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  • Abandon Shipping: A lot of people were quick to shipping T'Challa and Erik from the start due to sharing similarities to the dynamic between Charles Xavier and Magneto. Then the movie came out and it turned out the two in this version are actually cousins. This unsurprisingly killed much of the initial interest.
  • Adorkable:
    • T'Challa vehemently denies he'll freeze when he sees Nakia... until he does. While he's fully decked out in the Panther Habit. This helps make this aloof ruler figure extremely likable.
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    • Nakia also has a moment, where she says she'd be a good queen because she is stubborn...to her ex. Then she tries to Verbal Backspace.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Does Killmonger actually care all that much about oppressed minorities, or is he just using their plight as an excuse to take revenge on a world he feels has wronged him personally? Support for the latter comes near the end of the film when he admits T'Challa is right that his plans could destroy Wakanda and ruin the world for all peoples, but he doesn't care so long as he can make as many people as possible feel the pain he feels. Despite his entire mission statement being about using Wakandan technology to improve the rest of the world, and T'Challa offering him a chance to repent, he chooses to die rather than swallow his pride for the sake of actually helping people. Further, it's pointed out his burning of the source of the Black Panther's powers was a tactic to destabilize Wakanda itself (he reacts quite negatively to the idea of there being any king after his own reign ends), bringing into question if he actually even wanted to create a new world superpower or if he instead wanted to ravage the world and destroy Wakanda. However, if Killmonger really cares more about venting his rage, was he always motivated by a selfish desire for revenge or did he start out with genuinely noble intentions only to lose sight of it as time went on?
      • A fairly popular third theory (and a Fan Wank for the implausibility of his plan) is that his goal was never to conquer anyone or even cause all that much damage overseas, but rather to give the countries of the world a valid casus belli to destroy Wakanda specifically.
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    • Is Killmonger is a Death Seeker? Besides refusing medical help after his defeat, he always chooses the self-destructive path. He kills his girlfriend and burns the sacred garden, implying that he isn't interested in having an heir or leaving a legacy for himself even though he's a prince with a legitimate claim to the throne. Furthermore, despite having the skills and connections, Killmonger also chose not to follow a more heroic career like becoming a costumed vigilante, entering politics or starting his own company, thus denying himself the chance to help others and live a life of luxury without the needless deaths. The fact that Killmonger pursues self-defeating atrocities implies that he doesn't care about what happens to himself so long as everyone experiences his suffering. This only makes his evil plan more horrifying in hindsight, since it amounts to a murder-suicide as he intentionally wants millions of innocent lives to die alongside him.
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    • Killmonger killing his girlfriend - was that just an example of how without morals he is? Or was it mutually agreed between them in the event that someone used her as a hostage?
    • T'Chaka's motivation for abandoning Killmonger in Oakland after killing N'Jobu is subject to this. While he claims it was to uphold the truth about Wakanda, is it possible that it was also so N'Jobu's actions and his response would not be revealed to the other Wakandans? Did he not want to have the boy around and constantly be reminded that he had to kill his brother? Did he consider the boy to be unworthy of living in Wakanda because he had an American mother? Or was it a combination of any of these?
    • Did N'Jobu come to empathize with America's black community on his own? Or was it primarily due to his love for Erik's mother?
    • Is Everett Ross's Reasonable Authority Figure personality differing from his Obstructive Bureaucrat appearance in Captain America: Civil War a case of Depending on the Writer? Or did the events of that film along with his role in the mess the Sokovia Accords created cause him to undergo some Character Development?
    • Was W'Kabi's decision to commit a Face–Heel Turn and side with Killmonger motivated by T'Challa's supposed betrayal? Or was W'Kabi fueled by his expressed desire for Wakanda to wage war against other countries, which T'Challa had no interest in pursuing? Or was his motivation somewhere in between? Deleted scenes indicate the former.
    • The actions that the Border Tribe take at the climax of the movie where they willingly follow W'Kabi's orders to oppose T'Challa even though it violates Wakanda's rituals especially in light of the following movie where they've returned to serving under the Black Panther. Were they a group of black shirts eager for the opportunity to conquer or was it a case of My Master, Right or Wrong where they are loyal to W'Kabi rather than to whoever is king? In the following movie, Okoye notes that the surviving combatants have reintegrated with the rest of the Wakandan forces with the cause of their Heel–Face Turn left up to the audience to decipher.
