Welcome, Junkies, to AFJ's Primer. What does a "Primer" mean to AFJ and its readers? It is our quick rundown of all the players involved in a current film or television series. This way you are in the know for your next Junkie discussion. For our latest Primer, we decided to give you a breakdown of all the characters and actors in Black Panther. Now there are characters who are obvious. For example, Black Panther (T'Challa) is played by Chadwick Boseman. However, when it comes to M’Baku (aka The Man-Ape), you might be asking who? Enjoy, Junkies, and we have kept it spoiler free! #AFJ4LIFE

Black Panther T'CHALLAFirst Comic Book Appearance: Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966)
First MCU Appearance: Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Actor: Chadwick Boseman
Best Known For: Jackie Robinson, 42
The Gist: This is not T’Challa’s first appearance in the MCU. However, it is his first stand-alone film. Here we will get a better sense of his character in his native land. The Avengers: Infinity War trailer also reveals that we are not done spending time in Wakanda by a long shot.

ERIK KILLMONGERFirst Comic Book Appearance: Jungle Action Vol 2 #6 (September 1973)
First MCU Appearance: Black Panther (2018)
Character also known as: Killmonger
Actor: Michael B. Jordan
Best Known For: Adonis Creed, Creed
The Gist: In the comic, Erik Killmonger is the long-time adversary of T’Challa. It appears as if Erik, in the film, will be a part of the royal house’s inner circle, but still clearly a rival to T’Challa. In the comic, he is tied to the villain Klaw (played by Andy Serkis), and we are certain this will come into play during the film. As for the actor, this makes yet another reteaming with director Ryan Coogler, the last of which was Creed.

First Comic Book Appearance: Black Panther Vol 3 #1 (November 1998)
First MCU Appearance: Black Panther (2018)
Character also known as: Malice
Actor: Lupita Nyong’o
Best Known For: Maz Kanata, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Gist: In the comics, Nakia is one of the "Adored Ones”, a palace guard who is in infatuated with T’Challa. However, she is also connected to Killmonger who resurrected her and renamed her Malice. A little much for the first Black Panther film, perhaps this is something for the sequel.

OKOYEFirst Comic Book Appearance: Black Panther Vol 3 #1 (November 1998)
First MCU Appearance: Black Panther (2018)
Actor: Danai Gurira
Best Known For: Michonne, The Walking Dead (TV Series)
The Gist: A member of the Dora Milaje, women who are in training to become the Queen of Wakanda. As for the actress, she is better known as the sword-wielding Michonne on The Walking Dead. We are thrilled to see Danai Gurira in a film of this proportions.

EVERETT K. ROSSFirst Comic Book Appearance: Ka-Zar Vol 3 #17 (September 1998)
First MCU Appearance: Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Actor: Martin Freeman
Best Known For: Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit Trilogy
The Gist: Ross is the U.S. liaison to Wakanda.  We saw just a glimpse of him in Civil War. However, we have a feeling his role is going to greatly expand in Black Panther. Secretly, we are hoping he makes it to Infinity War (so we can see him next to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)).

W'KABIFirst Comic Book Appearance: Avengers #62 (March 1969)
First MCU Appearance: Black Panther (2018)
Actor: Daniel Kaluuya
Best Known For: Chris Washington, Get Out
The Gist: The Chief of Wakandan Security doesn’t have much of a history in comics. That might not bode well for the actor playing him. Then again, death is never final in the MCU (see Agent Phil Coulson).

SHURIFirst Comic Book Appearance: Black Panther Vol 4 #2 (May 2005) and Black Panther Vol 5 #5 (August 2009) (First as Black Panther)
Character also known as: The Black Panther
First MCU Appearance: Black Panther (2018)
Actor: Letitia Wright
Best Known For: Rene, Humans (TV Series)
The Gist: Sister of T’Challa and heiress to the throne of Wakanda. In the comics, she eventually takes over the mantle of Black Panther from her brother. We doubt we shall see that happen in this film, however even Captain America (Chris Evans) has a replacement, the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), waiting in the wings for sequels.

M'BAKUFirst Comic Book Appearance: Avengers #62 (March 1969)
First MCU Appearance: Black Panther (2018)
Actor: Winston Duke
Best Known For: Dominic, Person of Interest (TV Series)
Character also known as: Man-Ape
The Gist: Second only to the Black Panther in combat, M’Baku has long been a thorn in T’Challa's side. Since as far back as 1969, Man-Ape has been trying to take T’Challa’s throne. We fully expect him to be a bad guy, if not Killmonger's right-hand man, in the film.

RAMONDAFirst Comic Book Appearance: Marvel Comics Presents #14 (March 1989)
First MCU Appearance: Black Panther (2018)
Actor: Angela Bassett
Best Known For: Stella, How Stella Got Her Groove Back
The Gist: She is the wife of T'Chaka the King (T’Challa’s father), stepmother mother to T’Challa, and mother to Princess Shuri. Played by the ageless Bassett, we expect a powerful performance by her in the film. We also find it funny that the one time Amanda Waller (in DCU’s Green Lantern, 2011) is now the Queen Mother of Wakanda in the MCU.

ZURIFirst Comic Book Appearance: Black Panther Vol 3 #1 (November 1998)
First MCU Appearance: Black Panther (2018)
Actor: Forest Whitaker
Best Known For: Saw Gerrera, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Gist: A warrior and a loyal companion/ bodyguard to T’Challa. His history in Marvel Comics is a short one. However, with Forest Whitaker playing the role, we expect him to either stick around for a few films or give us a spectacular death scene; thus giving T’Challa a score to settle.

KLAWFirst Comic Book Appearance: Fantastic Four #53 (August 1966)
First MCU Appearance: Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Actor: Andy Serkis
Best Known For: Gollum, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Gist: One of the oddest "C-list" villains in Marvel Comics has been brought to life, brilliantly, though in limited appearance, by Serkis. It will be fun to see him chew up the screen in person instead of behind a CGI mask. Yet, who knows if he will don a digital mask to resemble his orange-clad comic book counterpart.

Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, with Angela Bassett, with Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis.

The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay.

Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” hits U.S. theaters on February 16, 2018.
Black Panther

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