At Comic-Con in San Diego, Marvel Studios unveiled the sequel to the 2018 phenomenon Black Panther with an emotional trailer that shows the flooding of Wakanda by the forces of Atlanta, led by the antagonistic Namor the Sub-mariner (Tenoch Huerta). Now, the internet has gotten a closer glimpse of the upcoming movie with a collection of toys from Hasbro. But do these leaked toys truly confirm that Wakanda’s Hatut Zeraze foot soldiers (which look like a white Black Panther suit) are in the movie?
As is always the case, the line for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever mixes in characters from the comics. In addition to the Hatut Zeraze, there’s also Black Panther himself from Christopher Priest’s run on the comics. Unfortunately, these toys don’t necessarily mean that those characters will actually end up in the movie.
The Legend of Marvel Legends
Hasbro’s Marvel Legends is the premiere 6-inch scale action figure series in which characters from Marvel’s comics, movies, and TV shows end up on collector’s shelves. They’re detailed enough to please adult collectors but durable enough to be actually played with by children.
It’s through Marvel Legends that much of the MCU’s characters have become detailed action figures. But while Hasbro will dedicate a wave around a specific movie, it will still throw in a surprise character or two from the comics (or, more recently, from video games and Disney+ shows). In the early days of the MCU, fans presumed that this meant that character would actually have a surprise appearance in whatever movie was coming out.
In 2014, there was some minor speculation the character Nova would appear in Guardians of the Galaxy, as his figure was part of that movie’s Legends line alongside Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord and Dave Bautista’s Drax. While the Nova Corps was featured in the movie, Nova himself did not appear, nor has Nova been in the MCU (yet).
This has happened plenty of other times since. The Spider-Man: Homecoming line from 2017 included Moon Knight (years prior to his Disney+ debut), Tombstone, and Beetle. Thor: Ragnarok’s toy line featured Ares and Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor (again, before her actual MCU debut). One of several different waves for Avengers: Endgame featured characters Union Jack and Nighthawk.
Last year’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings had Mr. Hyde, a character who had nothing to do with the movie. The toys for Spider-Man: No Way Home included Morlun. Morlun might have been part of the comic book Spider-Verse, but Morlun had no role in No Way Home.
There is a lot of organized chaos by Hasbro in how it releases figures. While it’s easy to find toys of a specific movie or TV show, that same line might include figures based on comic book-only characters, or rereleases from previous waves. Things get even more complicated with things like Hasbro’s Retro Collection, which releases toys in nostalgic packaging reminiscent of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
To tell the difference, just be observant. Simply look at the packaging. If the center logo on the box sports the logo of the movie, and the toy features the likeness of the actor, it’s a movie figure. If the logo looks more generic and/or inspired by the comics, then that toy is from the comics and that character has no chance of actually being in the movie.
For example, Hercules was released as part of the Avengers: Endgame line, but his packaging featured the logo of his own comics and not the logo of the movie. And Hercules did not appear until a post-credits cameo in Thor: Love and Thunder. The aforementioned Morlun has a generic Spider-Man logo, indicating he’s stemming from the comics and isn’t directly tied to No Way Home, even though his figure is part of the wave.
Maybe one day the MCU will feature the Hatut Zeraze — a group of Wakandan mercenaries led by the White Wolf, whose title was casually given to Bucky in the MCU — and maybe one day the MCU will give Black Panther his cape. But for now, the closest these characters have to being in the same movie is whatever story your nephew and niece come up with when they bash their toys together.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be released in theaters on November 11.