The fictional African nation of Wakanda served as the backdrop for the latest Marvel blockbuster in Black Panther, showcasing a rich world that has some real-world ties to ours.
Black Panther got its start in the late ’60’s as a comic book character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. T’Challa, the Prince of Wakanda, assumes the mantle of the Black Panther after his father, T’Chaka, is killed by their archenemy Klaw, with T’Challa also becoming the ruler of his people in the process.
The Black Panther is modeled after the Wakadan deity Bast, and the powers of the Panther are given to the royal tribe member who consumes the heart-shaped herb of mysterious origin
Wakanda is the most technologically advanced nation in the world, and has never been conquered by foreign colonizers, which is a point of pride for Wakadans. Much this is because of the fictional alien metal, Vibranium, which landed in the East African nation via meteorite, embedding the medal and helping the country rise to prominence and dominance. The metal is stronger than steel, several times lighter, and can absorb any vibration. The shield that Marvel character Captain America uses is made of the metal.
If using an actual map, Wakanda would rest in the Ilemi Triangle region of East Africa, a section of land that has been warred over by Kenya, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. The region is essentially controlled by the Kenyan government, although tensions between the nations have existed since the early 1900s.
The beauty of Wakanda is not only the rich representation of African culture, but Black womanhood as well. King T’Challa’s royal court consists of women elders, including Queen Mother Ramonda, the widow of T’Chaka. His sister, Shuri, is considered the smartest technological wizard in the Marvel Universe, even more so than the Iron Man, Tony Stark. T’Challa is also protected by an all-woman fighting force known as the “Dora Mijale,” translated to the “Adored Ones.”
Wakanda will be featured prominently in Marvel’s next big movie, Avengers: Infinity War, this coming May.
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