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Marvel’s Black Panther would feel right at home in S’pore

The revolution will be live.

By Sulaiman Daud | February 14, 2018

2018 might be the Year of the Dog, but as far as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is concerned, this year belongs to the Black Panther.

The character made his first film appearance in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.

Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up) turned in a remarkable performance as young Prince T’Challa of Wakanda, a small and secretive yet advanced African kingdom.

Over the course of the movie, he battles Captain America and assumes the mantle of a superhero, the Black Panther.

Step into the Spotlight

Created in 1966 by the legendary duo of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Black Panther finally makes his solo debut in a movie helmed by award-winning director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed).

Unique among the Marvel franchise (and Hollywood in general) for featuring a predominantly black cast, the blockbuster opens in Singapore on Feb. 14.

The movie also stars Michael B. Jordan (Creed), Angela Bassett (Sunshine State), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit).

Pic from Black Panther Movie’s Facebook page.

Sounds like Singapore

Although the movie is set in a fictional African country, it is similar enough to Singapore to make T’Challa and his family feel right at home.

Here goes:

1. Small, yet technologically advanced

In the Marvel Universe, Wakanda is dwarfed by much bigger neighbours like Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya.

A bit like Singapore, surrounded by big countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.

Wakanda disguises itself as a poor, Third World nation to deflect attention from enemies.

But it secretly has access to a futuristic metal called vibranium, which allows it to create ground-breaking inventions.

Screen shot from Marvel’s YouTube.

Some of their innovations include flying ships, remote-access cars and fast-acting medical technology, all of which are on display in the movie.

Singapore has developed rapidly in a short span of time and we are by no means acting poor, we do act austere.

And while we may not have flying vehicles, at least we can say that Singapore invented the thumb drive.

2. Concrete jungle

Despite its technological advancement, Wakandans maintain a close relationship with wildlife, and the natural environment.

War rhinos make a thundering appearance in the movie.

Kind of like Singapore too.

You might encounter pythons, pythons fighting cobras, sambar deer, wild boars, or even crocodiles on any given day.

Crocodile spotted resting in the middle of visitors’ footpath at Sungei Buloh

3. Colourful and diverse

Wakanda was formed when five (and then four) warring tribes set aside their differences and banded together.

Although they still have their differences, and maintain separate customs and traditions, they remain united for the most part as one people and one nation.

Sounds like just like home.

Screenshot from Marvel’s YouTube.

4. Led by the son of a former leader

The movie deals with the aftermath of Civil War, and the death of Wakanda’s King T’Chaka. His son T’Challa must now take up the royal mantle and lead his country into a new age.

Basically, Wakanda is led by the son of a former leader.

There’s something familiar about that too, but can’t quite put a finger on it.

Pic from Lee Hsien Loong’s Facebook page.

5. Dismissed by foreigners

In a scene from the teaser trailer, the villain Ulysses Klaue (played by Andy Serkis) asks CIA Agent Everett Ross (played by Martin Freeman) what he knows about Wakanda.

Screen shot from Marvel’s YouTube.

Almost dismissively, Ross lists what he knows about the country, which isn’t very much:

“It’s a Third World country. Textiles, shepherds, cool outfits.”

But as we know, Wakanda is hiding some secrets.

Not sure about the cool secrets part, but Singapore gets dismissed quite a lot too.

S’pore Tourism Board responds with ‘unexciting’ video to Time Out survey calling us ‘boring’

We’ll show them.

Black Panther drops in Singapore on Feb. 14. This one is worth queuing up for.

Here are a few interesting articles you should check out next:

We got people on the street to talk about songs that hold a special place in their hearts, because kaypoh
Quiz: What kind of Chinese New Year gift are you?
Random trivia about Changi Airport you never needed to know

Top image from Black Panther Movie’s Facebook page

About Sulaiman Daud

Sulaiman believes that we can be heroes, if just for one day. His favourite Doctor is Peter Capaldi's Twelve. In his spare time he writes about film, pop-culture and international politics, which you are very welcome to read here.

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