    • Is the ancestral plane real or is it merely an intense hallucination caused by ingesting the heart-shaped herb? Also, when Erik meets his father again in the spirit realm, is he talking to N'Jobu's actual spirit or is he talking to his consciousness manifested as his father?
    • Wakanda itself. A paradise just trying to defend itself? Or a group of self-righteous people willing to let the rest of the world suffer? Even ignoring Killmonger's point about Wakandans ignoring when other African tribes were enslaved, and the suffering their tech and resources could have averted, keep in mind that at the time that this film takes place, there had been three alien invasions of the planet.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: The film is not as well-received in China as other Marvel films, ostensibly due to excessive "political correctness"note  and its box office run in China was so disappointing that it actually made less money than Justice League in that region.note 
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: After spending decades in Development Hell, once it was up for Marvel Studios to get the project running, the higher-ups didn't have that much faith in it largely due to Minority Show Ghetto concerns. Disney CEO Bob Iger had to intervene to get Black Panther (and Captain Marvel, which had a similar roadblock) into production, and the fact that along with being a critical and commercial hit, the film served to champion for minority representation (numbers were huge in mostly Black cities!) made Iger say in his memoir that it is the Marvel movie he's most proud of.
  • Angst? What Angst?: For all the emotional and physical trauma he endured including becoming disillusioned with his father and getting beaten into a coma, T'Challa still comes off very dignified and composed in the end.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • After the mixed reception of the debut poster, Marvel unveiled a gorgeous new poster for the film at SDCC, which was infinitely better received.
    • Michael B. Jordan claimed that he saw this movie as a way for making up to Marvel fans who were disappointed by Fantastic Four, which he starred in.note  Given the sheer amount of acclaim he got for this movie, suffice to say that his apology was graciously accepted.
    • Following in the footsteps of the Vulture, the Grandmaster, and Hela, Killmonger was chosen as a deliberate attempt to create a sympathetic and memorable MCU bad guy after a string of widely-criticized and forgettable Generic Doomsday Villains. Given the amount of "Killmonger Was Right" memes currently circulating around the web, it's probably safe to say they succeeded and then some. Much the same goes for Klaue who became a fan-favorite as a Laughably Evil companion of Killmonger.
    • The filmmakers have gone out of their way to avoid the continuity problems that have plagued the MCU. While the Marvel movies are widely praised, they have been criticized for Continuity Lockout and focusing more on setting up sequels. Black Panther functions as a self-contained story with almost no references to the previous film or characters outside of the news broadcast and Ross briefly recapping T'Challa's arc in Captain America: Civil War and the post-credits scene involving Bucky Barnes in Wakanda, thereby making it more accessible for casual fans.
    • Previous Marvel movies, especially in Phase 2, have been widely criticized for having forgettable and unmemorable original scores. The fact that this film has its own Awesome Music page, and an Oscar win for the score, shows you the extent to which they fixed that.
  • Award Snub:
    • Black Panther won several Oscars (for Costume Design, Production Design, and Original Score) but Michael B. Jordan did not receive a nomination for Best Supporting Actor and the film itself failed to receive a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay despite both being nominated for their respective categories in other award ceremonies. The film also lost Best Picture to Green Book, which only added to the various controversies surrounding that film.
    • The movie lost all three categories it was nominated in at the Golden Globes; Best Picture - Drama, in particular, was instead awarded to Bohemian Rhapsody, a feature film which has garnered greater controversy and less acclaim.
  • Badass Decay: Similarly to Spider-Man's perceived nerfing between his first movie and Homecoming, a number of fans felt T'Challa wasn't as cool or impressive in this film as he was in Civil War, going from being a stoic, unflinching "Marvel Batman" steely predator who took on the Winter Soldier unarmed and out of costume to getting the absolute shit beaten out of him by guys without powers twice, freezing up in front of his ex-girlfriend and getting pranked on video by his meme-quoting little sister. And because his new costume looked goofy.
  • Crack Pairing: More than a few people ship Shuri and Bucky despite their limited screentime together and age difference, her being 16 and him being in his 30s.
  • Crossover Ship:
    • Shuri/Peter Parker is very popular, thanks to both of them being goofy teenagers with a shared love of pop culture and technology.
