic.
We were treated to both a longer clip and a trailer-style sizzle reel. The former looks, basically, like Marvel’s take on James Bond. T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) are all dressed to the nines as they enter a South Korean luxury casino that looks like something out of Skyfall.
But they’re not there for fun, they’re there on a mission. That becomes clear when we notice CIA agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) giving them the once-over. Then the trouble really begins when Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) shows up. With an entourage.
Ross and Klaue have a tense conversation on the casino floor, during which Ross hands over a briefcase (apparently full of vibranium). Klaue unzips his fly to and takes a package marked “fragile” out of his crotch area, ’cause that’s the kind of classy dude he is.)
T’Challa, Okoye, and Nakia have been watching this entire exchange, and they’re getting anxious. With good reason, too. His security detail, the Dora Milaje, wants to put an end to this transaction right now.
“No,” Black Panther says. “There are too many guns.”
He doesn’t get to make that call. The fight breaks out anyway.
And this is where Black Panther reveals itself to be everything we ever wanted. T’Challa and Nakia look badass, but Okoye becomes the star of the show the moment she unfurls a golden spear with which to defend herself. From her clutch.
At one point, she rips off her freakin’ wig to throw it at a faceless henchman. If that’s not a first in an action movie, it’s at least a rarity.
T’Challa gets to show off some of his special abilities when he leaps from the first floor to the second, where he corners Klaue. Conveniently, Klaue’s run out of bullets … but less conveniently, it turns out his prosthetic arm opens up to form a metal claw (Klaue, claw – get it?) capable of generating some kind of force field.
“You know, you look just like your old man,” smirks Klaue as he attacks T’Challa.
Some background here for the non comics fans: In the books, Klaue kills T’Chaka while trying to steal Wakanda’s vibranium, and is subsequently attacked by T’Challa, resulting in the loss of his arm. In the movies, T’Chaka dies as a result of the events in Captain America: Civil War – but it’s clear T’Chaka and Klaue still have some history.
The clips ends there, followed by an action-packed reel. We see T’Challa jumping through the air, his costume materializing on his body while he’s in motion. We see him engaged in a dramatic car chase through a South Korean city at nighttime.
Back in Wakanda, T’Challa grapples with the question of how best to rule. Ramonda (Angela Bassett) tells him “it is your time,” and he engages in some ritual combat.
But he’s still uncertain. “I want to be a great king. I should be doing more,” he says. “You get to decide what kind of king you are going to be,” responds Nakia.
Clearly, not everyone’s happy with the kind of king T’Challa’s shaping up to be. Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) confronts him in the throne room. “Must feel good,” Erik says bitterly. “Sitting here comfortably.”
T’Challa’s not taking his challenge lying down, and the reel ends with the two in hand-to-hand combat. It turns out, though, that Killmonger’s got one last trick up his sleeve. As the two drop through the air, a Black Panther-like suit materializes on Killmonger.
Well, shit. Good thing Black Panther’s got so many badass ladies on his side.
Black Panther drops into theaters February 16, 2018.