Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is getting a lot of focus for how it deals with the death of Chadwick Boseman, and transitions his character, King T'Challa/Black Panther out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, Black Panther 2 also does some significant universe expansion in between solemn remembrance moments, adding new characters like Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and Riri Williams (Dominque Thorne) to the mix. In addition to new characters, Wakanda Forever also does the job of significantly changing everything we thought we new about Vibranium and its place in the MCU!
WARNING: Black Panther 2 SPOILERS Follow!
Wakanda Isn't the Only Nation Built On Vibranium
The first big revelation Black Panther 2 drops about Vibranium is that Wakanda isn't the only nation that has built itself into a superpower using the secret resource of Vibranium!
Namor's undersea kingdom of Talocan turns out to owe its entire existence, enhanced powers, and very underwater breathing ability to its own stockpile of Vibranium. As Princess Shuri and the leaders of Wakanda surmise, the Vibranium meteor that landed in Wakanda was just one of many that hit Earth (or a fragment of a larger whole). Since the majority of the Earth is oceans, Shuri discerns that Namor and Talocan have access to Vibranium resources to rival Wakanda's – maybe even greater.
The key here is that Black Panther 2 establishes that Vibranium exists in more places than just Wakanda, with the ocean alone holding deposits that have just been waiting to be found...
New Arms Race
The major "MacGuffin" of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever turns out to be a person, not a thing. Riri Williams is at the center of the story, after the government (The CIA) commissions one of her designs for a machine that can detect Vibranium ore anywhere on Earth. When the CIA discovers Vibranium in the ocean the agency goes looking for it, even while other governments of the world try to steal the coveted metal from Wakanda.
Black Panther 2 has clearly marked Vibranium as part of the next big arms race on earth in the MCU. That arms race has already stoked the ire of both Wakanda and Talocan, with the undersea nation now a global threat that few know even exist. It's even more frightening to think what the CIA and other powers (like Julia Louis-Drefuys' Valentina) want to do with Vibranium – especially now that we know it can do so much more!
Vibranium Is More Than A Super-Metal
The first Black Panther movie showed us that Vibranium had more special properities than just its metallic and/or weaponry uses, but Wakanda Forever really drives that fact home with the origin of Namor and Talocan.
The Heart-Shaped Herb of Wakanda was created from an herb that was grew from soil that had been altered by Vibranium radiation, creating a plant that could enhance the power of a recipient, as well as put them in touch with a spiritual plane of reality, deities like Panther-God Bast, etc. Talocan was created when a sick and dying Mayan tribe was drawn to an aquatic plant with Vibranium properties that not only cured their small pox, but allowed them to live underwater, and live stronger, longer lives. It also powers their city, giving them light and warmth even in the cold, crushing, depths of the sea.
Wakanda Forever has cemented the fact that Vibranium can be used to transform normal humans into different kinds of super-powered beings, or power entire worlds and armies, entirely depending on how the ore and its energy are mined and/or mixed with other forms of life. There's any number of ways that Marvel can spin that development around into the creation of mutants, new threats, or any other new heroic/villainous powers they want to introduce.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now in theaters.1comments