Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer was packed so full of comicy goodness that fans are still digesting everything in it. One thing seems just about certain, though: we're probably getting a Black Panther movie, and we know because we saw Andy Serkis.
The Black Panther, along with Captain Marvel, is a character Marvel fans have been clamoring for, in no small part to introduce a little color (no pun... well, okay, pun) into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Along with Captain Marvel, the Black Panther could help make Marvel's movie offerings a bit more diverse, and Marvel has been teasing that such films are in the offing, but we've seen little evidence that these characters would be on screen soon.
That is, until the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer leaked on Wednesday and seemed to squash all doubt. After watching the trailer – again, and again, and again, admittedly – it seems a pretty safe bet that we'll see the Black Panther sooner rather than later.
Why is that? Well, watch the trailer again; you know you want to. At about the 1:30 mark, make sure not to blink, otherwise you'll miss famed motion capture actor Andy Serkis in the flesh, sporting an absolutely atrocious beard, some equally regrettable hair, and a none-too-happy expression.
We'd already known that Serkis was going to appear in person in Age of Ultron, but we didn't – and still don't – have the name of the character Serkis will play.
What's Serkis got to do with the Black Panther? Well, in the Age of Ultron trailer, Serkis looks a lot like Ulysses Klaw. That's a character Marvel neophytes won't be familiar with, but Black Panther fans are likely getting all antsy about now.
Ulysses Klaw was a Dutch scientist with the same unfortunate hair that Serkis has in the Ultron trailer. His family had connections to the Nazis, and Klaw's father made himself an enemy of the Black Panther's native Wakanda when he tried to kill his way to obtaining a massive supply of vibranium, an extremely rare metal in the Marvel Universe.
Klaw grew up and went into physics, eventually specializing in applied sonics and building a machine that could create solid objects from sound. The only issue, Klaw's technology needed Wakandan vibranium in order to work. There was some tussling here and there, and Klaw's body wound up being converted into pure sound. He's since shown up as an occasional foe for the Black Panther.
So the Age of Ultron trailer has seemingly confirmed that one of the Black Panther's arch nemeses will play a role in the next Avengers movie. Marvel doesn't just toss in things like that for kicks; the House of Ideas really only makes a big reveal like that if they're planning to expand on it. It's pretty likely that, if indeed Serkis is playing Klaw, we'll be seeing some actor donning the Black Panther mask in the near future.
There's one other reason, though, that we're pretty likely to see the Black Panther on screen in the near future. Just before the two-minute mark, the camera pans across some of the fallen Avengers, and we catch a glimpse of Captain America's broken shield.
The Inquisitr has covered before the multiple times in the comics that the Star Spangled Avenger's shield has been broken, but the breaking of the shield isn't just a shocking comic image; it's also one of the things that will bring the Black Panther into play.
The First Avenger's shield, after all, is made of vibranium. That's the same metal that Klaw lusts after, the same metal that is one of the prized resources of the Black Panther's Wakanda. What's more, Cap's shield is the only bit of Vibranium the U.S. government had; it's one of a kind.
Once Ultron kicks the crap out of the Avengers – breaking not only Cap's shield, but probably the unity of the team itself – Steve Rogers will have to get that shield repaired, and Wakanda is the only place he'll be able to go to get more vibranium.
When he gets there, you can bet he'll run into a certain black-clad future Avenger with claws.