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6 Things From Black Panther Prelude Comic You Need to Know

Black Panther Prelude #1 (of 2), artwork by Annapaola Martello
The Black Panther movie won't be out till next year, but anticipation is already at an all-time high. The trailers have already racked up over 8 million views and we can't wait to see the king of Wakanda in all his glory! But, before then, Marvel is quietly laying the foundation for what will be one of the most epic movies of 2018.

Many of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's (MCU) movies have an official prequel comic book. Everything in the comic is in the canon or timeline of the movies. So what's there to learn? It turns out quite a bit.

The comic is about the fictional African nation of Wakanda and it's protector known as Black Panther. T'Challa he's the generational king and spiritual leader of the secretive highly advanced nation of Wakanda. Read on to find out six things you should know from the Black Panther Prelude #1 comic book.

[Warning: May contain spoilers for Black Panther (2017) and Captain America: Civil War]

1. Wakanda's Location

Wakanda's location has been a little inconsistent in the comics. But Marvel does have a definitive location. The official description says Wakanda "is located directly in the middle of the the African nations of Narobia, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia."

While there have been few details about the exact location of Wakanda we did get a map. In Iron Man 2 there's a map behind Tony Stark and Nick Fury. It shows Wakanda's location as the source of the Vibranium in Captain America's shield.
In Captain America: Civil War we get a close-up look and it's shown to be next to Uganda inside what we know as Kenya. But that may have shifted.

In the opening of the comic there's a discussion about a disturbance in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It's also described as "near the Wakandan Border".

But Congo is on the opposite side of Uganda. So, either Wakanda is much larger than indicated or the location's moved.

2. Black Panther Was a Superhero Before Iron Man

Based on the events in Civil War everyone assumed that T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) took on the mantle of Black Panther after the death of his father T'Chaka (John Kani). But the comic rewrites that history. In the opening T'Chaka is watching a news conference about Tony Stark the "Iron Man". He then says T'Challa has taken on the mantle of the Black Panther for "merely a week". What year is this? This is where it gets murky.

Iron Man was released in 2008. But Iron Man 2 which was released in 2010 is supposed to take place six months after Stark became Iron Man. Iron Man 2 is also supposed to be happening in 2010 around the time of Thor since Coulson talks about the hammer. But all of that is contradicted in Civil War when Vision says Stark "announced himself as Iron Man eight years ago" in 2016. That puts T'Challa's first outing as Black Panther around the same time in 2008.

None of this makes sense, but the most important point is that while the Black Panther has been around for generations, T'Challa took over as the superhero before Tony Stark.

On a related note, this means that King T'Chaka was the Black Panther as an old man. If we assume T'Chaka is close to the age of 74-year-old actor John Kani then T'Chaka was still kicking butt and taking names in his 60s.

3. War Dogs

T'Chaka tells T'Challa that he got intelligence from his "War Dogs" about a hostage situation in South America. In the comics the Hatut Zeraze ("Dogs of War") was formerly the nation's version of the secret police. An assembly of Wakanda's most elite spies and assassins. They were disbanded and exiled for cruelty to the people. They become freelance mercenaries but remain loyal to Wakanda.

In Black Panther the group still operates and Nakia, played by Lupita N'yongo, is a member. "Nakia is a spy,” Lupita N’yongo told Entertainment Weekly. “She goes undercover in the rest of the world and reports back to Wakanda about what's happening. In order to stay safe they have to send people like Nakia out, called War Dogs, to stay on top of things. Wakanda needs to know about the world — but the world does not need to know about Wakanda."

4. Princess Zanda

Two of the mercenaries Black Panther is hunting down are a woman named Zanda and a man named Douglas Scott. Both have a history in the comics.

Zanda was created by Jack Kirby and first appeared in Black Panther #1 (1977). Princess Zanda is a markswoman, skilled with firearms, and has a knowledge of rare artifacts. Her data file lists her skills as a sharpshooter. She's also known as Princess Zanda because she becomes the leader of the fictional country of Narobia in the comics.

5. Razor-Fist

The other mercenary shown is Douglas Scott. In the comics he's an assassin and mercenary who becomes the super-villain called Razor-Fist. Why? Because he has two long blades instead of hands.

Razor-Fist was created by Doug Moench and Gene Day and first appears in Master of Kung Fu #105 (1981).

While he obviously has both hands in the comic they hint at his future role in the MCU. The Wakandan file lists his skills in "knife combat" and he uses a large knife to stab some guy's cell phone. Clearly he has a love of knives.

6. Vibranium Bullets

Zanda shows Scott a set of 10 bullets covered with, or made of, vibranium. Scott says they'd cost a fortune and would be impossible to get out of Wakanda. She says an "old friend" set her up with a limited supply as a bonus payment for a job she did for them.

Who could possibly have access to that much vibraium to make her the bullets? Someone who has knowledge of Wakanda and a grudge against the nation and the Black Panther. Is it Erik Killmonger? We'll have to wait and find out.

The comic is a lot of fun and worth reading. The writing by Will Pilgrim is sharp and the artwork by Annapaola Martello is distinctive and dynamic. So pick up a copy of the digital comic today from Amazon or other retailers.

Part 2 is expected to ship November 15, 2017.

About Black Panther Prelude #1 (of 2)

Writer: Pilgrim, Will
Artist: Martello, Annapaola
Summary: "Wakanda. The most technologically advanced nation in the world - and protected by the mighty BLACK PANTHER! Learn how T'CHALLA became the legendary hero of Wakanda in this ALL-NEW, NEVER-BEFORE-TOLD tale set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! See how the mantle was passed to the future king, in a time when super heroes were just emerging in the larger world, before this winter's BLACK PANTHER film hits theaters! Rated T"
On Sale: 10/18/2017


Official Synopsis: "After the events of Marvel's Captain America: Civil War, King T'Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakanadan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war."

Black Panther (2018) stars Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa / Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Daniel Kaluuya as W'Kabi, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Forest Whitaker as Zuri, Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue, Florence Kasumba as Ayo, John Kani as T'Chaka, Winston Duke as M'Baku / Man Ape, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Sterling K. Brown as N'Jobu, Isaach de Bankolé, Nabiyah Be as Tilda Johnson, Sydelle Noel as Xoliswa, and Atandwa Kani.
Directed by Ryan Coogler
Screenplay by Joe Robert Cole and Ryan Coogler
Music by Ludwig Göransson
Cinematography by Rachel Morrison
Production design by Hannah Beachler

Black Panther (2018) is scheduled to be released February 16, 2018 (United States)

Click on the link for more Black Panther movie news and hype from The Geek Twins!

What do you think of the comic? Did you learn anything new about the upcoming movie?

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  1. Having knives for hands would really make things awkward in the bathroom--and in bed. But who would win if he fought Edward Scissorhands?

    BTW, did you know Comixology has a big sale on Black Panther comics through Thursday? I'm sure they'll have another sale before the movie comes out.

    1. Oops forgot the link


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