Black Panther: a powerful and dazzling milestone for Marvel superhero diversity

Used with permission from Disney Studios.

Used with permission from Disney Studios.

Used with permission from Disney Studios.

Kumari Pacheco, Staff Writer

Ever since its initial announcement in 2014, people and Marvel superfans alike have awaited the arrival of one of the last superheroes to leap out of the comic and onto the big screen: the Black Panther.

Despite the pushing back of its premiere (November 3rd 2017 to February 15th 2018 — Black History Month, fittingly) Black Panther’s release was met with the even more activity than 2017’s Wonder Woman, grossing a record-breaking $25.2 million on its opening day.

In addition, with a sleek, funky soundtrack comprised of music by Kendrick Lamar, Khalid, Travis Scott, and The Weeknd, and a star-studded cast of Forrest Whitaker (Criminal Minds, Rogue One) Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) Lupita Nyong’o (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) as well as rising stars Chadwick Boseman and Lelita Wright, Black Panther proved itself to be worth the wait.

The film begins in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, where T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) A.K.A Black Panther, returns to the hidden, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda, his home. With his father having passed away, T’Challa prepares to become his country’s new leader, but soon finds that he is being challenged for his throne by fellow factions and outsiders alike. When Wakanda is suddenly thrown under a dangerous ruler, T’Challa must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) and members of the all-female Wakandan special forces, Dora Milaje, to stop Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.

A clear success in storytelling, cinematically Black Panther is a vibrant pool of culture, history, architecture, and imagination. With gadgets like black-dust communication similar to the famous Star Wars holograms and complexly unique air-ships flying to and from the banks of the sparkling and architecturally ingenious city of Wakanda, Black Panther makes it very easy to believe the scientific integrity of the country.

However, Black Panther’s virtue also lies within its conflict between T’Challa and his vengeful rival, Erik Killmonger. Without giving anything away, it can be said that the two’s relationship thoughtfully reflects the importance of unity and culture, and demonstrates how quickly things can devolve without them.

All in all, Black Panther is not the box-office success that everyone expected it to be, but instead far exceeds that expectation. For people of color especially it represents a landmark in the representation within the cinematic world, one that for certain will be regarded as a classic and culturally sincere addition to the Marvel universe.

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Black Panther: a powerful and dazzling milestone for Marvel superhero diversity