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*For it’s July 21st issue, EW takes us to Wakanda, the advanced African nation that comic fans got a glimpse of at the end of “Captain America: Civil War.”

It is home to the superhero Black Panther, and as the publication notes, next year, the Ryan Coogler-directed movie “will add to that legacy as the first big-budget comic-book tentpole to feature a black hero.”

Coogler also co-wrote the film, which features a predominantly black cast starring Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther/T’Challa, Angela Bassett, who plays his mother, Lupita Nyong’o as his love interest, and Martin Freeman as a CIA officer.

As the ruler of this fictional African kingdom, T’Challa’s got the weight of a whole nation on his shoulders as he defends his homeland from a cast of star-studded villains, including Andy Serkis’ arm-less mercenary and Michael B. Jordan’s exiled outcast and challenger to the throne.

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Coogler says, “What makes [Black Panther] different from other superheroes, first and foremost, is he doesn’t see himself as a superhero. He sees himself as a politician.”

His personal connection to Black Panther goes back to when he was a young boy at a comic books store in his hometown of Oakland, where he asked, “‘You got any black superheroes? Got anybody who looks like me?’ The first thing they did was walk me over to Black Panther.”

“Ryan’s making this movie for his 8-year-old self,” says Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and producer on Black Panther. “That’s why you do it. Most importantly, you do it for other 8-year-olds, to inspire the next generation the way we were inspired. And when Ryan was growing up, there weren’t that many of these heroes to be inspired by that looked like him.”

Meanwhile, EW’s annual Comic-Con Preview also features first looks and previews of the biggest shows and movies appearing at Comic-Con this year, including:

  • Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One
  • First Look at director Ava Duvernay’s A Wrinkle In Time.
  • Concept art from the new film version of Stephen King’s IT.
  • Ezra Miller on his version of The Flash in Justice League
  • And Alicia Vikander on resurrecting Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.

EW’s July 21st/28th issue is on newsstands nationwide now. 

Check out the exclusive EW “Black Panther” photo shoot below.

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