By Gary Turner
So last time was a REAL challenge. We covered Wonder Woman. She seems to be a character with a lot of passionate fans from many walks of life, much like this week's featured iconic hero.
I also think Nillyville's heart is in a very right place wanting to say something about the missing girls in Africa. Hopefully Wonder Woman could be a very empowering image for women worldwide. I also like the idea of a home grown hero to inspire, to envision something greater.
Some consider T'Challa Marvel's version of Batman. On a surface level I could see that. But for those that know and love this character they see the man under the cowl is an entirely different person. Given MCU's genius multi-genre spanning films this one is ripe for a geopolitical thriller.
Open on a quinjet skirting clouds, Kilimanjaro rising up in the background. Inside Steve Rogers in full Cap gear is being chatted up by Tony Stark in full philanthropist attire. Tony is questioning why pull all the onboard GPS instruments. Oh, and did you notice, when he last looked on his map of Africa there was no such country as Wakanda? Steve lets him know there's a reason why they can't get vibranium just any where, and this is not his first trip there. There's an edge to Cap's voice.
Snap cuts to several shots of the quinjet settling into a very futuristic African city. Tony's eyes go wide, his jaw drops, and for once…he's speechless. He had no idea such a place existed. They're escorted through the Wakandan capitol building until they stop in front of a gray haired older former ruler, T'Chaka. He grips Cap in a double-handed wrist shake, amazed to see him again.
Both Cap & Tony are thrown for a loop though when they learn that King T'Challa is not in country. Tony is not accustomed to being stood up. The advisor looks concerned about the whole scene. Their administration was under the impression the king and his entourage were to meet with them in New York.
Cut to: New York City, night in front of the Waldorf Astoria. A limousine, with Wakandan flagstaffs mounted, arrives with police escort. It stops, and out emerges Okoye and Nakia, two stunning and powerful women, elite of the Dora Milaje. They are followed by strong, stern man in his mid thirties, King T'Challa. One of the NY locals makes a snide remark about the women. In a flash Okoye snaps an arm to strike, but is caught by the King. He reminds her that they are guests in a foreign realm. Civilized or not, they cannot expect what they're accustomed to.
They are escorted to their suite by a Frenchman, named Georges. Once inside the Frenchman introduces a woman, Tanya Sealy, who promptly clicks a remote turning on a TV. Nakia points out that they have no desire to be entertained. That's when T'Challa's blood goes cold as he sees a visage the madman Achebe smiling back at him from the TV. Seems that the neighboring kingdoms feel a new leadership is required in Wakanda. They've been to terrified to act alone. But Achebe has a plan. All they need do is isolate the King from his security.
That's when the Georges (Batroc) & Tanya (Black Mamba) attack! The Dora Milaje spring to life and combat ensues. King T'Challa begins to casually take off his jacket and we see the first glimpse of black underneath. He's not interested in the conflict. He's thoughtfully studying the psychopath on the monitor. Then a giant white furred fist bursts through the wall and grabs him by the head. It is M'Baku the Man Ape. He hurls the King out through the lavishly adorned window. As he begins to fall the remaining thirty stories to the street the Black Panther pulls on his cowl. Oh yeah…he is betrayed and pissed off.
THE PLOT UNDONE
This is Black Panther's introduction to the world. While most of the world sees the continent of African as third-world, no one realizes that hidden within its heart is a technologically advanced society built from the wisdom of T'Challa's forefathers and proper management of the largest source of vibranium on the planet.
To those familiar with "The Destroyer" series Wakanda is treated with as much fear and respect as Sinanju. Only this is a peaceful kingdom instead of a village home of a master assassin. Wakanda's surrounded on all sides by corrupted warlords that even they know better than to cross King T'Challa's borders. Only when the intelligent, charismatic madman Achebe convinces their former family friend M'Baku to work together with the warlords do they feel foolhardy enough to make their move.
Call in the Avengers!
Ah…no! The Black Panther has defended his home for countless generations. The Black Panther requires only his people. With Achebe orchestrating a coup d'état the Black Panther orders all governments to respect the sovereignty of Wakanda. Captain America knows to leave well alone.
Upon his return to Africa, for the first time, King T'Challa allows the world to see his hidden homeland. The world sees what has become of it, and what they must do. We follow not just the Panther, but his own people as he inspires them to retake their home in a way that sets an example for the rest of world.
Again, not a lot! Marvel's The Black Panther is already set up very well on its own. Granted there has been versions over the decades. But I really love how well rounded the whole premise is.
King T'Challa is not Bruce Wayne at all. The crown weighs very heavy on his head, not just for his people, but his continent, and also knowing that the rest of the world is watching. He acts for the betterment of all, not out of a quest for vengeance or straight justice.
Thankfully the property is already in good hands, far from villainous 20th Century ones.
WHO'S DONS THE COWL?
I've already voice my opinion previously. If only Marvel had started sooner launching their MCU they could have cast Djimon Hounsou. But most feel he's too far past the age to carry the series for long. So then I'll take a cue from Captain America himself! If Chris Evans can be Cap and no one complains (about his age) then I'm going to cast my ballet for Chiwetel Ejiofor.
The role requires an actor-of-actors. The man not only has the gravitas, but the Academy Award "Best Actor" to boot. He can be stern equally well as bring a big heart.
Next let's round out the cast:
Who's should we feature next? That's up to YOU. But do try to pick at least one from the list. If you do shout out five characters be sure that you say which one you'd want to see most. Plus we're always game for good ideas! What's your thoughts on how you'd like to see your favorite treated?
- Silver Surfer
- Green Lantern: John Stewart
- Ghost Rider
- She Hulk
- Cloak & Dagger
- Gen 13
- Ghost (Dark Horse)
Gary Turner, creator of d20 comic Technically Magi, spends his days languishing in the middle of the Pacific (to be specific…Hawaii). If not for his day job of television production & animation he'd be off doing something completely frivolous. Rollin' with the RPGers, and making mad sequential plots is how his nights are lost.