Our ultimate ‘Black Panther’ character guide

5:15 pm EST, November 9, 2017

Marvel just released a series of incredible posters for Black Panther. You can check them all out here, as well as our accompanying character guide.

Hit pause on the Black Panther trailer for just a moment, because you need to see the character posters Marvel just released for the film. They cover almost every major player due to appear, complete with their own personal tagline — some of which provide clues for the direction their characters will be going in.

Not familiar with who each character is? We’ve split the posters up, and put together a guide, so you can prepare yourself ahead of the film.

Warning: There are mild spoilers for the Black Panther comics below.

T’Challa — Black Panther — ‘His Father’s Legacy’

We’ve already had the undeniable pleasure of meeting T’Challa, thanks to Civil War. Though we didn’t learn nearly as much as we’d have liked about him, Black Panther will seek to rectify that when it is released in 2018.

With the death of his father being one of many inciting incidents that set the course of Civil War, and the MCU at large, Black Panther will see T’Challa returning to Wakanda to take his place as its king.

Of course, ascending the throne might prove to have its complications — as several of T’Challa’s prominent adversaries are set to make an appearance. But, if anyone can handle it, we know T’Challa can, especially with his family and the Dora Milaje at his side.

N’Jadaka — Killmonger — ‘His People’s Rage’

The primary antagonist of Black Panther. Erik Killmonger — real name: N’Jadaka — is certain to be a formidable opponent for T’Challa.

Exiled with his family by T’Chaka, due to his father’s alliance with Ulysses Klaw, Killmonger dedicated his life to overthrowing the throne of Wakanda and enacting his revenge. He was repatriated by T’Challa, but ultimately betrayed him, after biding his time, waiting for the opportune moment.

It’s unlikely Killmonger’s story will follow his comic book origins to the letter, but we should expect some similar story beats.

Okoye — ‘Her Nation’s Honor’

Okoye is a member of the Dora Milaje. The Dora Milaje is made up of women from every Wakandan tribe, and they serve as the personal bodyguards of the Black Panther. These women are considered to be elite, and their appointment to the Dora Milaje is a tribal tradition. They typically only speak in the Hausa dialect, to each other and the king.

In the comics, Okoye is partnered with Nakia — so it is likely that we will see their friendship translate to the screen as well. And, though the Dora Milaje were gathered to keep the peace, they were also considered viable marriage candidates for an unmarried king.

Whilst Okoye accepted that T’Challa did not view them as potential wives, but rather platonically, the same could not be said for Nakia…

Nakia — ‘Her King’s Love’

Like Okoye, Nakia was also a part of the Dora Milaje. But, where Okoye was content with her role as bodyguard for the king, Nakia wanted to become T’Challa’s Queen. That desire turned to obsession, and she attempted (at one point) to murder T’Challa’s then-girlfriend, Monica Lynne.

With the tagline ‘Her King’s Love,’ we’ve gained our biggest clue yet as to the role Nakia might be playing in Black Panther. Because, though she ultimately wanted to be T’Challa’s Queen and partner, his rejection of her following her actions led to her exile, and she allied herself with Killmonger — under the name of Malice.

Shuri — ‘Her Brother’s Keeper’

Shuri is T’Challa’s sister, and the only biological child of T’Chaka and his third wife, Ramonda. Since she was young, Shuri has always wanted to be the first woman to become the Black Panther, though her mother is resistant to the idea.

Though T’Challa, ultimately, became the Black Panther before her, he trained her in hand-to-hand combat so she could eventually take his place when he ascended to the Wakandan throne.

Zuri — ‘His King’s Commands’

Zuri was a loyal companion of T’Chaka’s, as well as a fierce warrior. Following T’Chaka’s death, Zuri served at T’Challa’s side — offering him not only guidance, but also protection.

He was killed alongside W’Kabi, as they attempted to protect a wounded T’Challa, whilst also safeguarding Shuri as she prepared to become the new Black Panther.

W’Kabi — ‘His Nation’s Security’

Much like the tagline suggests, W’Kabi is the Wakandan chief of security. Additionally, he served as second-in-command to T’Challa.

His role was, unfortunately, short-lived, as he died alongside Zuri protecting T’Challa.

M’Baku — ‘His People’s Pride’

M’Baku is one of Wakanda’s greatest warriors, considered second only to T’Challa himself. Whilst T’Challa was on leave from his royal duties, and fighting alongside the Avengers, M’Baku attempted to usurp the throne. Yeah, that’s right, we’ve got another potential usurper.

When T’Challa returned, M’Baku challenged him. He wanted Wakanda to return to its primal roots, and outlaw the technological advancements the nation had made under T’Challa’s guidance. M’Baku did, eventually, best T’Challa in battle — however, he was buried under rubble when he attempted to topple a panther statue on top of T’Challa.

Ramonda — ‘Her Son’s Survival’

Ramonda is the former Queen of Wakanda, and T’Chaka’s third wife. She is Shuri’s biological mother, and surrogate mother to T’Challa. She won T’Chaka’s heart after his previous wife, N’Yami, died giving birth to T’Challa.

After T’Chaka died, in the comics, Ramonda disappeared. Though T’Challa believed that Ramonda had left to be with another man, it was eventually revealed that she had been abducted. She was eventually freed by T’Challa and welcomed back to Wakanda as the Queen Mother.

Everett K. Ross – ‘His Country’s Orders’

Everett Ross made a brief appearance in Civil War, and he is set to return with a slightly larger role in Black Panther.

As he is, much like his character in the comics, working for the government, we can assume that he will take a similar path in Black Panther. Everett Ross serves as an escort for foreign diplomats when they visit the United States. He eventually becomes the foremost expert on Wakanda, after working alongside T’Challa for a number of years.

Ulysses Klaw — ‘His Enemy’s Revenge’

Another familiar face for those who saw Civil War, Klaw will also be returning in Black Panther, minus a hand. And, whilst Killmonger appears to be T’Challa’s primary foe, Klaw shouldn’t be written off — especially when it concerns his potential connection to Killmonger himself.

Once again, Klaw’s tagline offers a great clue to his role. Though Killmonger, in the comics, seeks revenge against both T’Challa and Klaw, we could see a tentative alliance form as Killmonger attempts to take over Wakanda.

Because, as they say: Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

Who are you most excited to see in action in ‘Black Panther?’

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