Set visit reports have hit the internet for Black Panther and fans are getting a major download of information about the upcoming film. One question that Collider is helping answer is just what exactly the film will do with some of the more fantastic and supernatural elements of the Black Panther mythos. It appears that much of it will remain for the film adaptation.
Black Panther mythology like the heart-shaped herb and the Panther Gods will make an appearance in the film as well. The contrast between Wakanda’s technological superiority against their ancient ritual practice and religious beliefs will also be explored.
First of all, this is the right choice from a story perspective. The film should feature real tensions between past and future, eastern and western thought, global interaction and isolationism, etc. Adding a layer of tradition and religion versus technology and religion is another way to add depth to the challenges in front of T’Challa. Already, Doctor Strange has introduced the idea into the universe that religious practice need not be put in direct contradiction with scientific understands. They are different “maps” according to the Ancient One.
On the other hand, Doctor Strange‘s approach to magic (much like that in Thor and more recently Runaways) tended toward “it’s just science we don’t understand.” Black Panther could really set itself up as a different sort of property if Ryan Coogler allows these spiritual and mystical elements to remain truly mysterious and within a realm of fantasy instead of cutting edge technology. The mere presence of Forest Whitaker’s Zuri suggests that some of this element will be in play.
And for our fans of Marvel’s Caped Crusader — a.k.a. Marc Spector, a.k.a. Moon Knight — here’s a fun little tidbit for you. If we draw from the comics directly, the panther god is comics is named Bast. And one of Bast’s half siblings? None other than Khonshu, the god that gave Marc Spector his powers.
What do you think? Do you enjoy having more supernatural elements in the MCU? Or should they stay consistent with their treatment of such elements thus far? Is Black Panther the place to add deities, aside from the Asgardians?