    • A number of people ship Killmonger with Valkyrie, joking that this isn't the first time they've dated, as their actors Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson had previously played a couple in Creed.
  • Cry for the Devil: Killmonger is a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist who murders his girlfriend to get to Klaue and doesn't care that his actions as king will destroy Wakanda as well as the rest of the world. He's also still the boy from Oakland who found his dead father in his apartment, as shown in the scene where he talks to his N'Jobu in the spirit world and is both happy and saddened to see him one last time. Even when he nearly kills Shuri just because she happens to be standing with defensive arm cannons, he breaks down while dying about how he believed in Wakanda as a fairy tale and his father promised to bring him home to see the sunset. T'Challa shows sympathy and righteous fury for his cousin, while acknowledging what he wants is too dangerous.
  • Discredited Meme: The cast and crew is sick of requests to perform the Wakandan salute to the point of expressing annoyance and deflation. Michael B. Jordan, a normally nice guy, became visibly frustrated and refused to do it when he was asked to do it during an interview. Likewise, Chadwick Boseman became unhappy performing the salute in public and during promotional events.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Thanks to his sympathetic backstory as well as the fact he makes a few good points about social and political issues, Killmonger has a few zealous fans who tend to completely overlook the fact that he's still a remorseless killer who has no qualms about innocent people (even children) dying for the sake of his goals. Sterling K. Brown even spoke out about it, pointing out that while his intentions were noble, he committed several unambiguously evil acts including murdering his girlfriend, killing Zuri, and destroying the heart-shaped herb so he could keep the Black Panther powers for himself. Hell, his very first scene in the movie has him mocking a totally innocent tour guide for drinking poisoned coffee, just because her understanding of African history is based on Western academic beliefs (even though she's likely just repeating what she's been taught, and is actually being quite nice to him.)
    • N'Jobu gets this too for having similar social and political beliefs, not being willing to go the the extreme of committing genocide like Killmonger is, and for his tragic ending of being killed by his own brother and abandoned by his home country just as he was about to rescue Erik's mother from jail. This ignores the fact that, while he might not have condoned mass genocide, his plan to arm minorities shows he was still willing to let people be killed for his cause and he had no concerns about numerous Wakandans being murdered as part of his and Klaue's plan to obtain Vibranium.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The supporting casts received as much love, if not more than the main character himself:
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Much digital ink has been spilled about the significance of T'Challa's ring, given how he inherited it from his father and how it reacted oddly to Bucky's arm during one of their fights in Civil War. The Russos have hinted that it may have magical powers.. Many in the fandom believed it to be the Soul Stone, due to it being, at the time, the only one of the Infinity Stones still unaccounted for. Ultimately jossed; not only does the Soul Stone not appear or get mentioned during the events of the movie, Avengers: Infinity War reveals it was hidden on the alien planet of Vormir all along.
    • Fans have speculated that W'kabi is really a traumatized Chris who fled back to the motherland. Also that said trauma led to his Face–Heel Turn by relating with Killmonger's problems.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Many critics have come to praise Erik as one of the best aspects to the movie, owing to his considerable amount of complexity, especially compared to the MCU's longstanding problem regarding developing villains, his relationship with T'Challa and the performance given by Michael B. Jordan.
    • Klaue is a fan favorite for almost the exact opposite reasons, thanks to being both totally hilarious and genuinely badass, not to mention Andy Serkis' gloriously ridiculous, swaggering performance.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Killmonger, who sports a fabulous set of dreads and becomes a Walking Shirtless Scene after he usurps T'Challa as king.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • With Spider-Man: Homecoming. Fans were already irritated that Black Panther got pushed back for another Spider-Man reboot especially since both Black Panther and Spider-Man proved to be the breakout stars of Captain America: Civil War. However, the rivalry has mostly died down since Black Panther not only made more money but was also released in the historically significant Black History Month, thus many Black Panther fans felt the delay was worth it.
    • Some Creed fans aren't happy that Ryan Coogler won't be able to direct the sequel due to being hired for this film, though he's said he definitely wants to do more at some point.
    • On Tumblr and Twitter, fans of Black Panther and Wonder Woman (2017) have butted heads over which films are truly representative of marginalized groups with some going so far as to claim Black Panther's female bodyguards are better female representatives than Wonder Woman before Black Panther was even released.
