The MCU Just Made Wakanda Feel Tiny Before Black Panther 2

Marvel's What If...? episode 6 revisited the Wakandan locations that were introduced in previous MCU movies, making the kingdom seem like a much smaller country than it actually is. Wakanda is one of the most important places in both Marvel comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is an isolationist African nation with an unparalleled amount of wealth and state-of-the-art technology. It's also a hotspot of diverse tribes and the only place in the world where vibranium abounds. As the most developed country in the MCU, it finds the perfect spot between natural landscapes and sophisticated skyscrapers, with waterfalls, a mountain range, and a river complementing the bustling metropolis at its core.

Black Panther confirmed just how big and complex Wakanda is when T'Challa returns home after the death of his father. Even he, the prince and king-to-be, says "this never gets old" as his ship crosses the mountain hologram that protects Wakanda, revealing the beauty of the fictional nation in all its glory. It comes as a surprise, then, that the MCU hasn't explored more of Wakanda ever since Black Panther.

Related: The MCU Just Hinted How Powerful Shuri Will Be As Black Panther

Instead of harnessing the eye-catching complexity of the kingdom, What If...? episode 6 sets its Wakanda scenes in the same locations that Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther introduced. From the field where the Avengers fight Thanos' Outriders to the jungle road where T'Challa reunites with Nakia (which is actually located in Nigeria's Sambisa Forest, outside of Wakanda), What If...? missed the chance to do the huge, diverse kingdom of Wakanda the justice it deserves. While including T'Chaka's throne made sense within the story, episode 6 could have thought outside the box and explored different locations.

What If...? episode 6 also continues an Avengers: Infinity War problem by treading old ground. In Infinity War, the Avengers and the Wakandans had a hard time fighting the Outriders until Thor arrived with the Stormbreaker. This moment cemented Thor as one of the most powerful Avengers, but it also put Wakanda's capabilities into question. The kingdom is supposed to have an incredible amount of firepower, with enough vehicles, weapons, and soldiers to defend the entire country effortlessly at once. Instead, Wakanda only used a small group of soldiers armed with melee weapons and relied on the Avengers to defend themselves.

The exact same thing happened in What If...? when Killmonger brings in his drones. Unlike Avengers: Infinity War, this battle actually features the Border Tribe's armored rhinoceros. However, the Wakandans never use any kind of long-range weapons, land vehicles, or aircraft. Such an advanced nation, once again, resorts to fighting the invaders with melee weapons. Considering Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and the untitled Wakanda-centered Disney+ series are coming soon, it would have made more sense to explore give viewers a wider view of the African kingdom.

More: Why Marvel’s What If…? Episodes Keep Abruptly Ending On Cliffhangers



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