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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Get ready for the inevitable marketing explosion for Black Panther to hit. With the film hitting next month, Marvel Studios will make damn sure that audiences are more than a little aware of its existence (not that many already don’t know).

However, every so often, we get some updates from the unlikeliest of places. In this case, it’s Toys ‘R Us. On their site, they have a series of character bios for each of their action figures, and they give some added insight into what we can expect from the characters.

Black Panther (T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman) – As the new king of Wakanda, T’Challa is struggling to cope with the loss of his father T’Chaka, but is determined to live up to his great legacy. When Wakanda finds herself beset by two enemies intent on the nation’s downfall, Black Panther must use his new suit and heightened strength, speed and senses to defend Wakanda and the rest of the world.

Okoye (played by Danai Gurira) – The head of the Dora Milaje, an all-female special forces group, Okoya is a fiercely loyal protector of Wakanda who isn’t afraid to question her king, but would defend him with her life. A staunch traditionalist who is as formidable with her spear as she is with her tongue, Okoye finds herself torn between her allegiance to her country and her king when T’Challa begins to challenge ancient Wakandan rules.

Nakia (played by Lupita Nyong’o) – A Wakandan spy pulled from her mission abroad by her former flame T’Challa, Nakia consistently gets involved in conflict for the good of others, adamant to use her abilities to help those in need. In the wake of King T’Chaka’s death and the rise of Wakanda’s new enemies, Nakia puts her skills of subterfuge and hand-to-hand combat to use in order to fight alongside Black Panther.

Shuri (played by Letitia Wright) – Shuri is T’Challa’s younger sister and head of the Wakandan Design Group, where she designs and builds futuristic tech such as the Black Panther suit with Vibranium mined from the Great Mound. She is an innovator, intelligent beyond her years, and always ready to give her big brother a hard time.

Erik Killmonger (Erik Stevens, played by Michael B. Jordan) – Erik Stevens was an American black-ops soldier who earned the nickname “Killmonger” while in the field. However, after disappearing off the grid, he has reemerged with a plan that threatens to put Black Panther and all of Wakanda at risk. Using his charisma, considerable skills in combat and his surprising knowledge of Wakandan customs, Erik Killmonger is a dangerous threat to all that T’Challa holds dear.

M’Baku (played by Winston Duke) – Armed with the hardened Jabari wood armor and a battle staff, M’Baku is the formidable leader of the Jabari tribe, a group of Wakandans who have shunned the use of vibranium and removed themselves from the mainstream Wakandan life. In the wake of T’Chaka’s death, M’Baku is faced with the choice of challenging T’Challa for the throne, or joining forces with his would-be adversary to defend Wakanda from malevolent outside forces.

Everett Ross (played by Martin Freeman – A CIA agent and former liaison with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Everett Ross is reunited with T’Challa when they both find themselves after the same adversary: Ulysses Klaue. A skilled tactician with advanced weapons training, Ross becomes an invaluable ally to the Black Panther.

This slate of character descriptions will be especially helpful to those who are unfamiliar with Black Panther. While many audiences may be following Marvel Studios closer, the actual mythos of the character may still be a mystery to them, and keeping the characters, their alliances, and overall connection to T’Challa all straight will certainly help in the weeks leading up to the film.

Black Panther hits theaters on February 16, 2018.

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SOURCE: Toys ‘R Us (via Coming Soon)

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.