Fans Marvel Over “Black Panther”

9 months ago Allaina Boggs Comments Off on Fans Marvel Over “Black Panther”

One of the latest movies to hit the screens, and undoubtedly one of the most talked about movies of 2018 so far is Marvel’s newest addition to its vast superhero collection, “Black Panther.” However, “Black Panther” isn’t seen as only a movie, but a movement.

The film opens up on our hero, T’Challa, the newest king of Wakanda, a fictional third-world nation located in Africa. He steps up to the throne to rule his tribe after his father dies, which is shown in a previous Marvel movie, Captain America: Civil War.

Wakanda appears to be barren with nothing to offer the world. However, with a closer look through its invisible cloaking barrier, the country is secretly a leader in the technological world, one that would bring shame to other technological cities like Hong Kong. They are years ahead of their time, designing high-end weapons and machinery, with the help of a super rare metal known as vibranium. Although they were known to have a multitude of the element, Ulysses Klaue was known to steal all of it. What the world doesn’t know is that the country has mountains more.

The people of Wakanda have kept their wealth and advancements to themselves for years, fearing that if they shared their secrets with everyone else, they would risk invasion and colonization like history has shown of previous African nations. However, T’Challa, with the ideas of his ex-girlfriend Nakia, believes it’s time to change that.

“Black Panther” may appear as yet another superhero movie to hit screens, but it has proved to be much more. The film is not only the first Marvel movie to star a African-American superhero, but also the first blockbuster superhero movie to do so. “Black Panther” also features a predominately black cast, including award winners Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker, and Sterling K. Brown.

The movie is revolutionary, being the first film of 2018 to reach over $1 billion at the box office internationally. It is the fifth Marvel movie to do so. “Black Panther” made this accomplishment after only being in theaters for about a month, so there’s more money to be made, and more milestones to reach. But the accomplishments don’t stop there.

“Black Panther” is now the top-grossing movie with an African-American director, Ryan Coogler. The movie beat out the previous record holder’s total grossing amount from its entire run in just one weekend.

People paid to see the movie, but did they enjoy it?

Viewers were more than pleased with the film, with the overwhelming consensus seeming to be that “Black Panther” is more than just a superhero movie – it’s the superhero movie that has been waited for by not only the African-American community, but by all of us.

Eric Fisher praised the film by saying ,“Black Panther’ is an amazing movie! It really spoke to the African-American culture, and was a Marvel movie like no other.” Freshman Andrew Taylor agreed with this by saying, “The movie held a lot of action that was well-oriented with the plot. Overall it was a 10 out of 10 movie and proved Marvel movies are not going anywhere.”

Celebrities everywhere have sent their praise for the movie as well. After the release of the movie, famous singers, actors and more took to Twitter to show their love for the film. Rapper Diddy tweeted “Everybody go see #BLACKPANTHER!!!! Let’s show our power at the box office!!!!!”, while hip-hop artist Common tweeted“#RepresentationMatters #BlackExcellence x #LongLiveWakanda,” accompanying a poster of the movie. Apart from Twitter, celebrities such as Octavia Spencer, Ellen Degeneres and T.I. showed their support of the film by completely buying out showings of “Black Panther” and giving the tickets away to children, so that, as Spencer said “all our brown children can see themselves as a superhero.”

Overall, “Black Panther” was a creative and powerful way to bring light to cultural disappropriation and racial upheaval. It shut down the Hollywood misnomer that “black films don’t travel” and was a huge stepping stone in the path of African -American dominated films. The film not only shut these speculations down, but taught an important lesson while doing so: that the responsibility to make the world a better place for us all lies within our own hands. That we should use our talents and our gifts in order to help and serve others. That we should support others during a time of evil and hold each other to become a better version of ourselves. Black Panther caused us all to take a deeper look at the values our hearts hold and gave us a true hero to be influenced by.

Allaina Boggs
arboggs@vwu.edu