    • A similar rivalry exists between fans of Black Panther and Cyborg. The main point of contention is the massive amount of buzz the Black Panther movie generated in the African American community and on social media, while Cyborg's film debut in Justice League several months prior was met with far less fanfare. Some Cyborg fans have taken to claiming the lack of support for Cyborg is unfair, while many Black Panther fans have pointed out that the lack of a standalone Cyborg movie is likely to blame.
    • From Blade Trilogy fans who often pointed out that Blade was the first Marvel superhero movie with a black lead and lament that its very ignored by modern mainstream media. This was even referenced in the How It Should Have Ended video for Black Panther, which ended with Blade showing up to challenge T'Challa for the throne.
    • Mildly with A Wrinkle in Time (2018) - both big budget blockbusters directed by and starring people of color as the leads. It's accepted that when Black Panther proved to be a smash hit, it negatively affected A Wrinkle in Time's Box Office take.
    • A surprising one with The Last Jedi. Many of The Last Jedi's detractors praising this film, along with Wonder Woman to either highlight what they hated about The Last Jedi and to deflect accusations of being racist bigots. Not helping matters is that the two films are remarkably similar in theme and characters with Killmonger drawing comparisons to Kylo Ren for being a power-hungry Psychopathic Manchild and anti-traditionalist.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: "What if T'Chaka did bring Erik home to Wakanda?" AU fics/scenarios are quite popular.
  • Faux Symbolism: The poster of T'Challa sitting on his throne has been compared to a famous photograph of Black Panthers co-founder Huey P. Newton, even though the only similarities are that they both feature a black man sitting in a chair looking at the camera.note  It's kicked up quite a lot of backlash, on both sides, for something that was clearly unintentional. Amusingly, the same portrait actually appears in Killmonger's old Oakland apartment.
  • Fight Scene Failure: A common complaint of the final battle is that it suffers from some terrible fight scenes that include include fake-looking CGI models of suited-up Killmonger and T'Challa, and a scene in which Killmonger slits the throat of a Dora Millaje in a way that doesn't spill any blood at all. What makes the final battle rather jarring is that the previous waterfall duels and the Busan casino fight are realistic and well-made, and director Ryan Coogler has proven that he can direct good action scenes as seen with Creed.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • There's a lot of overlap between Black Panther fans and Coming to America fans. The cast even celebrated Lupita Nyong'o's birthday with a "Wakandans in Zamunda"-themed party.
    • While some people have tried to turn it into the usual rivalry, fans excited for this film are also excited for and have gotten along well with fans of Aquaman as both are the first films in the MCU and DCEU with non-white leads and directors, giving the superhero genre some much needed diversity. Similarly, in-spite of the 'Down with Disney' campaign, a separate group of DC fans took part in one of several charity campaigns to raise money to send impoverished kids to see the movie in theatres.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Beside the expected African viewers that the movie took place in, Wales loves the film because the first end-credit sequence implies that Wales is an independent and powerful country with their own flag and membership in the United Nations.
  • Genius Bonus: A retroactive version. A common complaint is that it's a Plot Hole that the primitive Wakandans could have even managed to cut and manipulate vibranium at all when it first landed in their area, as vibranium is supposed to be nigh-indestructible. The explanation for how they did it is subtly shown in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when Ultron's vibranium armor is being melted. While resistance to kinetic impacts, the color of the blackbody radiation in that scene indicates that vibranium actually has a very low melting point. Considerably lower than even iron.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks!: Negative reviews of the film on Rotten Tomatoes are so scarce that the slightest one gets immediate attention and expected reactions across the board.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Since we never actually see Killmonger's death, there's a sizable amount of fans hoping for a reveal that T'Challa did save him and he can be in the sequel.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • There's a reference to The Wizard of Oz. Later, this very movie would surpass The Wizard of Oz as having the highest score of any film on all of Rotten Tomatoes.
    • This is wouldn't be the last time in 2018 that Michael B. Jordan's character goes up against the son of the man who killed his father, only that time he's the hero instead of the villain.
    • The Wakandan salute is a sign of respect given toward the King of Wakanda. Just a few months later, Deadpool 2 came out and gleefully used a virtually similar gesture in a much more irreverent manner.
  • Hype Backlash:
    • The level of hype raised the film to unreasonable expectations for some. The fact it's overshadowing previous superheroes with black leads, and especially the toxic parts of the fanbase who overreact to negative reviews have soured many people's perceptions.
