*The first teaser trailer for Marvel’s highly anticipated “Black Panther” film was unleashed during Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night — the Golden State Warriors v. Cleveland Cavaliers.
The preview gives fans a glimpse at Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman, who plays the titular character. It also previews the visually arresting Wakanada — and the political turmoil inside of the region.
In a new poster for the film, Boseman seems to be channeling a historical figure: Huey P. Newton, who founded the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s in Oakland, California.
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TheWrap hit up Marvel about whether the upcoming movie’s poster is a direct reference to the famed 1960s portrait of Newton, no response so far — but you would agree that the similarities are too close to ignore.
The film follows Black Panther, (aka T’Challa), as he returns to Wakanda after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, to succeed the throne and take his place as king. When a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa is tested and drawn into a conflict that puts the entire world at risk.
In case you don’t know this bit of Marvel history: The comic character name predates the Black Panther Party by several months. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby co-created the character, who was briefly renamed Black Leopard to avoid confusion with the activist group, but they flipped it back to Black Panther after fans decided they disliked the new moniker.
Meanwhile, amid the excitement over the weekend about the teaser trailer, Marvel quietly announced Sunday night that “World of Wakanda,” the Black Panther spinoff comic that focuses on the Dora Milaje (those amazing black female warriors in the trailer), was canceled.
This gut punching move follows Marvel’s canceling of a Black Panther comic book, and comes weeks after Marvel’s VP of sales blamed the company’s drop in profit on books featuring women and characters of color.
“Black Panther” arrives in theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.