Wakanda, officially known as the Kingdom of Wakanda, is a small isolationist landlocked country located in Africa, surrounded by mountain ranges and a thick forest. It was ruled by King T'Challa, the heir of the mantle of Black Panther, and is the only known source of the metal vibranium. Despite appearing to be little more than an obscure, poor third world country with little to offer to the rest of the world, it is in fact the most advanced country in the world, whose level of technology is at least several decades ahead of anywhere else on Earth.
2.5 million years ago a meteorite made of an alien metal landed in the heart of Africa, greatly affecting the surrounding flora. Centuries later, five tribes colonized the area and went to war over the metal, which they referred to as Isipho. One day, a warrior shaman named Bashenga was guided by a vision of the panther goddess Bast, who led him towards a plant that had mutated as a result of the metal's powers.
Upon ingesting the herb, Bashenga discovered he had been imbued with superhuman abilities and used them to unite the tribes as the first King of Wakanda and the first "Black Panther". Four of the tribes pledged their loyalty to Bashenga while the remaining tribe went into isolation.
As time passed, the Wakandans used the metal to develop technology that was far more highly-advanced than any other in existence. To protect themselves from the chaos that was slowly consuming the rest of the world, they created a cloaking field that allowed them to hide in plain sight.
Wakanda was marked as a "hot-spot" for activities monitored by S.H.I.E.L.D. As such, it was displayed in the holographic maps used by the organization to oversee those activities, such as the ones present in the room where Nick Fury met with Tony Stark to discuss his formal integration into the Avengers Initiative.
Theft of Vibranium
Black-market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue smuggled large amounts of vibranium out of Wakanda, with the aid of the King's younger brother N'Jobu. Klaue was eventually captured and had the word "thief" burnt into his neck, but managed to escape. Klaue began to sell vibranium on the black market until 2015, when the artificial intelligence Ultron purchased the remaining caches for a few billion dollars.
- "When stolen Wakandan vibranium was used to make a terrible weapon, we in Wakanda were forced to question our legacy. Those men and women killed in Nigeria were part of a goodwill mission from a country too long in the shadows. We will not, however, let misfortune drive us back. We will fight to improve the world we wish to join."
- ―T'Chaka at the signing of the Sokovia Accords
After a terrorist attack in Lagos claimed the lives of twenty-six people, eleven of the victims being relief aid workers from Wakanda, King T'Chaka was one of several international politicians who called for the United Nations to create a system of accountability.
Sometime later, the United Nations passed the Sokovia Accords before arranging a formal ceremony at the Vienna International Centre in Austria. T'Chaka and his son T'Challa were among those in attendance. During the ceremony, as T'Chaka gave the keynote address, a bomb detonated and decimated the building, killing T'Chaka and twelve other people.
Immediately following the attack, security footage revealed that Bucky Barnes was responsible for T'Chaka's death. T'Challa, who inherited the throne, set out to kill Barnes only to discover he had been framed by Sokovian intelligence officer Helmut Zemo.
As a result of King T'Chaka's death in Vienna, his son T'Challa was subsequently crowned as the new king of Wakanda, first retrieving his former lover Nakia from her current mission with Okoye. He then challenged M'Baku for the throne of Wakanda, as by tradition he must fight one of the warriors chosen for the kingdom's throne from the other tribes of Wakanda. While M'Baku was later defeated, his life was spared so he could continue aiding his own tribe in the mountains. T'Challa later took the Heart-Shaped Herb so he could meet with his ancestors including the late T'Chaka.
Later, after T'Challa caught and arrested Ulysses Klaue in Busan, Klaue had managed to escape with the help of some thugs, injuring the CIA agent Everett Ross while doing so. Knowing about the secrecy risks associated with bringing an outsider into Wakanda, T'Challa decided to take Ross to his sister Shuri so she could heal him.
After he learned from Zuri of the truth about his uncle N'Jobu, one day T'Challa was surprised to find that Erik Killmonger had arrived in Wakanda, having just killed Ulysses Klaue. Killmonger denounced T'Challa and questioned his own identity, but upon being forced to leave had revealed to the others that he was N'Jobu's son, challenging T'Challa to the throne of Wakanda.
Based on tradition, the two returned to the same area where T'Challa previously fought M'Baku for another fight to earn the title of king. Upon being stripped of his powers however, T'Challa discovered that the military training and experience had made Killmonger a tough opponent for him to beat. Despite initially seeming like T'Challa would win, Killmonger later dealt some hard blows to T'Challa and threw him off the waterfall as he was crowned the new king of Wakanda, having killed Zuri for being "responsible for his father's death."
While Killmonger underwent the traditional rituals for a newly crowned Wakandan king, it was revealed that T'Challa was recovered by the Jabari Tribe in an unconscious state. Given one last Heart-Shaped Herb to recover as all other herbs were burned down by Killmonger, T'Challa woke up and requested for the Jabari to help him overthrow Killmonger, who planned to send Wakandan technology to all corners of the world so all people of African descent could defend themselves more easily.
As the Wakandan crafts took off one-by-one with their vibranium weapons, Erik Killmonger noticed one of the crafts on the ground burning. T'Challa emerged from the craft unscathed, as he and the Dora Milaje proceeded to face off against Killmonger and the Border Tribe with help from the Jabari Tribe.
During the battle, Killmonger had defeated the Dora Milaje and was about to tackle Shuri when T'Challa charged into him, knocking both of them into the Vibranium mine that lay below Mount Bashenga.
