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Wakanda explained - the MCU nation’s history in Black Panther

"Wakanda forever!" has accompanied some of the MCU's biggest moments in its best movies, so here's a history of the Black Panther's home.

Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa in Black Panther standing in front of Wakanda

The last time we visited Wakanda in the MCU, we saw its people grieving the death of King T’Challa and celebrating the new Black Panther, Shuri.

One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s most beautiful films, Black Panther 2’s ending showed the collective strength of Wakandans as they moved forward, forging ahead into the future as they always have done. It’s been a few years since we last visited, and we thought it would be helpful to have a little refresher on this fictional paradise and Vibranium.

Black Panther 2: Wakanda

What is Wakanda?

Wakanda is a futuristic fictional African country in the MCU. It also appears in Marvel comics.

It was T’Challa’s homeland and is the birthplace of the Black Panther mantle. 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.

This makes Wakanda resource-wealthy, which other nations have sought to take advantage of. As a fictional place, it’s meant to be reflective of real historical atrocities, while showing what nations that have been colonized or stolen from could achieve if left alone.

Black Panther 2: Wakanda

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.

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. One of the best Marvel villains, Thanos, later attacked the country as he attempted to claim the Mind Stone.

Black Panther 2: Wakanda

Wakanda in the comics

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 has only been exploited for a generation, not centuries.

If you want to know more about this fictional universe, check out our guide to the best Marvel series or the Marvel Phase 5 films, Captain America 4The Thunderbolts, and Black Panther 3.

We also have guides to major Black Panther characters like Ironheart and Shuri. If you want to know more about the wonderful actors who bring these heroes to life, we have an article about the Black Panther cast.