Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a roaring success
The latest Marvel superhero movie – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – has a very positive critical reception, which bodes well for the LEGO Marvel theme.
Released today in cinemas, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a sequel to 2018’s Black Panther movie. Directed in each case by Ryan Coogler, each movie tells the story of Wakanda – an Afrofuturistic society that has hidden itself from the world. In the sequel, the nation and its rules face new challenges following the untimely death of its king T’Challa – with a major threat from Namor, the ruler of the undersea Talokan.
The death of T’Challa is a plot point with tragic, real-life roots, as the character’s actor – Chadwick Boseman – died in 2020 of colon cancer. With T’Challa the movie’s main character (and one of the most popular products of the Marvel Cinematic Universe) his death presented unique creative challenges for any Black Panther sequel. However, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever appears to have found a way through this issue – with Rotten Tomatoes hailing it as ‘a poignant tribute that satisfyingly moves the franchise forward’. It currently has a critic’s score of 86%, and an audience score of 94%.
Even with that positive reaction, we don’t yet have a clear idea of how commercially successful the film will end up being. However, Box Office Pro projects the film will earn a total domestic gross of more than $500 million – with up to $205 million in the opening weekend alone.
Given the cultural impact of the original, it seems unlikely that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be a failure in the long run. That indicates that the LEGO Marvel theme will see fit to keep making sets inspired by Wakanda and its citizens.
The debut of T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War brought us our first Black Panther minifigure in 2016, and he’s appeared every two years or so since. He is, naturally, absent from the LEGO tie-ins to Wakanda Forever – but the launch of sets like 76204 Black Panther Mech Armor and 76212 Shuri’s Lab suggest the character will continue to appear in LEGO sets going forward, regardless of the MCU’s events. Several other LEGO Black Panther sets are currently on shelves if you want to explore Wakanda (or Talokan) in LEGO form.
If you prefer your T’Challas minifigure-scale, act fast – as 76204 Black Panther Mech Armor is leaving store shelves very soon. Most versions of the minifigure don’t come without his mask, making this set an excellent choice for Marvel minifigure collectors.
(Header image: Marvel Studios)
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