Wakanda Forever?

Wakanda Forever?

Before I dive into my review of Wakanda Forever, I wanted to state a few words. Chadwick Boseman was an icon. He played Jackie Robinson in 42. James Brown. 21 Bridges. Then Black Panther from Civil War to Endgame.

Not many people knew Black Panther. He first debut in Fantastic Four #52. Keith David also voiced him in a Fantastic Four cartoon. From there he was on his way to being one of the new pillars of the MCU. And then Chadwick Boseman passed away from colon cancer on August 28, 2020. I found it out from my brother that same night. The world paused. Everyone mourned his loss. His family. Friends. Fans. He was like the Michael Jackson of superhero movies.

I thought he’d lead the Avengers against Kang The Conqueror. He can take Cap’s role as the Man Out of Time cause he was blipped for 5 years. He’s King of the most powerful Nation in the Marvel Universe. They could’ve explored T’Challa struggling with the aftermath of Thanos. Trying to pull his Nation together against Namor and everyone else after that sweet Vibranium Honey.

The greatest gladiator match in Phase 4. Man vs Mutant. King vs King. Son of Wakanda vs K’uk’ulkan. That would’ve made Disney a ton of money. Have them put their differences aside and fight Dr. Doom possibly. Maybe during the Snap Nakia became a villain. Introduce Storm before the eventual Xmen reboot. Give Shuri some fighting lessons. It would’ve been the most glorious movie of Phase 4 then Wakanda Forever happened. Well, more like Nokanda.

This marks the end of Phase 4 so I’ll post a seperate review for it. What worked. What didn’t work. What’s happening behind the scenes. How it compares to the other phases. Where it’s all heading. You know how some people have rankings of all the Marvel films in each Phase? I just have a list. It’s like survival of the fittest. Disney Plus shows included. Without further ado let’s dive in.

Right off the bat the cinematography, visuals, and music were great in the first movie. They elevated it to new heights. My favorite has to be Alone by Burna Boy. I can almost imagine T’Challa asking Bass the Panther God for strength before his big battle with Namor. A fight I’ll never get to witness. Makes me want to read a Black Panther comic. Black Panther had a strong cast. When I saw the first reactions it felt like they were hiding something. Said it was emotional.

A YouTube channel called Eman’s Movie Reviews started the Recast T’Challa movement. His reaction at the world premiere was a cry for help. It got an emotional response out of me but not what Ryan intended. Ryan Coogler is a great director. He wanted to honor Chad’s memory. I don’t think this was the best option. I’m not mad because Kevin Feige didn’t recast T’Challa immediately. Rather they marketed Boseman’s own death in the film.

There were so many ways they could’ve done it. Do a prequel focusing on his dad T’Chaka set before he killed his brother. Have a young T’Challa, Shuri, Okoye with hair, Nakia, W’Kabi, and M’Baku. The White Wolf can be the villain.

Option 2 set the movie between Infinity War and Endgame. Show Wakanda struggling without their king. Shuri could’ve survived. I know Endgame showed her as one of the people blipped but Scott survived. Marvel has retconned things before. Instead of Namor I’d use a revived Klaw. He might’ve been buried near Vibranium. Thanos’ snap somehow brought him back with sound powers like the comics.

There’s a theory going around that all 3 snaps from Thanos, Smart Hulk, and Iron Man created more mutants. Professor X probably erased their existence like he did in X-Men Evolution. Remove Ironheart. I could care less about her series. Maybe the villain needs a Black Panther. Enter Killmonger. Coolmonger? Chillmonger. Not the best idea but I’ll run with it.

T’Challa had him as a failsafe in case he wasn’t around. The Black Panther Protocol. Like Terminator 2. Villain in the first movie. Hero in the sequel. Or he can come from the multiverse. Wakanda doesn’t trust him. Some of the Avengers help out. Beat Klaw. Shuri won’t take the mantle yet. She needs proper training first. Ramonda would still be queen. Flash forward to Endgame Hulk brings everyone back. The camera puns to a silhouette of T’Challa. They join the fight against Thanos. End credits. In memory of our friend Chadwick Boseman.

