Today, Marvel released a video to celebrate the movies and the impact they’ve had on us.
Set to narration from the late and forever great Stan Lee, the video shows us clips from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, building up to that iconic on your left like from Sam Wilson in Avengers: Endgame. Here, an exhausted Captain America did as he was told and saw T’Challa, Shuri, and Okoye arriving on the scene with a literal army of heroes. What’s neat is that this part of the video is from the perspective of the audience, and while I can’t guarantee the theater footage is from MY theater, I can tell you that we ALL cheered up to that “Avengers assemble” line.
After that, we get clips from upcoming releases, leading to a collection of what’s planned for 2022 and beyond, in order of release, including the title to the Captain Marvel sequel (The Marvels) and the Black Panther sequel (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever).
Full disclosure: before I saw this video, I saw that Wakanda Forever was trending. While I was right to assume that it meant some news was released about the sequel, I didn’t realize it was the actual title of the sequel.
I also didn’t think the title would hit me as hard as it did.
It’s no understatement to say that the passing of Chadwick Boseman is one that’s still felt by the Black community today. T’Challa is just one of the many heroes he’s embodied, but there’s something truly special about his time as Black Panther. I still remember seeing the school bus of children unloading at my local movie theater to see the movie. I still remember seeing Black cosplayers show up, in full costume, and I still remember seeing my mother’s face when the movie showed the beauty of Wakanda onscreen.
And don’t get me started on how many times my Black nerd circles used “Wakanda forever” as a sign of acknowledgment at a convention.
Chadwick meant a lot to us, and Ryan Coogler has managed to capture our feelings with just two words: Wakanda Forever.
A couple of days before the title reveal, Lupita Nyong’o spoke about the reshaping of the sequel via an interview with Yahoo! Movies:
People will ask me, ‘Are you excited to go back?’ Excitement isn’t the word. I feel like I’m in a very pensive and meditative state when it comes to ‘Black Panther 2.’ His passing is still extremely raw for me. And I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to step on set and not have him there.
But at the same time we have a leader in Ryan, who feels very much like we do, who feels the loss in a very, very real way as well. And his idea, the way which he has reshaped the second movie is so respectful of the loss we’ve all experienced as a cast and as a world. So it feels spiritually and emotionally correct to do this. And hopefully, what I do look forward to, is getting back together and honoring what he started with us and holding his light through it. Because he left us a lot of light that we’re still going to be bathing in. I know that for sure.
The title is also fitting because I imagine the sequel’s gonna be a followup to the events of Avengers: Endgame. That seems to be the theme of all the Marvel titles we’ve been getting. Spider-Man: Far From Home showed us Peter’s feelings in regards to Tony’s sacrifice, and the Disney+ television series (WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) have explored what the world’s been like post-blip.
I’ve been wanting to see how Wakanda’s been coping for quite some time. After all, that is where the Avengers took on Thanos and lost. I’ve always felt it was cruelly ironic that when T’Challa decided to open Wakanda to the rest of the world, Wakanda was turned into a warzone, one that led to T’Challa, Shuri, and (I’m assuming) countless others disappearing. We haven’t gotten to see how they’ve been faring for those five years. Instead, we see them joining the Avengers to finish the fight.
But what’s been going on before the Avengers assembled?
What’s going on right now?
I imagine Wakanda’s been trying to rebuild, and sadly, so have those who were close to Chadwick.
I honestly can’t think of a better title for the upcoming sequel.
(featured image: Marvel)
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