    • Likewise, while most people think the movie is at the very least a good movie on its own, there's a wide gap between those who think it deserved to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and those who think it didn't and caused much more deserving films to be snubbed and that the decision was mainly motivated by the cultural-political phenomenon the movie's release generated and Disney's heavy lobbying rather than the film's own merits.
  • Iron Woobie: T'Challa. The whole movie is nothing but one Trauma Conga Line for him. At the start of the film, he is still reeling from the assassination of his father T'Chaka. Then his admiration for his family is shaken, when he learned that his father killed his uncle N'Jobu and abandoned his cousin Erik in the slums of Oakland, who grows up into the villainous Killmonger. During the duel with Killmonger, he is forced to watch his honorary uncle Zuri get killed by Killmonger before getting brutally beaten and thrown off a waterfall. Although he manages to reclaim the throne and save Wakanda, he has to watch Killmonger kill himself, thereby losing another family member. Yet in spite of all the trauma he suffered, T'Challa refuses to lose hope and is never overwhelmed by despair.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: There are those who have taken umbrage with the fact that the villain of this piece is yet again, one who shares the same powers as the hero.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Killmonger, who was orphaned by T'Chaka's own actions and forced to live on the streets of America as a poor black orphan, and was the brunt of racism and colonialism for much of his life. Is it any wonder he wants the life that was denied him, and stop it from happening to anyone else?
  • Love to Hate:
    • Ulysses Klaue, whose endlessly animated, laugh-a-minute performance by Andy Serkis provides some of the funniest parts of the first half of the film.
    • Erik Killmonger, who, despite being a ruthless mass murderer who will do anything to complete his goals, is well-liked for being a villain with both a considerable coolness-factor and a complex backstory that helps make him more sympathetic.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • #BlackPantherSoLit, where black MCU fans on Twitter celebrated the casting announcements. Even Ava DuVernay got in on it!.
    • The ever-expanding All-Star Cast has spawned the theory that Coogler is trying to get literally every black actor in Hollywood into the movie.
    • Much like Chris Evans before him, the casting of Michael B. Jordan led many to joke that one way to advance your acting career is becoming a Human Torch in a 20th Century Fox-produced Fantastic Four movie and then moving onto the MCU with a better role in a better movie ahead.
    • #LetAyoHaveAGirlfriend, in response to Marvel denying that Ayo was in a romantic relationship with one of her fellow Dora Milaje, despite being in one in the comics.
    • Erik Killmonger's hair and mask. Some even call them the best character in the teaser trailer.
    • The Lion King (1994) comparisons have picked up a lot of traction due to this shot from the trailer, coupled with the tagline "Long live the king".
    • Two Tolkien White guys explanation 
    • T'Challa and Shuri's Secret Handshake, with some declaring it an official replacement for dapping.
    • #WakandaGate explanation 
    • When a character bio for M'Baku mentioned that he disliked Vibranium for being "mainstream", jokes about him and his tribe being hipsters quickly started popping up.
    • Gifs of M'Baku and his Jabari guards barking at Everett Ross is used as a response to someone continually talking out of turn and/or on a subject they've shown to have no knowledge of.
    • "Wakanda is Real", a meme celebrating the titular nation's symbolism of African pride and Afrocentric utopianism, or at least its rejection of colonialism.
    • Ben Shapiro's criticism of the "Wakanda Is Real" meme led to a subsequent backlash meme, "Wakanda Isn't Real".
    • People making comparisons between Killmonger and Dragon Ball character Vegeta due to the distinctive chest plate he wears resembling Vegeta's Saiyan armor, as well as speculation if it's an intentional shout-out due to Michael B. Jordan's known love of anime. It's since become fair play to assume that Killmonger is an anime fan himself.
    • Is this your king? explanation 
    • De prinss will now heff de strenf a de bleck penta sdripped eweh. explanation 
    • DELETE THAT FOOTAGE explanation 
    • Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan became really fed up with people telling them/asking them to say "Wakanda Forever" with the arms-over-chest salute; especially in Jordan's case since his character never does it in the film, as Killmonger grew up in the US and hates Wakanda. Pictures of the very-annoyed-looking actors are usually captioned with "Wakanda Occasionally" or "Wakanda Whatever."