Ryan tells his story. And it gives Marvel time to Recast T’Challa. Have him show up in someone else’s movie. Then do a third movie with Namor and Dr Doom. Black Panther Doomwar. Win Win. The T’Chaka prequel is probably the better option. We know from What If, Killmonger’s irredeemable.

Instead Ryan picked option nuclear. T’Challa died of an unknown illness off screen in the first 5 mins. After I watched it with my dad 3 times I looked up Black Panther’s powers and weaknesses. Guess what I found? He’s immune to every disease. Well that’s just lazy writing. They really could’ve put him in one of those stasis pods from Civil War. You’re telling me they had a 2nd funeral for their king? We already mourned Chadwick 2 years ago.

And why weren’t the Avengers there? I know they aren’t a thing anymore but come on. At least have Hulk there. Hawkeye. Winter Soldier. War Machine. Falcon. Ant Man. Everett Ross. He helped save Wakanda. They owe him that much. The whole point of Endgame was bringing everyone back. WF just made it all pointless.

Black Panther was so successful because of T’Challa. He’s the heart and soul of Wakanda. Without him it’s nothing but an empty shell. Ramonda causing trouble. That scene in the UN was cool everything after that was uncalled for. She did Okoye dirty. She thought Shuri was dead. Stripped her rank. I get she has a lot on her shoulders but T’Challa wouldn’t fire Okoye. Okoye did stand by and watched Killmonger take the throne. Fair enough. But she did fight against him. She defended Wakanda countless times and this is the thanks she gets for her years of service? Why now? It made Ramonda seem like a jerk compared to Namor. Angela, was winning an Oscar really worth losing a friend?

For all its faults there are some upsides. Namor stole the show. Wakanda Forever? It should really be Namor Imperious Rex. Tenoch Huerta didn’t strike as a Namor at first. He didn’t seem all that muscular. I’d cast Luke Evans personally. Just saying. The first time I saw him was in Fantastic Four World’s Greatest Heroes. Destroyed M’baku like One Punch Man. He’s as strong as the Hulk. Got a spear made out of Vibranium. Flying through the air like Mario 64 but instead of a cap he got wings on his feet. They turned a goofy thing from the comic and made it look menacing. Like a hummingbird.

The Atlantians got water bombs. They got a choir that hypnotized people sending them down Davy Jones Locker. He’s not even a villain. More like an Anti Hero like Black Adam. Namor came to Ramonda and Shuri for help. Ever since the first movie the US government (General Ross running for president) has been searching for Vibranium in the ocean. Thanks Ironheart.

Namor and Atlantis have been defending themselves ever since. Killing everyone. If only Ramonda didn’t start a war. Not Dr Doom. Not Val. Not General Ross. Her. He was going to attack the Surface World anyway but still. Ramonda tripping.

And where’s the Border Tribe? I know W’Kabi was exiled but still. Them shields and rhinos would’ve leveled the playing field. Just saying.

The Atlantians are blue. Like Smurfs. Attuma and his cousin Namora are his right hands. Attuma was a villain in Avengers Assemble. He doesn’t seem villainous at all. Maybe he turn down the line. His people drank the same thing that gave Black Panther his powers but blue. His mom was pregnant at the time. That’s why he got wing feet minus blue skin. And he’s known as the first mutant. Until Apocalypse shows up. Maybe.

I’m surprised they didn’t play the X-Men TAS theme. Cost Kevin Feige a fortune. They’ve been slowly setting up mutants in the MCU. Ms Marvel. Haven’t watched it. Mr Immortal from She Hulk. Professor X and recently Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. Deadpool Kills The Fox Universe is gonna be awesome.

Namor’s been in the MCU longer than I thought. Born in 1571. He’s immortal. Marvel’s Atlantis is based on Mayan culture. An underwater Wakanda. Talocan. All their weapons are made of Vibranium. His people call him K’uk’ulkan. The Feathered Serpent God. But his enemies call him Namor. Child Without Love.

They’ve been slowly setting up Thunderbolts ever since Val made her first appearance in Falcon and Winter Soldier. It’s like she’s gets hotter each time. She and Ross used to be married. She wants a taste of that sweet Vibranium Honey. 

