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The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) returned with a sequel to one of its most successful and highest grossing movies, Black Panther. Black Panther: Wakanda forever officially premiered in Hollywood on 26th October, 2022. The movie also made a [historic] premiere in Lagos, Nigeria on 6th Novemeber, 2022. With the agonizing loss of the movie’s star Chadwick Boseman, many were left wondering the fate of the Black Panther franchise. What we get is a sequel that “must grapple with the challenges and expectations born and influenced by the tragic death of the Movie’s star”.

The movie unpacks torrents of narratives. It expresses grief and honours it’s fallen hero, it builds up a new lead character, introduces a new superhero and a new villain. All of these, Black Panther: Wakanda forever does in about 2 hours 41 minutes of screentime.

That said, let’s get right to it.


King T’challa (Chadwick Boseman) is dying from an undisclosed illness and Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright) tries to synthetically recreate the ‘heart-shaped’ herb which was completely destroyed by King N’Jadaka “Killmonger” (Micheal B. Jordan). Her attempts are without success and King T’challa passes.

A year later, other nations of the world begin to pressure the nation of Wakanda for its most valuable commodity, Vibranium. Unsurprisingly, Wakanda under the rule of Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) have shut their gates to the world, foisted all attempts by outsiders to assess their Vibranium reserves. Meanwhile, the CIA in collaboration with U.S Navy seals have employed the use of a vibranium detecting machine and have detected vibranium somewhere in the Atlantic ocean. Their ship however comes under attack by an unknown force who we later discover to be Talokanils from Talokan, an underwater city ruled by a superhuman with ankle wings called Namor (Tenoch Huerta).

An undetectable Namor then appears in Wakanda and confronts Queen Ramonda and Princess Shuri. He demands the delivery of the scientist inventor of the vibranium detecting machine and threatens an attack on Wakanda if they failed to turn the scientist in. Okoye, (General of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan all-female special forces played by Danai Gurira) and Princess Shuri are sent to find and capture the scientist.

The Wakandan envoys learn from CIA agent Everett Ross that the scientist is an MIT student called Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne). They retrieve the scientist but are ambushed by the FBI. While they evade the Feds, they come under attack by Talokanils who get the better of Okoye and abduct Princess Shuri and Riri.

Distraught by the loss of her daughter and only surviving family, Queen Ramonda strips Okoye of her rank as general of the Dora Milaje. She then visits Nakia (Lupita Nyongo), who had taken refuge in Haiti and conscripts her to find and rescue Princess Shuri.

While in Talokan, Namor recants the history of his people to Shuri. The Talokanils are Meso-Americans that became blue pigmented superhumans due to a struggle for survival and an inevitable resort to an ancient Mayan elixir. The ‘elixir’ is in fact made from a vibranium infused plant. Talokan is located somewhere deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico. Namor showcases the beauty of his Vibranium ladened kingdom to Shuri and proposes a partnership with the Wakandans against the nations of the surface world (every other nation without vibranium).

Nakia locates the underwater city of Talokan and rescues Princess Shuri and Riri but shoots and kills a Talokanil guard in the process. Enraged, Namor attacks Wakanda, wreaking havoc as he struck through the city. Queen Ramonda unfortunately drowns while attempting to rescue Riri. Namor vows to return with a full army to destroy Wakanda. The Wakandans are then forced to retreat into the Jabari Mountains.

Shuri eventually manages to recreate the ‘heart-shaped herb’ by utilizing remnants of a Talokan Jewelry given to her by Namor during her time in Talokan. She takes the herb and encounters N’Jadaka on the ancestral plain who urges her to revenge. As a natural consequence of ingesting the herb, she gains the super strength of the ‘Black Panther’. Princess Shuri then presents herself before her people in a remodeled Black Panther suit. The Wakandans accept her and she commands the Wakandans to prepare for a reprisal attack against the Talokanils.

The Wakandans device a plan to lure the Talokanils out of hiding and one to trap and weaken Namor. Both plans work and a full blown battle erupts between both nations. Princess Shuri manages to trap Manor in an evaporation chamber, dries him out and takes him to shore. Shuri eventually defeats Namor and gets him to yield. Both monarchs then appear to have forged an alliance and the battle ceases.


