We are just FOUR days away from the worldwide release of Marvel’s newest (and hyped for) film Black Panther. I’ll give you a minute to get all the screams out, Milly Rock a few times and say your longest ‘YEAH BOOOOOI!’ ever…
We all know who Black Panther is, and if you don’t now is a good time to pause reading this and click on over to our Brief History of Black Panther post to get caught up. We’ve seen the other characters that are going to be in the film and not everyone has yet gone down that rabbit hole trying to find out who’s who and what’s what.
You need not worry about that now as I am here to tell you what you need to know before going into the film. Here is our Brief History series condensed to tell you about every other character in the film based on their comic book history.
I feel obligated to say that these might classify as spoilers. I haven’t seen the movie myself yet and even though films don’t always follow the comic history there is still a slight chance it can happen. So if you’re 100% not about knowing backstories because they could be spoilers for films, now is your chance to click away!
The Royal Family
Shuri is the only biological child of of T’Chaka’s second wife Ramonda therefore making her the half sister of T’Challa. On the same night that T’Challa challenged their uncle to take he role as the Black Panther, Shuri was going to as well having trained her whole life to become it. After her brother slipped into a coma, Shuri became the Black Panther. She went on to tackle many of the responsibilities until T’Challa woke up, resumed his role and Shuri became Queen. After Shuri was killed by Proxima Midnight, T’Challa hoped to be able to bring her back. Himself along with an Avenger named Manifold were able to bring her back however Shuri was not the same. She joined T’Challa with her newfound abilities and costume to help run Wakanda.
Shuri is played by Letitia Wright
There isn’t much information about Queen Mother on the internet so most of the gained knowledge will be through the film itself and comics. What I was able to find about her was that she is South African and is the second wife of T’Chaka. There was a brief time in which Ramonda was gone after T’Chaka’s death and T’Challa thought she left to be with another man however she had been kidnapped and essentially erased from the system by Anton Pretorius. During a terrorist attack she fell into a coma but woke up after the terrorist attack groups demise.
Ramonda is played by Angela Bassett
T’Chaka was the first son of Azzari the Wise and was skilled in magic. When he got older, and was able to marry he married N’Yami where they both adopted Hunter. After training Hunter to take over the throne, N’Yami became pregnant with with T’Challa. N’Yami died while giving birth to T’Challa and shortly after T’Chaka married Ramonda who gave birth to Shuri. T’Chaka’s accomplishments were defeating a young Steve Rogers win WW2 before it was retconned to be his father who did it. T’Chaka died at the hands of Klaw who killed him after he stayed back to protect his wife and children from him.
T’Chaka is played by John Kani
The Ladies of the Dora Milaje
Nakia is from the Q’Noma Valley marsh tribe and was chosen by elders to be one of the Dora Milaje. She became close friends with Okoye and despite Okoye’s warning, Nakia fell in love with T’Challa. Convinced he was in love with her she tried to kill his then girlfriend only in the end getting captured by Achebe who tortured her and left her to die. There she was found by Erik Killmonger who not only restored her back to health but enhanced her skills and gave her the ability to use a toxic herb called Jufeiro which made men turn into mindless slaves at her will. She started to go by the name Malice and tried more attempts to kill those closes to T’Challa trying to gain his love and affection. After failing, she disappeared without a trace and not much is know of her whereabouts now.
Nakia is played by Lupita Nyong’o
Sadly just like Ramonda, not much information is out there on Okoye either. What I was able to find was just that she is close to Nakia but accepted early on that T’Challa had do romantic interests in the ladies of the Dora Milaje. Okoye serves as his driver and bodyguard and when T’Challa had to go into hiding after suffering a brain aneurysm she went with him.
Okoye is played by Danai Gurira
Not much is known about W’Kabi either as it seems he was more of a side character than anything. He was fierce and loyal to T’Challa having not trusted anyone from the outside. He suspected both Monica Lynne (T’Challas girlfriend) and Everett K. Ross of being threats to T’Challa with ulterior motives. W’Kabi unfortunately dies in the comics having failed to protect T’Challa from the monster Morlun.
W’Kabi is played by Daniel Kaluuya
Zuri is a Wakandan warrior who is over 50 years old. He was a close and loyal companion of T’Chaka and served as T’Challa’s warrior and special attendant. He was the one who helped Shuri become the Black Panther. Zuri, however, died alongside W’Kabi when Morlun attacked Wakanda.
Zuri is played by Forest Whitaker
Erik Killmonger was born N’jadaka. He lived in Wakanda at the time of Ulysses Klaw’s attack that left N’jadaka’s father dead. Before leaving, Ulysses took a few Wakanda’s back the United States as slaves. However, N’jadaka ended up becoming educated earning a PhD in Engineering and an MBA. During his time in the States he grew to hate the former king T’Chaka thinking that his weakness as a king is what got his father killed. N’jadaka, now going by Erik, recognized T’Challa as the son of the man he hated and upon meeting convinced T’Challa to take him back to Wakanda telling him of his abduction and his want to return. Once he got back he set in motion everything he planned to try to overthrow the kind and take over Wakanda for himself. At some point he succeeded in becoming the Black Panther only to become comatose after ingesting the heart shaped herb which can be deadly to those not in the bloodline. Upon his resurrection he tried once again to overthrow T’Challa only to be killed by Monica Rambeau.
Erik Killmonger is played by Michael B. Jordan
M’Baku, second to T’Challa, was one of the greatest warriors in Wakanda. When T’Challa was on leave in America with the Avengers, he planned to take over the throne. Having revived and joining the White Gorilla cult, one that T’Challa outlawed, M’Baku killed, ate and bathed in the blood of a White Gorilla obtaining its strength. Upon T’Challa’s return, M’Baku (now going by Man-Ape) challenged T’Challa for the throne. Having bested him, his follow up backfired and seemingly killed him. T’Challa returned to America while M’Baku was resurrected and followed shortly after. M’Baku was beat by Captain American and outlawed by T’Challa himself. In the future, M’Baku tried to protect his people against Morlun only to be killed.
M’Baku is played by Winston Duke
There wasn’t much on the internet about Ayo (Florence Kasumba) and N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) in regards to their time with the Black Panther so I hope we learn more about them in the films or within the pages of the comic books they are shown in.
Whatever happens in the film, I know all of the characters mentioned will be given a great story. I can’t wait to see if they follow comics or not (honestly, I hope they don’t based on what I know).
I know it’s four days away but that’s still enough time to brief yourself more in depth about who’s who in the film.
Note: I know I didn’t include Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) and Ulysses Klaw (Andy Serkis). Not much exists online really about Everett and Ulysses is sort of a big enough character to gather more information on. Also, both have already been introduced in the MCU and we pretty much know who they are and what they do.
Which character(s) are you most excited to meet? Tweet us at @PBNTweets (cc: @astoldbygwen) and let’s talk about it!