In many ways, Black Panther is a standard Marvel movie.
Its characters have very clear moral standards, though those standards are called into question. It's heavy on the backstory. There's some cool technology, which is all explained to us in a dialogue-heavy scene. Everything you need to know is laid out on the table, without much room for interpretation. There is a clear hero and a clear villain.
However, it is the nature of this villain-hero duo that sets the movie apart from other recent Marvel movies. For one, the villain is not out to destroy the world for the sake of destruction. He has a motive that the viewer can empathize with, and even though he ultimately does not succeed at his goals (spoiler alert, if you really need that), some of his critiques of Wakanda are taken into account.
This is a movie not about some vague idea of "good" vs. "evil" but about the complex moral issues that arise when a successful, advanced African country is faced with a world where the majority of Africans are oppressed. Do they have an obligation to provide aid to help out other members of their race abroad, or would this jeopardize their current peace? If they do help out, especially with violence, do they just become colonizers?
This is a film that is able to ask where we would be if groups like the Black Panthers (the political organization, not the superhero) were given the means to actually overthrow white supremacy. That's pretty radical for a Disney-owned superhero movie.
While it has a happy ending for all of its heroes and does not of course fully endorse the radical political ideas it introduces, the fact that these ideas are not seen wholly negatively is a huge step. The viewer is made to actually consider the reasons behind why armed revolt against white people would be appealing to many African Americans.
Black Panther is the perfect example of a genre film that acts as a "sugar-coated pill." It uses the conventions of superhero movies that fans of the genre will appreciate telling a story of massive importance, shining a light on complex moral and social issues. It also highlights an incredibly underrepresented group in popular culture and shows the breadth of their culture and history without tokenism or ever feeling like its trying to be educational or preachy.
Black Panther is exactly the kind of blockbuster movie our society needs right now. In a world that is increasingly divided on race, seeing a mainstream movie that deals with the issue in a thought-provoking way is a breath of fresh air. It's heartening that uncomfortable questions about racial politics are being asked by movies like this, and the financial success of this film opens the door for Marvel and other big-budget studios to continue this trend.