This is Winston Duke’s first Comic-Con, and the towering actor couldn’t be happier with the warm reception he’s been given.

“It’s very reminiscent of the treatment I’ve been getting from this culture overall,” he tells STACK. “From the first day I found out that I got this role, everyone’s been really receptive and welcoming me into this beautiful family.”

Best known for his role on TV’s Person of Interest, Duke was cast as a rival to T’Challa/Black Panther in the upcoming Marvel film, which also stars Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan.

“I play M’Baku, leader of the Jobari tribe, who don’t believe that Vibranium is the best thing for the country and have removed themselves from the mainstream culture,” he explains. “My character is deeply loyal to his people and deeply faith-driven, and as a result that puts him at odds with T’Challa and his father before him.”

When it came to getting a feel for the character, Duke had help from his friendly neighbourhood comic guy.

“He pulled every time M’Baku appeared in the comic books and put them on the table and said, ‘Here, read these.’ So I’m deeply familiar with how he’s represented in the comics, and that’s pleasant.”

Black Panther is in cinemas on 15 February 2018.