Will the Black Order Appear in BLACK PANTHER? Set Photos Included!
In advance of San Diego Comic-Con, Entertainment Weekly has released a slew of photos previewing Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, releasing Feb. 16. 2018. Described as a “cross between James Bond and The Godfather”, the film’s unparalleled cast, amazing design, and position at the juncture of globetrotting spy adventure and geopolitical superhero movie all promise to result in yet another distinctive entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
So go check out those photos!
Back yet? If so, let’s talk some related potential spoilers for Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.
Over the past few weeks, it’s become increasingly clear that Avengers: Infinity War will prominently feature Thanos’ Black Order. Several rounds of set photos have made it apparent (based on props and mocap suits) that Proxima Midnight, Corvus Glaive, and Ebony Maw will be giving the Avengers some grief next year.
(“Who?” you say, doing your best Djimon Hounsou impression.)
Jonathan Hickman created the Black Order as a team of henchmen for Thanos during his Infinity storyline. It was part of the run-up to Hickman’s Secret Wars books, making it part of the multi-book, multi-arc storyline that just might be the crowning achievement of modern cape comics. They’re a recent creation (2013), so if you haven’t read that story you probably haven’t heard of the gang. But if you have read it, you surely remember them: Iconic designs paired with effective characterization made them register on a totally different level from the faceless-armies-of-minions usually encountered in alien invasion stories.
For the purposes of Avengers: Infinity War, it makes total sense to surround Thanos with this twisted family. Much as we’ve already seen with Nebula, Gamora, and Ronan, there’s more character mileage to be had by giving the Mad Titan interpersonal relationships instead of faceless minions or a single sounding-board for monologuing (à la Mephisto in the original Infinity Gauntlet story).
What does this have to do with Black Panther? One of the members of the Black Order who has not yet popped up in set photos is the gigantic Black Dwarf. His key moment in the comics — really, one of the most memorable moments of Hickman’s entire Secret Wars lead-in — is when he leads an alien invasion of Wakanda … and gets soundly repelled by Black Panther.
With Black Panther releasing just a few months before Infinity War, don’t be surprised to see the stage set for T’Challa and his incredible supporting cast to hold the line when the Black Order comes knocking next summer. (Besides, a careful look at those set photos and a mental inventory of Infinity Stones suggests that no one else will be able to …)