Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, an Inspired Collection

Now that we’ve cleared the spoiler alert zone, we here at UT Press had such a great time watching Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and in preparation for your rewatching pleasure, we’ve compiled a collection of relevant titles for you, our lovely readers, to indulge in while we wait for the film to be available to stream.

Our vibrant comic studies selection pairs well with titles featuring Mayan and Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican culture, art, and cuisine. While Wakanda Forever’s presentation wasn’t perfect, what we saw on the screen was largely drawn from Mayan influences.

The fantastical people of Talokan featured in the film are an underwater civilization descended from ancient Maya. Ruth E. Carter, Academy Award winning costume designer on the film, notes in Men’s Health that creators “were inspired by all of the pageantry that you see in Mesoamerican history.” She cites vases, sculptures, and art they drew from post-classic Yucatán to bring Talokan to life.

Carter notes that the crew involved with creating Black Panther: Wakanda Forever “worked with historians who were experts on the Mayan culture” to foster a greater understanding of the peoples and cultures of Mesoamerica. Funnily enough, we do that too!

Check out some titles below to get your World Comics and Graphic Nonfiction Series x Mesoamerican fix. Happy reading!

Unseen Art

Making, Vision, and Power in Ancient Mesoamerica

Claudia Brittenham

Your Brain on Latino Comics

From Gus Arriola to Los Bros Hernandez

Frederick Luis Aldama

Vital Voids

Cavities and Holes in Mesoamerican Material Culture

Andrew Finegold

Black Panther

Scott Bukatman

Her Cup for Sweet Cacao

Food in Ancient Maya Society

Traci Ardren

All New, All Different?

A History of Race and the American Superhero

Allan W. Austin, Patrick L. Hamilton

Rethinking Zapotec Time

Cosmology, Ritual, and Resistance in Colonial Mexico

David Tavárez

Make Ours Marvel

Media Convergence and a Comics Universe

Matt Yockey

The Adorned Body

Mapping Ancient Maya Dress

Nicholas Carter, Stephen D. Houston, Franco D. Rossi

Empire of the Superheroes

America’s Comic Book Creators and the Making of a Billion-Dollar Industry

Mark Cotta Vaz

The Comitán Valley

Sculpture and Identity on the Maya Frontier

Caitlin C. Earley


Sexuality, Fantasy, and the Superhero

Anna Peppard

Graphic Borders

Latino Comic Books Past, Present, and Future

Frederick Luis Aldama, Christopher González

Comic Book Film Style

Cinema at 24 Panels per Second

Dru Jeffries

Super Black

American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes

Adilifu Nama

Black Space

Imagining Race in Science Fiction Film

Adilifu Nama

For more titles relating to Maya and Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica see also, The Linda Schele Endowment in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies

Enter code UTXGIFTS at checkout for 40% off your purchase during our Holiday Book Sale!

For an immersive reading experience, we also recommend lending your ears to this Yucatec Mayan-language rap from the end of the Wakanda Forever credits. Marvel and​ Mayan language; right up our alley!