    • Comparing W'Kabi to Chris from Get Out, as they are played by the same actor, and claiming that W'Kabi is actually a disguised Chris, hiding from the authorities after he was responsible for multiple murders (Even though his victims tried to kill him first). Even better, some people didn't know the character's name from this movie, and simply called him the "Get Out guy".
    • When word broke of the shocking passing of Chadwick Boseman on August 28 2020, the instant reaction online was either images/gifs of T'Challa doing the salute or in the Ancestral Garden. Another one was to post the quote, "In my culture, death is not the end."
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: The film was generally received in Africa because of its humanization of Africans and African society and portrayal of Wakanda as a technologically advanced paradise, in contrast to most Western portrayals of Africa as poor and war-torn.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
  • Moe: Shuri, whose Adorkableness and fun antics make her very huggable.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Killmonger has a few possible moments:
      • Mocking the completely innocent tour guide at the museum, whose only crime was telling him what she knew based on Western academic understanding of African history, as she succumbs to the poison he had put in her coffee, just so he and Klaue can have a distraction to steal a valuable Wakandan artifact.
      • When he declares his intention to kill the children of anyone in power outside Wakanda, showcasing blatant Revenge Myopia given the death of his father at T'Chaka's hands is his central motivation.
      • The moment he comes back from his vision quest and orders his advisors to burn all the Heart-Shaped Herbs for no reason, showing how little he respects Wakandan culture despite his claims of championing it.
      • When he kills Zuri and tries to kill a defeated T'Challa by throwing him off the waterfall even though Zuri offered to die in T'Challa's place.
      • When Klaue takes his girlfriend and partner-in-crime hostage, Erik kills her himself with a shocking lack of reaction.
    • Klaue letting one of the security guards at the museum go and then shooting him in the back as he was running away, just to spread out the crime scene. Even Killmonger was shocked by this.
  • More Popular Spin Off: At least in the United States; the movie made over $700 million and was the highest-grossing film of 2018 in that market (which is even more than what Avengers: Infinity War made in the United States, in spite of the latter's bigger opening), compared to Captain America: Civil War — the film that introduced T'Challa/Black Panther — which made over $400 million. Overseas, though, the movie played like a very successful spin-off to that film rather than overperforming at a rate similar to the American market.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Killmonger's Gangbanger vibe seems rather goofy and jarring when juxtaposed against the Afrofuristic style of Wakanda. Yet his gangster style makes him all the more memorable, and further highlights how out of touch he is with his Wakandan heritage. Also, it's a completely justified contrast, as he grew up in that culture, not Wakanda.
    • The Jabari tribe's habit of barking like apes at people runs right up to the boundary between narm and charm. Their sheer awesomeness puts them over.
    • Shuri's "WHAT ARE THOOOOSE?!" line has made plenty of eyes roll due to its sheer We're Still Relevant, Dammit! tone. But not only is it simply funny, but it's also perfectly in character for the irreverent and youthful Shuri to say to tease her older brother. Besides: It's far less obnoxious than the meme it's spawned from thanks to Shuri's voice not being nearly as obnoxious.
  • Nausea Fuel: Killmonger's scarification is definitely unnerving to people with trypophobia (fear of holes, usually set off by things that look like bug nests).
  • Never Live It Down: No matter what she does throughout the rest of the MCU, it appears Shuri will always be the girl who made an outdated meme reference to T'Challa. Letitia Wright has even joked that she now has to be careful about what shoes she wears.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Killmonger ordering all the Heart-Shaped herbs in the sacred chamber be burned. He just stands in the room while everything around him burns, giving the audience a second-hand look at how his reign as king will not be a kind one. Also doubles as a Tear Jerker.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Sydelle Noel from GLOW has a minor role as one of the Dora Milaje members.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Some fans, critics, and commentators find themselves siding with and cheering on Killmonger, going so far as to call him the "real hero". This stems from Michael B. Jordan's performance as the character, Killmonger's manly badassery, his experience with American racism, or his legitimate arguments of Wakanda's complicity in the suffering of Africans.
  • Sacred Cow: This movie was a long-awaited and spectacularly executed cultural touchstone for African-American audiences, particularly Black children who finally had a role model on the big screen. Chadwick Boseman is this by extension, and criticism went from unadvisable to unthinkable after his sudden, tragic death in 2020.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: There are Peter/Shuri shippers who want the pair to meet and bond over their shared love of tech.
