Should your kids already be mega-excited about this May’s superhero smackdown that is Avengers: Infinity War (and, let’s face it, they probably are), let us introduce you to the perfect bridging blockbuster.
That climactic Avengers movie is the first in a two-part final instalment that will end in summer 2019, and that will, by all accounts, result in the on-screen death of at least some of the characters who’ve powered the franchise to astonishing success. With the majority of the original actors – including Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Mark Ruffalo (Hulk) – at the end of their contracts, Marvel needs to introduce new heroes to take the series in an exciting new direction.
Enter Black Panther. Your kids will know his face, given he’s not just front and centre in the trailer for Infinity War but gifted its coolest line – “Give that man a shield,” he bellows when a previously missing Captain America walks in from the cold.
And if he’s not as instantly iconic as the other characters whose toys you now have cluttering their bedroom shelves, well, that’s what everyone said about Iron Man when the Marvel Cinematic Universe blasted onto the big screen in 2008. Sure, he was no Batman or Superman, but look at those old boys now, a distinct second fiddle to Tony Stark and co. Bottom line: Black Panther is going to be huge.
His real name is T’Challa, a super-human with a clawed suit who returns to his homeland of Wakanda after the death of his father, the King, and he’s played by Chadwick Boseman. He will face off against a host of bad guys including Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klaue (introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron), but his biggest battle will be the box office. As you’ll soon see, it’s a battle he’ll very easily win.
Black Panther is out in February.