Welcome to Pop ‘n’ Pizza, a newsletter highlighting what’s new in pop culture and pulp fiction. This week, I’m talking about the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER. 🍕🥤
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Genre: Action-Adventure, Fantasy
Release Date: November 11, 2022
Running Time: 161 Minutes
Studio: Marvel Studios
Behind the Scenes
Directed by Ryan Coogler
Written by Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole
Cinematography by Autumn Durald Arkapaw
Music by Ludwig Göransson
In Front of the Camera
Letitia Wright as Shuri
Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia
Danai Gurira as Okoye
Winston Duke as M’Baku
Tenoch Huerta as Namor
Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda
Martin Freeman as Everett Ross
What’s It About?
“Queen Ramonda, Shuri, M'Baku, Okoye, and the Dora Milaje fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T'Challa's death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia and Everett Ross and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.” — Marvel Studios
5 Things To Know Before You Go
Co-created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Black Panther first appeared in 1966's FANTASTIC FOUR #52. The first superhero of African descent in mainstream American comics, Black Panther debuted years before early black superheroes such as the Falcon (1969), John Stewart's Green Lantern (1971), Luke Cage (1972), and Blade (1973).
BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER is the 30th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the final entry in Phase 4, following BLACK WIDOW, SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS, ETERNALS, SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS, and THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER.
Namor the Sub-Mariner made his first appearance in 1939’s MARVEL COMICS #1, the first comic book from Timely Comics, the predecessor to Marvel Comics. Created by writer-artist Bill Everett, he is considered by many to be the first antihero in comics.
In the comics, Namor is the mutant son of a human sea captain and a princess of the mythical kingdom of Atlantis. In WAKANDA FOREVER, Namor is played by Tenoch Huerta (of NARCOS: MEXICO). He is the ruler of Talokan, an underwater civilization descended from an ancient Mayan community hidden in the ocean's depths.
Riri Williams, played by Dominique Thorne in the film, was created by Brian Michael Bendis and first appeared in 2016's INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #7. A 19-year-old MIT student, Riri is a gearhead with a genius-level intellect who builds her own version of Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor, which she calls Ironheart.
WAKANDA FOREVER is a moving tribute to Chadwick Boseman and a thoughtful exploration of grief and overcoming loss, with all the scope and spectacle you’ve come to expect from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The women of Wakanda (Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Dominique Thorne, and Angela Bassett) shine, but it’s Tenoch Huerta's Namor who stands out as the MCU’s most compelling character since Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger.
Production designer Hannah Beachler and costume designer Ruth Carther, who earned Oscars for their work on BLACK PANTHER, deliver even more impressive, visually exciting designs, from the underwater city of Talokan to the massive Wakandan battleship, the Sea Leopard.
While Chadwick Boseman is deeply missed, Coogler’s latest honors his legacy and propels the characters of Wakanda and the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe forward.
Slices (Out of 5)
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I took a box of tissue with me for this one. I knew what I was in for.