wakanda forever

Five Thoughts on “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

I held off on seeing this for a bit because, well, it’s a movie about grief, and about the death of a real person as well as a fictional character, and I wasn’t sure how I was gonna handle it. I’m glad I saw it though.

Spoilers (big ones) after the poster.

1. There was a brief period of time where I wondered, “Wait, is Nakia gonna be in this movie for more than a cameo?!” but no she got to join in the big fight at the end! And wear some absolutely stunning outfits! I am trying to work out the timeline with regard to her son though. I guess Nakia must have been pregnant during Infinity War, thus retroactively giving us a reason she wasn’t in it?

2. Poor Queen Ramonda might be the clear winner of the “who in the MCU has suffered the most” contest. Loses husband. Loses son briefly while nephew takes over her kingdom and destroys all she knew. Loses son AND daughter in the Snap. Gets both children back, only to lose son for good this time. Sends one of her closest companions away in rage and never gets a chance to reconcile with her. Dies not knowing if she was successful in saving Riri or even if her daughter is safe from Namor’s wrath. Jeeeeeeeez.

3. It was great to see Michaela Coel but I have a suspicion a lot of her character was left on the cutting room floor. Hey, unless she’s gonna be the main character of that Wakanda-based TV show that was announced ages ago and this was just a test run so to speak? That would be awesome. Oh, and it was also great to see Michael B. Jordan absolutely killing it in his three minutes of screentime! I was NOT expecting that so I’m so glad I wasn’t spoiled for his cameo.

4. I wondered a few times throughout this movie, “Why is everyone so focused on getting vibranium? There’s alien tech lying around all over the place and it probably has a lot of the same properties!” Maybe that’s the point though, that everyone wants something Africa has even though they don’t need it.

5. This movie took pains to avoid saying what T’Challa actually died of. I don’t know if they’re leaving it up it in the air to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman and the fact he kept his illness private, or if they plan to build it up to something, like “everyone who was Snapped ended up with their DNA changed, some died but some (the X-Men) became mutants” that sort of thing. Not sure how I feel about that…

“Losing At Chess To A Dog”

(Speaking as a white person but-)

There’s this pattern happening in MCU fandom that feels kinda racist, really. Regarding the handling of queer characters in that franchise, there’s something I keep coming back to – Loki and Eternals came out in the same year. Loki had the main character make one comment about being bi and everyone loved it, but Phastos in Eternals was taken much further, he had a husband! Who he kissed onscreen! And yet he Didn’t Count as a queer character for some reason.

I saw so much of that, he just… Didn’t. I saw a lot of “Well, that character created the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima :/” (he didn’t) but at the same time everyone was falling over themselves about Loki being queer, when Loki has murdered and enslaved countless people on screen and was vaguely compared to Hitler once. (Loki’s more horrifying crimes have been completely forgotten these days. He’s never expressed much regret for them either in canon either IIRC.)

So Phastos Didn’t Count, and his Middle Eastern non-superhero husband Ben also Doesn’t Count it seems, for… What reason?! Both are canonically queer characters and their sexuality had a hell of a lot more time dedicated to it than Loki’s did. (I still wonder about Eternals. That bit of misinformation about Hiroshima spread so far and wide it makes me think it was deliberately being promoted by bad actors. The ‘go woke go broke’ crowd HATED that movie and they got to crow about a victory when it flopped.)

And now – Wakanda Forever isn’t even out yet and people are already making excuses as to why Michaela Coel’s character Aneka isn’t going to Count. There’s an interview with Coel going around where she states her character is going to be queer in the movie and people started posting that meme response “being queerbaited by the MCU is like losing at chess to a dog”…which feels incredibly mean and racist when posted in direct response to something she said: it’s like they’re implying she’s the dog. Plus, why do you think it’s queerbaiting? You HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE! Nobody has yet!

So yeah. I feel like when people started saying “We want queer characters in the MCU” they meant “We want WHITE queer characters in the MCU” because the mental gymnastics people have done to not accept the queer characters of colour has been ridiculous.