Get ready to hear the words “Wakanda forever” booming from the quietly powerful voice of a certain former Jaffa. War for Wakanda, a massive post-launch expansion coming to Marvel’s Avengers at a still-unspecified point this August, puts Christopher Judge in the driver seat as the glorious King T’Challa himself.
He Didn’t Say “Indeed”
Judge, best known not just for his role in all ten (!) seasons of Stargate SG-1 but more recently as the voice of God of War‘s titular Kratos himself, was understandably reluctant about taking on the Black Panther mantle. In an interview with EW, he reveals his former belief that no one should attempt to replace the late, great Chadwick Boseman anytime soon. But despite an initially swift refusal to take up the role, Judge eventually caved. “The actual talks proceeded, and, basically, I wound up doing it because my mother and my children said if I didn’t do it, they would disown me.”
A DLC That’s Longer Than Marvel’s Avengers?
While the thought of soon hearing Christopher Judge in Marvel’s Avengers is a tantalizing nugget all on its own, the EW interview produced another big surprise — the alleged length of War for Wakanda. Hannah McLeod, War for Wakanda‘s narrative lead, claims the DLC will run for approximately 25 hours. With new villains, a wide array of fellow Wakandans, and several key locations, it was reasonable to anticipate something closer to the main game’s 10-15 hours in length. If McLeod’s 25-hour claim isn’t embellished and this is truly an apples-to-apples comparison, Marvel’s Avengers is about to get significantly mightier.
Of course, the length of a video game is not a 1:1 barometer of its quality. Even mostly superb experiences such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Persona 5 are frequently cited as overstaying their welcome. What matters most in any character-driven adventure title is the beating heart of its protagonist, and Judge’s take on T’Challa will likely be masterful.
The Right God of War At The Right War for Wakanda
At 56, Judge has been around for decades of civil strife, frequently racially oriented. There’s a reverence in the man that makes him a good fit for Black Panther. Portraits of such inspirational figures as Frederick Douglas, Maya Angelou, Nelson Mandela, and former presidential power couple Barack and Michelle Obama line the walls of his private recording studio. He studies and admires his roots, always hopeful for a brighter tomorrow — the type of tomorrow that the fictional realm of Wakanda presages.
Marvel’s Avengers is about to delve into an intense and thought-provoking setting with War for Wakanda, a setting that resonates with multiple generations of people here in the real world, thanks in large part to the 2018 feature film. Chadwick Boseman’s incredible take on T’Challa is the stuff of legends. Nor does it sound like Judge has any intention of truly replacing him in anybody’s mind. Rather, this will be the Square Enix spin on a character whose cultural significance may be more important today than ever before in his five-and-a-half decades of comic book history.