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!
Making, Vision, and Power in Ancient Mesoamerica
From Gus Arriola to Los Bros Hernandez
Cavities and Holes in Mesoamerican Material Culture
Food in Ancient Maya Society
A History of Race and the American Superhero
Cosmology, Ritual, and Resistance in Colonial Mexico
Media Convergence and a Comics Universe
Mapping Ancient Maya Dress
America’s Comic Book Creators and the Making of a Billion-Dollar Industry
Sculpture and Identity on the Maya Frontier
Sexuality, Fantasy, and the Superhero
Latino Comic Books Past, Present, and Future
Cinema at 24 Panels per Second
American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes
Imagining Race in Science Fiction Film
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!