I heard General Ross became President of the United States. How he got elected after being blipped for 5 years is beyond me. They might be adapting a version of Dark Reign, swapping Norman Osborn with General Ross. Dark Avengers with Thunderbolts.

It came after Secret Invasion. The MCU take is more of a political thriller with Evil Skulls. Everett Ross will show up there after Okoye broke him out. The current president might be one of them. Nick Fury and Talos exposed them and that’s how Ross wins the election along with taking most of the credit. Han Solo for president.

Appears in Captain America 4. Leader transforms him into the Red Hulk. And sends the Thunderbolts after Wakanda’s Vibranium or go after the Hulk whenever he turns into World Breaker Hulk or something. Maybe killing his son Skaar is what finally set him off.

Towards the end Namor made a pact with Wakanda so he’ll benefit from it. One thing for sure it won’t sit well with Bucky and Ayo. They used to date. Fingers crossed Zemo’s in it.

M’Baku is one of few Wakandians with common sense. He was one of my highlights of the first movie. He actually started out as a villain. Doesn’t back down from a challenge. He knew that killing Namor would risk eternal war. Provided refuge in Jabari land. Survived a punch from Namor and lived to tell the tale. And he made fun of Okoye’s bald head. You bald headed demon.

Wakanda had their traditional challenge for the throne. They expected Shuri instead they got M’Baku. I believe he won. Maybe he ripped that guy’s lip ring off. Changed his entire outlook on life. In the 3rd movie he’s just eating ice cream. Glory to Hanuman. I wish he had more screen time. Give this man a special presentation.

I felt Shuri becoming Black Panther was too soon. She doesn’t even have proper training. If she couldn’t beat Killmonger what chances did she have? She survived a stab worn from a Vibranium spear. Killmonger got stabbed by a Vibranium sword and died. I liked Shuri in the first movie. Her scenes with Namor were great. I can appreciate she was trying to find a peaceful solution initially. In the original script, T’Challa could’ve taught her fighting lessons after Killmonger almost killed her. Speaking of, he pops up in the ancestral plane. Chilling in Hell. Best part of the movie.

Her suit has too much gold. I know she took inspiration from Killmonger and T’Challa but still. Marvel tends to overdesign their suits. Mr Fantastic. Ant Man’s recent suit. Midnight Angels. The Iron Spider Suit. T’Challa had one of the best suits. And don’t get me started on Ironheart. Looked like she came straight out of Power Rangers. Look at little Iron Girl Jr. You gonna cry?

It won’t last. When Marvel and Ryan Coogler decided not to Recast T’Challa it put them in a pickle. They’re still making comics about him last time I checked. Marvel recast roles before. War Machine. Hulk. Cassie Lang. And recently General Ross. No excuses. James Bond has been played by many actors for generations. I’m sure they’ll make a lot of money but it’ll hurt them in the long run.

While I didn’t hate it as much as Love and Thunder I still found it distasteful. Namor, M’Baku, and Dora Milaje carried it as best as they could. The soundtrack is fire. CGI top notch. It had good things going for it. But without T’Challa it sadly falls apart. I prefer the original. They didn’t even do the Wakandian salute. Make me want the TVA to swoop in and prune it from the sacred timeline. I never knew Chadwick personally but I know he wouldn’t want the character to die with him. He understood what was at stake. The post credit scene introduced his son T’Challa Jr. A boy who doesn’t have his own father to guide him. I rather have a variant from the multiverse. I just have to see how it all plays out in Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars.

I’ll release my Phase 4 review after the Guardians Holiday Special. It’s like the Star Wars Holiday Special but with Marvel characters. Drax and Mantis travel to Earth to kidnap Kevin Bacon from Footloose. And he’s Shaw from X-Men First Class. The Xmen films are canon to the MCU. Multiverse and Hollywood. He and Star Lord might have a dance off. Alpha Groot looks swole. Must’ve eaten some good fertilizer. Half of it used practical effects with a hint of CGI. It’s funny how James Gunn is now the Co-Ceo of DC Studios. How the tides have turned. It looks like a lot of fun. Can’t wait for Phase 5.

Update: Bob Iger is back as CEO of Disney. Bob Chapek has left the building. Didn’t see that coming.

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