Black Panther, the MCU's First Diplomat, "Has a Lot to Learn"

Marvel Entertainment, USA Today

A new deleted scene from the upcoming Captain America: Civil War home release shows off an intense moment of political gamesmanship between King T’Challa, the Black Panther and Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow.

Captain America: Civil War did much more to the Marvel Cinematic Universe than pit Team Captain America against Team Iron Man. Steve Rogers loses his shield and status as Captain America, several Avengers are now fugitives, and perhaps most subtly, the politics of the MCU come into sharper focus. Nobody embodies this new international political order than King T’Challa, the Black Panther.

It’s interesting to see T’Challa and Natasha Romanoff square-off, not with their fists, but with their respective political acumen. Romanoff, acting as a representative for the Sokovia Accords, admonishes the Black Panther for acting outside of legal and political boundaries when he decided to capture The Winter Soldier himself using superpowered technology. She even goes as far to call him “naive” when it comes to how his actions will be perceived by the larger political spheres within the MCU.

Interestingly enough, T’Challa seems to be dismissive of Black Widow’s warnings, even pulling out the king card to get the Winter Soldier extradited back to his kingdom of Wakanda.

It makes sense that the scene was deleted, since it doesn’t move the film’s narrative in any meaningful way, but it introduces a lot of interesting concepts we hope will be included in future MCU films. We know from this exchange that T’Challa does grasp his powers as a king, and that sometimes it makes him arrogant in the face of an international organization. We also know that by the end of the film, he’s harboring both Rogers and the Winter Soldier in his country. Judging by this exchange, he’ll likely brush off international pressure to return the two fugitives, which could have interesting implications for Wakanda as a nation-state.

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