Marvel Magic: Black Panther & Thor Casts Unite at Comic Con
The Marvel machine is producing movies at full capacity, and the pieces are finally falling into place before the culmination of the MCU in Avengers: Infinity Wars. With only two movies left before the star studded mash-up, fans are eager to see precisely what happens to set up the war with Thanos, something the studio has been teasing since the release of the first Avengers movie in 2012. During San Diego’s legendary Comic Con event last week, the casts of Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther united for the first time to promote their respective franchises.
Thor, one of the three Avengers that helped launch the super hero mega-team, has been missing in action since 2015. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor becomes aware of the importance of the Infinity Stones and leaves Earth to gain more knowledge of the powerful gems. He was missing from last years Captain America: Civil War, along with The Hulk, who also left Earth in Age of Ultron to an unknown destination. From a directorial and screen-writer standpoint, the exclusion of Marvel’s strongest heroes made sense. Civil War would have ended rather abruptly if either side had the God of Thunder or the enraged Bruce Banner at their disposal. Within the MCU though, their disappearance seems odd, so fans are ready to find out what their favorite heroes have been up to.
Thor: Ragnarok is essentially a buddy team up story that focuses on Thor and Hulk as they battle their way out of The Grandmaster’s (played by Jeff Goldblum) gladiatorial arena. Thor’s third film is a combination of two storylines from the comics, Ragnarok and World War Hulk. In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is an apocalyptic event that ends in the destruction of Asgard. World War Hulk on the other hand, is a storyline that focuses on Bruce Banner, who is shot into space by Marvel’s reiteration of The Illuminati. Bruce Banner then lives out his days on a distant planet until the planet is destroyed by the same heroes that stranded him there. He then travels back to Earth and destroys all of Earth’s mightiest heroes in a fit of rage. Fans of the series are eager to see how director Taika Waititi will adapt the two storylines into one movie. Cate Blanchett stars as Hela, the Goddess of Death, and the first female villain in the MCU. In the comics, Thanos falls in love with Death, and collects the Infinity Stones in an attempt to kill everyone in the universe and impress her. Thor: Ragnarok is gearing up to be the shortest release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, running at just 100 minutes. Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins star in Thor: Ragnorak, which premieres on November 3rd.
Personally, I’m more excited for the Black Panther movie. Directed by Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) this will be Black Panther’s first solo movie, and the second time he’s been featured on screen. Chadwick Boseman debuted as Black Panther in Captain Ameria: Civil War last year, and stole the show from the Captain himself. Based in the technologically advanced country of Wakanda, Black Panther focuses on T’Challa, a young prince who became king after his father’s assassination. When asked about the titular character Chadick Boseman stated that, “He’s returning from the events of Civil War, he’s lost his father, and he’s just learning how to become a new ruler.” Michael B. Jordan plays the villainous Erik Killmonger, who teams up with enemy Ulysses Klaue played by Andy Serkis. “I feel like Erik has his own opinions and point of view on Wakanda and how it should be ruled. He has his eyes on the throne,” stated Jordan, who is a favorite of Ryan Coogler. Dania Gurira, famous for her role as Michonne on The Walking Dead, plays T’Challa’s personal bodyguard who kicks just as much ass as her zombie slaughtering counterpart. Black Panther will be the first Marvel movie featuring a predominantly African-American cast, as well as an African-American director. Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis star in Black Panther, in theaters February 16, 2018.