The sequel to Marvel’s “Black Panther” blockbuster, “Wakanda Forever,” was released over Veterans Day weekend, earning reviews as “an ambitious and emotionally rewarding triumph.”
Its titular character T’Challah — played by the late Chadwick Boseman, who died unexpectedly in 2020 following a private battle with cancer — was written off similarly as falling to a mysterious illness.
Boseman’s passing sent a shockwave throughout the acting and fan community alike. It hit especially hard for Air Force Staff Sgt. William Beal II, who is currently serving with the 633rd Logistics Readiness Squadron at Langley AFB in Virginia.
An artist and a automotive enthusiast, Beal decided to turn his 2016 Dodge Charger R/T into a mobile homage to the Black Panther star and the franchise he helped popularize.
“I wanted the custom wrap to tell a story as well as pay tribute to Mr. Boseman,” Beal told Military Times. “To date, I’ve spent about $4,000. That includes the custom wrap, interior and some exterior parts as well. Still more to do!”
But the Charger is not just for show. It’s also the airman’s main mode of transportation and comes equipped with “PNTHR-RT” tags.
“I definitely drive this because it’s free publicity every time I’m behind the wheel,” he said. “People occasionally take pictures or take short videos and I love the response it gets.”
Beal’s wrap job can be seen at @BlackPantherRT1 on Instagram.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.