What is Wakanda? Black Panther 2, the latest Marvel movie in the ever-growing MCU, is nearly upon us. Set after the events of Endgame, the superhero movie will see the people of Wakanda grieving the death of King T’Challa and trying to move on.
When Namor and the Talokans — an ancient civilization of underwater-dwelling people — attack Wakanda, the royal family must put aside their grief and select a new Black Panther to protect the country. As it’s been a few years since we last visited Wakanda, we thought it would be helpful to give you, the reader, a little refresher on this fictional paradise. Here’s everything you need to know about Wakanda.
What is Wakanda?
Wakanda is a fictional African county in the Marvel comics and cinematic universe. It’s the homeland of T’Challa and most of the Black Panther supporting cast.
Wakanda in the MCU
In the MCU movies, Wakanda is a secretive and isolated nation in Central Africa that borders South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya. The country is made up of five distinct tribes — the River Tribe, the Mining Tribe, the Merchant Tribe, the Mountain Tribe, and the Border Tribe.
These tribes are ruled over by a monarch and protected by an elite warrior known as the Black Panther. The Black Panther is usually a member of the Wakandan royal family (sometimes even the monarch themselves) who’s given a special medicine made from the Heart-Shaped Herb, which bestows them with incredible powers.
Widely believed to be a third-world country, Wakanda is, in fact, the most technologically advanced nation on Earth and the most powerful. Wakanda’s power comes from the rare metal Vibranium —which came from a meteor that hit the country centuries ago. The unique properties of this metal have allowed the Wakandans to achieve a level of technology beyond any other country on Earth.
At the end of the first Black Panther, Wakanda abandoned its isolationist ways. It opened its borders to the rest of the world, revealing its incredible technology in the process. The Marvel villain Thanos later attacked the country as he attempted to claim the Mind Stone.
Wakanda in the comics
The Wakanda in the comics shares a similar history to its MCU counterpart. It’s a secretive nation that used Vibranium to make itself the most scientifically advanced nation on Earth. The only significant difference is when Vibranium was discovered. In the comics, Vibranium’s only really been exploited for a generation, not centuries.
If you want to know more about this fictional universe, check out our guide to the best MCU series, or we have guides to the Phase 5 films, Captain America 4, The Thunderbolts, The Marvels, plus a bonus article all about Black Panther 3 (and whatever phase that’s part of).
We also have guides to two major Black Panther characters, Shuri and Ironheart, or if you want to know more about the wonderful actors who bring these heroes to life, we have an article all about the Black Panther cast.