“Black Panther”: the Most Baller Hero on Marvel’s Lineup
by Gabriel Vara
“Black Panther” is a perfect mix of Marvel’s classic superhero formula and subtle humor mixed with a powerful message. The film takes viewers on a journey through the mythically futuristic African nation of Wakanda. Despite being the 18th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film is as original as it is flashy. While its initial buzz was boosted by the success of its Marvel predecessors, the plot is enthralling, supported by the wonderful, mostly African American cast--a first for Marvel.
Set just days after the events of “Captain America: Civil War” and the death of his father, King T’Chaka, Prince T’Challa must return to his homeland of Wakanda to adopt the role of King and Black Panther. Ruling over the technologically advanced city, T’Challa must protect his people and the source of Vibranium, the fictional “strongest metal in the world,” most notably used to make Captain America's shield, but is also seen powering the futuristic country. While seemingly loved by his new subjects, an unforgiving, vengeful “outsider,” Erik Killmonger, seeks to overthrow him and impose his own idea of justice in the changing world that not only puts Wakanda in danger, but the outside world as well.
“Black Panther’s” stunning visuals are comparable to previous Marvel superhero films including 2016’s “Doctor Strange” and the “Iron Man” trilogy. It is a delightfully complex mix of futuristic new-age tech and traditional African culture. One of the most notable scenes in the film is a wide shot of the calming sun setting over the modern marvel of Wakanda, with African drums softly beating in the backdrop. As entertaining as these beautiful shots were, the simple humor in “Black Panther” is as memorable as any other MCU film. The one liners and visual humor sprinkled throughout the film keep it lighthearted and enjoyable.
Reprising his role as T’Challa, or, the Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman perfectly conveys the emotional struggle of losing a father with the new stress of ruling a country. T'Challa's sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), and T'Challa's love interest, Nakia, are brilliant as two of the Black Panthers biggest supporters. In a fictional superhero movie, Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger seems the most down to earth character, despite being the villain. Killmonger brings the reality of African Americans struggles to light, as the greatest problem compared to other movies where the issue is, say, an alien invasion. Driven by a tragic past, Killmonger’s cold demeanor and driven attitude make him a joy to watch. What makes “Black Panther” unique is its predominantly African American cast, a first for a MCU film. This cast worked brilliantly with each other to deliver one of the most exciting Marvel Films to date, and only increases anticipation for the upcoming “Avengers: Infinity War.”