Long before T’Challa took on the mantle of the Black Panther, his ancestor Bashenga became the very first Black Panther and Wakanda’s protector. After seeing new concept art (which casts John Boyega as Bashenga), fans are calling for a Disney+ Black Panther TV series exploring the origins of Wakanda, and their great people, the Wakandans.
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As we keep learning more and more about the great civilization of Wakanda, it would be awesome if we got a proper prequel out of Disney+ that told us the story of its origin. It would show how the fictional Marvel African country first came across the fantastical element that gives them their knowledge and power, the metal vibranium. Then there is also the question of the long line of Black Panthers that have existed throughout the most advanced country and the kingdom of Wakanda and how they came to be.
Shaun Harrison had everyone believing that in 2024 we would be getting an AfroBeats musical series that told this incredible story with believable castings and Bashenga concept art. Still, as it turned out, this was just something that he cooked up using an Artificial Intelligence art generator like the program Midjourney and his incredible art director and designer skills using Adobe Photoshop.
Amazing Concept Art
Using the power of AI, Shaun Harrison has made some incredible fan art that depicts the story of Bashenga, Wakanda’s first Black Panther. The African warrior is mentioned in the introduction of the first film, but we don’t know his story. Harrison suggested that the level of Bashenga should tell us about how the five original tribes of Wakanda first came to discover the meteor containing vibranium and how Bashenga became the first king of Wakanda and the first Black Panther.
The art is incredible. Harrison created scenes that showed the beauty of the kingdom of Wakanda through the landscape, dance scenes, warriors holding their weapons (legend has it that Bashenga forged two weapons — Skybreaker and the Spear of Bashenga) as they cross lakes, incredible portraits, and a stunning image of the first Black Panther in the first Black Panther suit that breathes fire.
Side Note: Bashenga is technically the second Black Panther (not the first). In the year 1,000,000 B.C, Mosi (the chief of the Panther Tribe) became the first to consume the heart-shaped herb, survive and become the first protector of the Black Panther tribe.
The slide show of images included some of the cast members proposed for the project alongside images of Wakanda in general. It was suggested that John Boyega star as the legendary Bashenga, his look making him a believable ancestor of the late Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa and Letitia Wright’s Shuri who took up the Black Panther mantle in the second Black Panther film. Brian Tyree Henry was suggested to reprise his as Phastos of the Eternals. At the same time, the rapper Doechii takes on Bask, Randolph Maxwell stars as M’Towa, the leader of the Jabari Tribe, and Burna Boy stands in as W’Tene leader of the River Tribe. It would be interesting to see if they would include the panther goddess Bast who showed King Bashenga the heart-shaped herb that gave him his powers in the first place. It was even posited that there could be a guest appearance by Tems in the musical series.
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Shaun Harrison is an art director and designer, and now he is trying his hand at artificial intelligence generated art. He suggested this collection of concept art for an AfroBeats musical series with a storyline that surrounds the founding of Wakanda and its first king. Harrison even had the cast pick out who he would want behind the camera. For a second there, he had everyone believing that this would be a new Disney + series
Harrison would love to see Misha Green (Lovecraft County) in the director’s seat and P. Prime and Ludwig Göransson as the music producers. In addition, he would love for WizKid and the singer Burna Boy to write the songs for the series.
Although this isn’t an actual product coming out of Disney+, it would be a fantastic show and the perfect prequel to the story of Black Panther that we know so far. Hopefully, Disney and director Ryan Coogler are paying attention, and we will see Marvel release Bashenga soon, even though Bashenga’s legend took place long before the Avengers. Even if it weren’t a series, a movie about the origin of the lineage of Black Panthers would be awesome.
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Are you sad that this is only a concept? Would you like to see John Boyega as Bashenga, the first Black Panther?