Black Panther’s Been In The MCU Since Before Tony Became Iron Man

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Part and parcel of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s continued success is its sheer diversity.

Take 2017 as an example. For the first time in the MCU’s ten-year history, Marvel Studios launched three mega-budget tentpoles in the form of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (a galactic sequel involving James Gunn’s A-Holes), Spider-Man: Homecoming (an expertly crafted, downright hilarious standalone pic for Peter Parker) and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi’s superhero threequel that promises a radical new direction for Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder.

It’s an impressive lineup by anyone’s standards, and it’ll continue into 2018 thanks to the release of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, which is about to become the studio’s first big-budget blockbuster to be anchored by a black superhero. That responsibility has been thrust on the burly shoulders of Chadwick Boseman, who made his Marvel debut via Captain America: Civil War back in 2016. Or did he?

Though audiences were only introduced to the hero in that aforementioned threequel, it turns out that he’s actually been around in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since even before Tony Stark became Iron Man. How do we know this? Well, a new prelude comic has revealed as much:

Though not a groundbreaking revelation by any means, this is still an interesting bit of trivia and means that Black Panther is actually one of the most experienced Avengers, and has been doing this whole fighting evil thing a lot longer than anyone thought. Given how all over the place the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline has been recently, especially after Homecoming swung in and messed it all up, it’s not exactly surprising that this hasn’t been revealed yet, but again, it’s a fun little fact that fans will surely appreciate.

Also starring Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o (The Last Jedi), Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Andy Serkis, Marvel’s Black Panther spinoff will scurry over to North America in time for February 16th. It’s one of three major tentpoles poised to enter the MCU in 2018, with the other two being Avengers: Infinity War and Peyton Reed’s miniature sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp.

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