When Black Panther first introduced itself to the world in 2018, it made history. The film itself is an enjoyable watch, exploring a vastly different world and its culture from what MCU fans had grown accustomed to in the ten years prior.
Surely one of the most enjoyable aspects of the Wakandan exploration was the variety of Black Panther suits that several characters donned throughout the project.
The feature film showcased T'Challa's classic look from Captain America: Civil War as well as an updated, exponentially more capable suit that Shuri designed for her older brother to wear for the bulk of the movie. Erik Killmonger also put on a version of the vibranium armor in the film's final battle sequence, which many latched onto with delight and dubbed the "Golden Jaguar" accordingly.
But, there was yet another suit used in T'Challa's first solo MCU outing, and it predated any other iteration of the Wakandan Warrior shown in the film. It belonged to King T'Chaka, and the weight of his presence increased tenfold when he appeared behind the feline facemask.
Marvel didn't spend much time showing off this variation of the Black Panther as it was only included in the film's opening scene. Yet, that single sequence immediately set the tone for the King of Wakanda's might, and it seems that Marvel may want to circle back and reminisce on how perfectly the royal armored garbs emulated just that.
KING T'CHAKA JOINS THE WAKANDAN FUNKO GANG
A leak on Instagram provided a first look at an upcoming Funko Pop! celebrating King T'Chaka's glory days as the Black Panther as shown in the 2018 feature film.
The mixture of vibranium armor and Wakandan robes that communicate royalty and tenacity is captured perfectly in this three-inch figure. A favorite among many, it's actually a bit surprising that the production of this Pop! comes more than three years after the film's debut.
The artwork on the box for the new T'Chaka figure matches perfectly with the rest of the Black Panther Funko collection, so this addition will fit in quite well with the rest of the Wakandan vinyl figures from the franchise's first film.
T'CHAKA'S TIME AS THE BLACK PANTHER
Since the passing of Chadwick Boseman, Kevin Feige confirmed that the role of T'Challa will stay with Boseman for good and will not be handed off to another actor to continue his story. Nevertheless, those close to the franchise believe that the late MCU alum would want the Black Panther story to continue on without him, and it looks like that's what this new reality will be as many changes to the story are being made.
Of course, that doesn't mean the next installment in the Wakanda-centric storytelling won't honor Chadwick Boseman, but it will certainly feel different.
This T'Chaka Funko marks the first Pop! made for the Black Panther franchise since the passing of Chadwick Boseman. It seems to serve as a reminder of what was but also what can be in the MCU. As difficult of an idea as it may be, this can also serve as a reminder that T'Challa wasn't the first Wakandan to carry the mantle of Black Panther as well as that he likely won't be the last.
On a lighter note, though, there's now been a Funko Pop! made for every variation of the Black Panther suit that's appeared in the MCU thus far with this addition of this T'Chaka new figure. This is quite a treat for collectors since other MCU franchises like Iron Man and Captain America that partially predate the Funko Pop! uprising and are only now going back to expand on the merchandising goldmine.
Will fans will get another glimpse at T'Chaka's Black Panther suit in the next franchise installment? Find out when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on July 8, 2022.