  • Signature Scene
    • The scene of T'Challa backflipping from one car onto the next has appeared in all three trailers.
    • T'Challa and Killmonger visiting the Ancestral Plane.
  • Special Effect Failure: Although the movie on a whole looks impressive, the CGI looks far more dated and obvious than several of the more recent Marvel movies:
    • The third act in general has really wonky CGI. The rhinos have been criticized for how jarring and unnatural they look, and a lot of the stunts are clearly performed by CGI doubles. Killmonger's Panther suit is also very obvious CGI that makes it look like it's made of rubber.
    • The scene where T'Challa visits the Ancestral Plane for the second time has shockingly obvious green screen effects.
    • The fight scenes involving the Black Panther suits suffer from the CGI overuse, resulting in the scenes of intense action scenes looking janky and hard to follow.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: When Disney's remake of The Lion King was released, many fans declared Black Panther was a better remake.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Killmonger's suit was first revealed in Hasbro's toyline for the film, and a number of fans complained about it looking rather generic and too much like T'Challa's. This changed when the trailer showed that it had a distinctive golden hue and jaguar-like spots, indicating the action figure may just have been a case of Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: T'Challa's new panther suit has been the subject of criticism and is widely regarded as a step down from his suit in Civil War. Points of contention usually include the increasingly cat-like face mask sculpt, the muscle-printed torso and the glowing purple highlights in combat, often called goofy and cartoonish compared to his old costume.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Andy Serkis as Klaue is an entertaining villain, and both his and T'Challa's comic book counterparts have clashed multiple times in the comics. So you might expect Klaue to survive to bedevil Black Panther in the future but nope, Killmonger shoots him dead halfway through the film. Man, characters played by Andy Serkis just can't catch a break, can they?
    • Killmonger makes the most of the screentime he gets, but he's Out of Focus for the film's first half, with Klaue being built up as the main threat instead of him. Some reviewers even said that they had forgotten Killmonger was in the film by the time he becomes important.
    • Queen Ramonda spent the later half of the movie completely Out of Focus despite the film focusing heavily on the rest of the royal family. Her grief over her husband's death and son's apparent death is completely glossed over.
    • Despite being an elderly former warrior and spiritual leader for Wakanda who was once T'Chaka's most trusted spy and dear friend, poor Zuri doesn't get to do a whole lot besides adjudicating the trials by combat for the throne, and in fact is never even shown reacting to T'Chaka's death. We never learn how he went from being "badass spy" to "keeper of the sacred garden", and only gets a brief scene with T'Challa discussing his grief over N'Jobu's betrayal and death, and the moment he steps up to actually make a difference in the plot, he's murdered by Killmonger.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • Ulysses Klaue, one of the more memorable villains in the MCU, ends up getting killed about halfway through the movie in order to make way for Killmonger.
    • Killmonger himself dies at the end of the movie, to many fans disappointment. His arguments and charisma have made him a favorite, while his death is a tragedy both in and out of universe.
  • Uncanny Valley: Klaue's artificial hand falls into Uncanny Valley territory, and not just on his character poster. The creepy way it opens itself to reveal a Plasma Cannon also renders Klaue less "human".
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • Wakanda looks absolutely gorgeous.
    • The official trailer highlights Wakanda's unique aesthetic, along with T'Challa and Killmonger's suits forming around them Tony Stark style and Klaue destroying a car with one blast from his sonic arm.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Prince N'Jobu has been sent to the United States to spy on the world. He realizes how many black people are suffering in the United States, and how the police and FBI crack down on their attempts at organized resistance and community building. His brother, King T'Chaka, and the Wakandan council would never agree because of the Wakandan policy to keep their technology and wealth a secret.
      You'd Expect: N'Jobu would use his assets as a wealthy prince to surreptitiously fund communities in need of breakfasts, proper education and such, the way his nephew T'Challa does later on as the king with his community centers. And that whoever he chooses as a partner won't have a beef with Wakanda.
      Instead: N'Jobu sells out Wakandan vibranium to Klaue, an arms dealer who holds a grudge against Wakanda thanks to his family getting killed.
      The Result: Klaue kills thousands of Wakandans while stealing the vibranium and reneges on the deal with N'Jobu. T'Chaka busts N'Jobu and demands an explanation, and kills him on the spur of the moment when N'Jobu threatens the spy that ratted on him. No one wins, except Klaue.
