Women Empowerment in Wakanda: A Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Review

**Spoilers included**


Photo by Screenshot

Wakanda Forever focuses on the power of women in science, war, and leadership.

Marvel’s long-awaited Black Panther movie, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, was released on November 11th, 2022, and there was A LOT to unpack.

The Marvel universe was heartbroken after the tragic death of the loved Chadwick Boseman and his beloved character, Black Panther. When the movie began, I expected Marvel to have their intro consist of only Boseman and his scenes in Marvel; however, I did not expect there to be complete silence. I thought it was so clever of Marvel not to include the music and have a moment of silence in the theater. Not a single person spoke. It was like everyone knew to be quiet.

Not only did Marvel exceed my expectations with their dedication to Boseman, but their introduction of new villains and their focus on female empowerment were terrific. The new villain, Namor, and his historic villain origin story along with the kingdom he built were truly fascinating to learn about. It’s nothing like anything we’ve seen in Marvel thus far.

Marvel’s characters have tackled celestial beings, elves, traveled all over the galaxy, and even traveled in time however we have yet to encounter any aquatic beings. I am so excited for Marvel to investigate this new underwater world. Namor’s kingdom has been living in silence, developing new technology that even the Wakandans were perplexed by it.

One thing about the Wakandans that is clear throughout their appearances in various films, is that they know how powerful women can be. I truly enjoyed watching Shuri, Okoye, Nakia, Queen Ramonda, Aneka, and the newest member of the team —  Riri, work together throughout the film. They each have their unique talents, especially Riri who I am sure is going to have a bigger role in future movies.

As a student who loves STEM, Shuri, above all, impressed me the most. She is a strong, intelligent woman in STEM and her role in Marvel is truly underrated. I was fascinated to see how her technology had improved. She was able to think of a way to beat Namor by creating a “trap” that dehydrated his body which took away his strength. She also was able to revive the Black Panther plant by replicating its DNA so that she could be the new Black Panther and it worked. She was able to obtain all the powers of the Black Panther, however, I wonder if there was anything she missed when she was creating the plant that might cause future issues.

Her intelligence had helped not only T’Challa but even the Avengers when it came to creating unprecedented technology that could accomplish the unimaginable. In this movie, Shuri created new suits like Iron Man’s suits for the ladies to use in battle and she also created new weapons as she does in every movie. I believe this film opens a path for her to receive the recognition she deserves with her new title as Black Panther. I loved seeing all these wonderful, beautiful women come together.

Overall, I was amazed by this film. I look forward to seeing Namor and his people in future Marvel movies, hopefully not as villains. I am also excited to see Shuri and the impact she will have in the Marvel universe. I am sure she will represent how intelligence is often more potent than any violent weapon.