"Black Panther" is a whirlwind of a movie that has taken over the media for the past few months. With its recent release, it has already grossed over $520 million worldwide, $292 of which was made during its four-day opening weekend. It is the fifth best-grossing film in the United States and the best-grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe opening weekend of all time.
So what makes "Black Panther" so captivating and interesting to audiences? What does it have that other Marvel movies lack? Well, for one, it has a solid storyline and character development. But the main difference is that it features a black superhero protagonist. This is the first superhero of color we’ve seen from Marvel in forever (a main superhero). I, and everyone else, am here for it.
In the film, the protagonist, T’Challa is announced as King of Wakanda, an incredibly technologically advanced fictional country in Africa, following the death of his father. Dealing with the grief brought on by loss and new responsibility of being King, T’Challa faces many challenges during his first few weeks on the throne, including whether or not to share Wakanda’s resources with the rest of the world and the sudden appearance of someone who dares to challenge his position as monarch. "Black Panther" brings in fictional elements that are staples in Marvel movies, but also brings in afro-futurism and colorful cinematography that capture the hearts of many movie-goers.
This movie brings the representation we need to present to younger children. If you don't grow up seeing yourself represented in the books you read, the movies you watch or in positions of power, a sense of difference settles over you. The feeling that you’re not important enough to be a politician, actor or anyone important, for that matter, is incredibly disheartening. "Black Panther" is one step in the right direction to achieving that representation. "Black Panther" has paved the way for future superhero movies by featuring people of color and a diverse cast of characters. While I would’ve loved to grown up with a movie like "Black Panther," I’m glad modern-day children will get to appreciate the movie and have it come to define their childhood and development.
It’s time for movie producers to realize that a lot of Marvel fans and audiences would rather see a new movie with a unique storyline than another "Superman" movie that has the same common themes, characters and events. We want something that makes us lean forward in our seats and think both during the movie and after we leave the theater. We want a plot that doesn’t follow the same theme of “the villain wants to see the world end and have power for no defined reason." We crave more movies like "Black Panther."
I hope that Marvel and other production companies will listen to the buzz and excitement that "Black Panther" has created and launch projects for the cinematic adaptation of Marvel comics with good storylines (of course) that feature diverse characters.
If you haven’t seen "Black Panther," yet you’re truly missing out. It’s refreshing to finally watch a Marvel movie that has a plot that’s intriguing and makes you think about society. Also, Michael B. Jordan is a blessing to the world and an amazing actor. There are only so many people that can make me purely hate a character whilst loving the actor; he’s one of them. "Black Panther" is, without a doubt, in my top three Marvel Comics Universe movies. So, do yourself a favor and get to the nearest theater to see this fantastic film.