Black Panther Wakanda Forever without a doubt pales in comparison to the original film. The movie had several plot holes and discrepancies like How did the Talokanil track down Okoye and Shuri? They are painted to have little to no interactions with the outside world. How did Nakia invade, rescue and escape Talokanil? Even for a superspy, an underwater city with the vibranium advantage ought to have advanced technologies to detect invasions. How did Princess Shuri survive such a fatal impalement? Not to forget that the spear was probably made from Vibranium. If the ‘heart shaped herb’ was that potent in regeneration, why didn’t it save King T’challa. CIA agent Everett Ross claimed to be indebted to the wakandans but conveniently failed to mention to the Wakandans the United State’s Vibranium exploration activities.

The Movie also suffers poor character performance, irky stunts and above all, a distasteful jumble of so many narratives. To be fair, the commiseration of Chadwick Boseman which bookends the movie was well done and we are pretty sure it got a lot of people mushy. Other than this, there were barely enough captivating scenes. The movie was also filled with numerous tacky and unnecessary jokes. Even the tough and brutal Okoye had a sense of humor.

Also, for the Wakandan throne which was pretty much sort after in the prequel, there was barely a tussle when King T’challa and even Queen Ramonda passed. Perhaps even Mbaku (Winston Duke) was in mourning and was eventually distracted by the arrival of the Talokanils. Aha! Talokanils! There is so much to wonder about the Talokanils. How long can they last out of water? We see that following the transmutation of their ancestors, they are seen to gasp for air while on land. However, much later in time, while they wear masks, there is no evident source of oxygen for a sustained presence on land. We also pondered to the actual extent of their strength? And how they seem to have conveniently subjugated the Wakandans. More than once! Do we even bother mentioning the clash between Okoye and Attuma?

We are also quite puzzled with the number of leadership choices made by Namor. He threatens to wage war against the Wakandans if they refused to oblige his request for partnership. While the Wakandans proceed to retrieve the scientist, the Takonils attacks and foils the mission. To what end? Or perhaps he already imagined the Wakandans would be recalcitrant or he had just planned to double cross the Wakandans. He kills the most powerful monarch and rather than subduing the nation, he’d rather return at a later time to exert his power. How smart!

In addition, for a technologically advanced nation like the United States, how were they unable to follow the leads already discovered by the expedition crew. We are almost certain that expedition ships like those have high grade satellite and positioning systems tracking their location and monitoring progress.

We also noticed the upgrades and enhancements made to the Black Panther suit in both aesthetics and abilities. The addition of golden stripes (highlights) and white dotted patterns on the helmet and chest areas of the suit. The dots are similar to the battle face paint patterns drawn on Shuri’s face in the original movie.

Left to right: Old black panther suit and new black panther suit

There’s also the addition of more suits to the MCU collection like Okoye’s ‘Midnight Angel Armour’ and Riri’s ‘Ironheart’ suit.

Shuri’s replacement of Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther barely comes as a surprise. Although we already noticed a general inclination towards a female replacement, we were hopeful for Nakia or even Okoye. Although fairly decent, Shuri’s performance barely holds a candle to that of her predecessor either in performance and overall charisma. Shuri also undergoes a striking character development. From a carefree and somewhat playful princess, we see her role and responsibilities proliferate with the death of her family.

We couldn’t complete this review without a honourary mention of Angel Bassett (Queen Ramonda). She made an excellent performance as the Queen Ramonda. So easily assuming the part of a firm, fearless and ruthless (if need be) world power. Her death hurt though especially because nobody saw it coming. Atleast not us, LOL!  

Additionally, the movie leaves us with some really curious and mind boggling situations. What appears to be a queer relationship between Ayo, (The new General of the Dora Milaje and successor to Okoye played by Florence Kasumba) and Wakandan warrior Aneka (Micheala Coel).

The Revelation of King T’challa’s son and his place in the Kingdom of Wakanda. With Mbaku challenging Shuri for the throne we are left pondering the fate of Wakanda.

As a Nigerian platform, we were so proud to have Nigerian artistes like Burna Boy, Fireboy DML, Tems featured in the Movie soundtrack album. The performances were truly exceptional.

What are some other areas or things you noticed? Please share your views.

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