Why Black Panther Matters: What He Said

Why Black Panther Matters
Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..L to R: T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan)..Photo: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

Marvel’s newest film, Black Panther arrives in theaters February 16th, 2018. I am beyond excited to see it, but first, let me tell you why everyone (particularly folks of color) is stoked about this Marvel film, and why Black Panther matters to me and many enthused Marvel fans around the country. 

Why Black Panther Is Going To Be LIT {and I haven't even seen it}
©Marvel Studios 2018

Why Black Panther Matters: What He Said

In early 2018 the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) film Black Panther will see the light of day at a theater near you. If you haven’t heard the news, the wife is going to the Black Panther premiere in LA this month. There, she will be immersed in all things Black Panther for several days. Yes, I am happy for her. (honestly, I am!) and yes again, to being just a little bit jealous.

Moving on…

It’s been a long time coming, and personally, this is a Marvel comic film adaptation I have been waiting to see for a long time. Why? Well, it has a much more visceral and personal connection. The Marvel film catalog to date only has a smattering of superheroes of color, i.e., Storm, Falcon, and Power Man, etc. and now Black Panther (T’Challa). For most, it will come as a surprise to learn that the Black Panther comic series has been around for a very long time (circa 1966) fighting the good fight. The gravity of this is hella dope and deserves some perspective. So, my hat is off to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for breaking the color barrier way ahead of so many entertainment mediums. Think about this for a minute. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in ’68, Malcolm X in ’65. The Civil Rights Act was passed in ’64. The groundbreaking film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner dropped in ’67 and in the midst of all of America’s racial tumult, Marvel comics did something incredibly brave and forward thinking. Now, that’s pop culture brass cojones for real for real! So, basically, for me, I am on pins, needles, and hand grenades! And I am not alone, the black Twitterverse and other social media outlets have been abuzz with similar euphoric feels, and I am right along with them expressing my hopes (and fears) for this Ryan Coogler-directed-film.

Black Panther The Movie- and why you need to see it!
Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Director (Ryan Coogler) and Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther). Photo: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

Who is Ryan Coogler?

Big ups R. to the C.! Mr. Ryan Coogler is the guiding hand directing the MCU film Black Panther; he also co-wrote the BP screenplay. And, you may have seen his work before; he gets director nods for a powerful little film, Fruitvale Station, rings a bell? But I digress. It’s no secret I am looking forward to the Ryan Coogler treatment of Black Panther, are you? Of course, you are!

Basically, I am unabashedly flaunting my inner comic book geek to no end! And I don’t care who knows it. With bated breath, I am impatiently awaiting the day I purchase my movie ticket (now available to purchase), exit the concession line with large popcorn and Raisinettes in hand, and snuggle down in the theater seat and wait for the Black Panther movie to unfold big as life on the silver screen. This is going to be epic!

Why Black Panther Movie Matters
©Marvel Studios 2018

Black comic book fans, yes we out here!

I started collecting comic books when I was 14-years old, and much hasn’t changed in my excitement about the value entertainment of comic books.  For my cousin and me, there was nothing more exciting than pedaling our bikes down to the local bookstore and picking up all of our favorite titles. For me, it was all about Spider-Man, X-Men, Thor, Ghost Rider, Power Man & Iron Fist, The Fantastic Four, Dr. Strange, and of course Black Panther. Now, there were others, but those titles took precedence over all others. I always purchased two copies of the same comic, one to read and the other one got placed inside of a plastic cover to keep it entirely pristine. I wasn’t playing. Comics were a vehicle of escape and adventure, and as I read them, the stories leaped from the page. I loved the characters and got crazy feels as they experienced their grand adventures, their private perils, and public ridicule. Our comic book heroes did amazing things here on earth and on realms beyond our own. Time travel, gadgets galore, intergalactic adventures, it was all possible. My fave comic hands down was the X-Men and the ever-revolving cast of mutant characters, but Storm is my fave of the favorites. I mention this only because of Storm’s relationship with T’Challa over the course of the comic book series. I don’t want to venture into spoiler territory, so I’ll stop there. But the best thing about comics was, of course, the artwork. Legendary artist like  Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Sal Buscema, Todd McFarlane, and David Finch, etc. Yes, the storyline is important, but it was the masterful artwork that kept me hooked.

But the air went out of my comic book collecting…

When a family friend sold all of my comics while I was away in the military, I lost my zeal for collecting because I had lost so many fantastic titles. I tried collecting years later, but the desire to collect was gone. But once a comic book fan, always a comic book fan, right?

Why Black Panther Matters
Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Ramonda (Angela Bassett).Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

But why does Black Panther Matter?

Well, as a person of color, and more specifically, as an African-American male, Black Panther isn’t just another comic book hero. In so many ways Black Panther is bigger than it just being another film. In a way, for me, this film is going to resonate across pop culture in a way no other comic-book-to-movie has. But there is a double-edge to this particular film that the other comic book based movies didn’t have to grapple with. Because of this (the elephant in the room), make no qualms about it, an ethnic-African inspired film, with a black lead, and almost all black supporting cast.  Talk about great expectations! But no pressure, right? Yep, there’s a lot riding on this film, and I hope it is a great big beautiful and overwhelming SUCCESS!

Why Black Panther Matters
©Marvel Studios 2018

And this film has so many of my favorite actors!

I could almost scream, okay I did scream! Sorry, did you hear that? I couldn’t help it Y’all. There’s Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong’o (my favorite actress ever), Angela Basset, Forest Whitaker, and my girl Danai Gurira (from the Walking Dead) who is definitely having a moment right now. My man, plus so many other great actors with faces that look similar to mine. Sorry. Not Sorry.  And in case you need to catch up, (C’mon y’all keep up!) here is a brief outline of the movie (courtesy of Marvel Studios/Disney).

“After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakanadan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.”

Alrighty then, we good? So, tell me are you super excited about the release of Black Panther? Are you throwing a Black Panther themed party and going to see the movie with a bunch of friends? And, are you going to sip on our exclusive Black Panther-inspired cocktail (coming soon)? I hope that’s a great big ol’ yasss boy! Stay tuned for all things Black Panther coming sooner rather than later. 

Want more?

Read what she said: Why Black Panther Is Going To Be LIT {and I haven’t even seen it}



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  1. January 10, 2018

    This!! So much this! I’m so excited for this film as well. As a person of color, it’s about time that we see more of our superheroes in film. This is one that our entire family will be watching.

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