Ryan Coogler’s superhero sequel covers many themes but the one that leaves a lasting impression carries a difficult legacy
Within Marvel comic book lore, Wakanda is a nation apart – a vibranium-rich African idyll whose superiority and cunning have kept it safe from invaders here on Earth or other faraway galaxies. It holds its own militarily, economically – and all while laying claim to an undiluted national identity.
In the 2018 film Black Panther, Wakanda was depicted with clarity and majesty; many across the African diaspora couldn’t help but take immense pride, while others remain convinced that Wakanda is a real place. But after watching the 2022 sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, these same admirers have now been left to sit with the horror of this seemingly indomitable nation being wiped clean off the map by another equally powerful civilization lurking under water.