The Ten Characters on the 'Black Panther' Poster, Explained
When Chadwick Boseman returns to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as T’challa for his first solo movie Black Panther on February 16, 2018, he’ll do so alongside a slew of new characters for a story set in the secretive — and fictional — country of Wakanda. Several characters in the movie return from previous roles in the MCU, but most of them are entirely new for the film. As the primary source of Vibranium in the world, Wakanda is the wealthiest nation in the world.
Though viewers went to Wakanda briefly at the end of Captain America: Civil War when a one-armed Bucky Barnes was put into cryogenic stasis, Black Panther will offer the first real look at the advanced civilization that Ulysses Klaue calls the real “El Dorado.” Following the events of Civil War, T’challa returns to Wakanda to claim his rightful place as king in Black Panther, but it won’t be easy.
For those wondering just about the identity of the ten characters on the movie’s new poster shared recently by star Chadwick Boseman, Inverse has you covered.
From top to bottom in the poster, here are the 10 characters featured in Black Panther:
Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, aka Black Panther
Chadwick Boseman debuted as T’Challa and Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War. Before the Sokovia Accords can be ratified by the United Nations, a bomb kills King T’Chaka, his father, making T’Challa both king and Black Panther of Wakanda. This makes him both ruler and defender of his nation, with mystical powers and a bulletproof, hi-tech suit to augment his strength.
Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger
Every bit T’Challa’s political opposite and physical equal, Erik Killmonger is a Wakanda exile with a more conservative political perspective and his own cat-like suit of Vibranium. Expect Killmonger to be T’Challa’s main competition when vying for the Wakandan throne, perhaps even more important than the other villains.
Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia
As a member of the Dora Milaje, Wakanda’s army of all-female soldiers, Nakia is a fierce warrior who wields glowing ring blades. She also plays a confidante and love interest to king T’Challa.
She’s described as one of T’Challa’s most trusted covert agent, and she handles Wakandan operations around the world. Nyong’o herself described the character as a “war dog” at San Diego Comic-Con this year, which makes her akin to something of a super-spy.
Danai Gurira as Okoye
Okoye, featured in the center with orange armor, is the leader of the Dora Milaje, who function similarly to the Secret Service for the Wakandan king. She’s a no-nonsense warrior, fiercely loyal, and loves her homeland.
Angela Bassett as Ramonda
Ramonda, shown in the poster with a black headdress, is T’Challa’s mother. Chadwick Boseman told EW of the character: “She has her hands in everything — even his love life.”
Forest Whitaker as Zuri
Zuri is an elder statesman well-respected by Wakandan government. He’s a spiritual and political advisor that director Ryan Coogler equates to the Obi-Wan Kenobi of Black Panther.
Letitia Wright as Shuri
Princess of Wakanda and sister to T’Challa, Shuri is a badass warrior in her own right. In the poster, she’s sporting a pair of gauntlets that can shoot some kind of energy projectile. In the recent trailer, Shuri shows T’Challa a pair of Black Panther suits.
Director Ryan Coogler once teased to EW that Shuri’s essentially the Tony Stark of Wakanda with an equal intellect and penchant for tinkering. She’s devoted her lifetime to experimenting and inventing with Vibranium, which led to the creation of her gauntlets — and probably the different Black Panther suits.
Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue, aka Klaw
An international arms dealer that once enslaved Wakandans and stole Vibranium from their lands, Ulysses Klaue made his first on-screen appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron when Ultron took his Vibranium supply — and ripped off his arm. That Vibranium was used for the body that would eventually become Vision.
In Black Panther, Klaw will have a replacement arm with a projectile weapon and will be at least loosely allied to Killmonger.
Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross
Another character we’ve seen before in the MCU, Everett K. Ross played a role in Civil War working for the CIA as commander of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre. More simply, he was part of the governmental forces trying to subdue and control the Avengers, ultimately leading to the Sokovia Accords. It’s Ross that eventually takes Helmut Zemo, chief villain in Civil War, into custody at the film’s end.
In Black Panther, Ross goes to Wakanda for some reason, but the exact nature of his visit is unknown.
Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi
W’Kabi is a security leader from the border tribe and (supposedly) one of T’Challa’s close friends. Thus far, several trailers and images have suggested that he may or may not turn on the king — or at the very least, he’ll stand by Killmonger.
Black Panther will be released in theaters February 16, 2018.