While in the mine, T'Challa and Killmonger fought each other on the tracks the Wakandan Maglev Train, where sonic-powered devices are used to nullify the effects of vibranium while they're being transported on the trains. Once T'Challa told Shuri to activate the Kimoyo Beads, the Black Panther Habits of T'Challa and Killmonger were able to be briefly disabled whenever a train passes, eventually allowing T'Challa to stab Killmonger in the chest with his own weapon.
Knowing that he just lost the fight, Killmonger addressed his father and how he referred to Wakanda as the most beautiful place in the world. T'Challa then took Killmonger out of the mine to watch the sunset over Wakanda. T'Challa offered to help Killmonger by having him healed, but Killmonger declined, mentioning that he would rather die than get locked up. Killmonger then took the weapon out of his chest and died on the cliff, as T'Challa reclaimed his throne and kingdom.
Exposing Wakanda to the World
T'Challa had decided to open the advanced nation to the rest of the world and share its technology with them. Addressing the truth about Wakanda at the United Nations in Vienna, he announced the end of Wakanda's isolation and claimed the entire planet to be completely unified. He decided to purchase the apartment complex where T'Chaka killed N'Jobu, and renovate it into an embassy for Wakanda that Shuri and Nakia will run.
In Wakanda, the Avengers on Earth consisting of Captain America, Black Widow, War Machine, Falcon, Bruce Banner, Scarlet Witch, and Black Panther tasked Shuri with extracting the Mind Stone from an injured Vision's forehead. Thanos's army invaded and the Avengers mounted a defense alongside T'Challa and the Wakandan forces. Banner, unable to summon Hulk, fought in Stark's Hulkbuster armor. Thor, Rocket, and Groot arrived on Earth and rallied the defenses. Proxima Midnight, Cull Obsidian and Corvus Glaive were killed, their army of Outriders destroyed.
Unfortunately, at the same time, the Battle of Titan had gone poorly and Thanos had defeated the heroes that engaged him and forced Strange to give him the Time Stone. He then arrived in person to Wakanda finally, intend on personally retrieving the Mind Stone, and the heroes engaged him to stop him from getting to Vision, but Thanos's control over the fabrics of reality instantly overwhelmed them all. Alone with Scarlet Witch, Vision told her that she had to kill him. At first, she refused out of love for Vision until he convinced her that it was the only way to stop Thanos. Scarlet Witch then tearfully unleashed a stream of energy into the stone as the other Avengers tried to stop Thanos in futile attempts. As he defeated the Avengers with complete ease, Thanos began to approach Vision and Scarlet Witch but was held back by the latter, who issued a stream of energy. Vision managed to declare his love for Scarlet Witch as she successfully cracked and shattered the Mind Stone, destroying it along with Vision in an explosion.
Thanos briefly sympathized with Scarlet Witch before he used the Time Stone to undo her actions and retrieved the stone from Vision, destroying him for good. After obtaining the Mind Stone, Thanos powered up, only to be interrupted by Thor, who unleashed the full might of his power and Stormbreaker upon Thanos in a last-minute attempt to stop him, violently stabbing him in the chest. Thor landed on the ground and walked towards the Mad Titan, pushing Stormbreaker into the latter's chest as deep as he could into Thanos, reminding him of the vow he made to Thanos for killing his brother Loki. Despite being badly wounded by Thor, Thanos remained unfazed and mocked Thor that he should have aimed for the head and activated the Infinity Gauntlet with a snap of his fingers before leaving Wakanda by a portal. Thanos' plan came to fruition as beings across the universe began to disintegrate, including in Wakanda as Winter Soldier, Groot, Maximoff, Black Panther, Falcon and some of the surviving Wakandan soldiers. Banner, M'Baku, Okoye, War Machine, Rocket, Captain America, Black Widow, and Thor were left on the Wakandan battlefield.
- Wakanda is depicted as a small area around Lake Turkana, a point where Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia meet. Interestingly, this is the location of the Ilemi Triangle, an area of land contested between Kenya and South Sudan.
- The geography of Wakanda depicted thus far shows lush vegetation, which would situate Wakanda in Central Africa, i.e. bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo, rather than where it is seen on maps bordering Kenya and Ethiopia, where there is mostly just desert.
- During the Sokovia Accords in Vienna, T'Chaka speaks to his son T'Challa in Xhosa, and it therefore appears to be their native tongue. However, while the Wakandan language is likely to be a Bantu language (like Xhosa is) given its location, Xhosa is spoken in southern Africa, far from where Wakanda is said to be (however, the Xhosa were part of the Nguni migrations, which saw groups of Bantu speakers, head from Central Africa down south, with the Xhosa in particular once being near the Great Lakes.)
- Despite the above-mentioned, given Wakandan traditions that in the comics are said to derive from Ancient Egypt, the Wakandan language may also be Afro-Asiatic.
Behind the Scenes
- In the commentary for Iron Man 2, Jon Favreau noted Wakanda specifically as one of the locations Nick Fury was watching.
- A vibranium mine in Wakanda was a location planned to appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but was ultimately scrapped.
- John Kani, the actor who portrays T'Chaka, taught Chadwick Boseman to speak Xhosa for the film.
In chronological order:
- Black Panther Prelude
- Iron Man 2 (computer screen)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (mentioned)
- Captain America: Civil War
- Black Panther
- Avengers: Infinity War Prelude
- Avengers: Infinity War
- ↑ The Art of Black Panther
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Black Panther
- ↑ Iron Man 2
- ↑ Avengers: Age of Ultron
- ↑ Captain America: Civil War
- ↑ Captain America: Civil War Mid-credits Scene
- ↑ Avengers: Infinity War
- ↑ Wakanda (Black Panther) Geography Now!
- ↑ Captain America: Civil War
- ↑ Wakanda#Religion
- ↑ Black Panther's language: Where Civil War found the words of Wakanda