    • N'Jobu also fathered a child out of wedlock. The woman is currently imprisoned and later executed for her supposed crimes; N'Jobu raises his son Erik alone, with maybe "Uncle James" aka Wakanda War dog Zuri for help. Due to the Wakandan secrecy policy, the Council would be against the child coming "home".
      You'd Expect: N'Jobu would have prepared paperwork to assign Erik a proper guardian, send him to his mother's family, or demand that his brother legitimize Erik as a potential heir to the throne. As a spy, and as someone who has committed treason, he has to think of his child's well-being if the worst-case scenario happens.
      You'd Also Expect: Knowing that he has a nephew, that T'Chaka would make some arrangements for Erik to have a guardian, or take the child with him when demanding N'Jobu return to Wakanda to explain why he sold out the vibranium to Klaue.
      Instead: Unless Uncle James was Erik's godfather, we don't see any forward planning apart from Erik's glowing Wakanda tattoo. Thus, when T'Chaka and Zuri abandon Erik, he has no one. Erik as a preteen suffers the worst of Adult Fear when he sees the departing ship, senses something is wrong and runs into his apartment. He finds his father dead from panther claw wounds. It means he grows up without anyone looking out for him in Oakland, not even his mother.
      The Result: The military recruits Erik, and he becomes scarily efficient at deposing governments, while obtaining a degree at MIT. This knowledge and experience, combined with Erik's drive for revenge, causes him to nearly destroy Wakanda and twist what his father ultimately wanted. N'Jobu in the afterlife realizes this when Erik talks to him, in child and adult form. T'Challa, Erik's cousin, is beyond furious when he hears what his father and Zuri did and decides to end the Wakandan isolationism.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: T'Challa's declaration at the United Nations in the post-credit sequence that "The wise build bridges while fools build barriers". While in-universe it is a reference to Wakanda's own history, to the audience it can either be read as a criticism of an increasing trend towards nationalism in the 21st century or it can simply be read at face value as an appeal to love and tolerance across the tribes of humanity.
  • Win the Crowd:
    • The selection of fan favorite Ryan Coogler to direct got a lot of people excited for the movie, especially after fan disappointment over Ava DuVernay passing on the director's chair.
    • Captain America: Civil War got tons of fans otherwise uninterested or unaware of the character excited to see him in his own movie.
    • A great number of fans lost their minds over the teaser trailer. It was viewed a combined 89 million times in the first 24 hours, making it Marvel's third most-viewed trailer ever (behind Thor: Ragnarok and Captain America: Civil War, making it also the most-viewed trailer for a superhero's solo debut).
    • There's also the news that Kendrick Lamar will be contributing to the soundtrack.
    • Then the movie got people even more hyped after maintaining a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes for a time.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Although Michael B. Jordan won over fans in the final film, his initial casting received a mixed response for many reasons:
    • Some fans have complained about Jordan isn't as large and muscular as Erik Killmonger is usually depicted in the comics. Others have argued that Jordan is a very talented performer despite not resembling the character, and that like The Kingpin, it would likely be hard to find a good actor with Killmonger's exaggerated physique to begin with.
    • Another debate is whether Jordan should be in this movie at all, due to his involvement in the Fant4stic debacle. Some people feel that it was too soon to cast Jordan, as they fear that his casting would cause the movie to underperform just like Fant4stic. However, many are quick to point how Jordan has won over critics with the movie Creed since then. Furthermore, defenders will point out that Marvel Studios has had a much better track record than 20th Century Fox's history with the Fantastic Four franchise, and how Fant4stic had such a Troubled Production that it probably would have failed even without Jordan's involvement. Finally, many MCU actors have been in various other comic book adaptationsnote  making Jordan's casting in the MCU nothing new.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • The reactions to the new Black Panther suit have been mixed, with many saying that it doesn't look as good as the one worn in Civil War and wishing he just kept that one. The mask in particular has been the subject of criticism, with some saying the more cat-like design causes it to look Narmy. Other points of contention are the foot claws and muscle-printed torso, which fans deride as overly cartoony.
    • People have criticized that attempts of making Angela Bassett look older by simply dying her hair white didn't really work out despite her actually being in her late 50s when production took place.

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