Black Panther is one of 2018’s most talked about Superhero films. Ever since his debut in Captain America: Civil War, fans have been clamoring for T’challa to have his own film, and it seems as if Marvel has finally delivered. His popularity reaches well beyond that of the recent MCU films and this has led to excitement over this cinematic endeavor, but there are also other aspects worth exploring. The impact this character has made on the world of comics means that this upcoming film will inherently be an important film in more ways than one. This can be from socio-political aspects to importance in where it stands within the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as in superhero films in general. It’s something that needs to be brought up because it is a significant film. It’s an important time to discuss certain crucial topics and I intend to cover why this film is so important.
Here are 5 Reasons Why Black Panther Is An Important Film.
5. Last Film Before Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War could very easily be the biggest superhero film this year. It’s the culmination of the entirety of the MCU coming together for the first time. This is going to be a big film, but Black Panther stands at a very interesting and curious position. It is the last film to be released before Infinity War. This means it has to be important in some way. While the majority of the plot of Black Panther will stand alone there will have to be threads that could connect in Infinity War. Its significance in its placement is a thing to remember because it could very well be a big deal and have something that directly makes an impact. This will certainly be important in the scheme of the MCU, but how it will be has yet to be seen. It will always have an important place in the roster of these films.
4. Hype Unique For Marvel
There is a unique level of hype going into this film. It recently had the surprise success of being the best selling Marvel Cinematic Universe film in advanced ticket sales. This is a huge thing and for a lot of people I can imagine that this is a surprise. The hype for this film is the result of several factors. One of which being that his appearance in Captain America: Civil War was really talked about and people went away from it loving his appearance. He’s a fascinating character who is also a complete badass, but I also think that the fact that he is a non-white character is an exciting difference for these films filled with predominantly white protagonists. This is a major draw for a lot of people. It taps into the people that may not have been interested in Marvel films previously. It gives people a lot to look forward to and if things go well this could set an example for how to handle other characters in the Universe.
3. Black Panther The Character
Black Panther is one of the most celebrated and respected heroes in Marvel comics. His impact on the comics universe and how people of color were handled in comics is still felt to this day. T’Challa the King of Wakanda was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and was the first black superhero in a major American comics. This is huge and the character itself was finally brought to live action in Captain America: Civil War. His appearance went over extremely well so his film coming not long after that film is no surprise. The character is iconic. His ethnic origins and him being one of the smartest characters from the most technologically advanced country in the world is such a massive part of why he is much loved. The film coming to fruition is a symbol of how important a character that he is. It also symbolizes that the years of admiration from the comics fans have led to an important landmark of a film not only for the MCU, but for superhero films in general.
2. Marvel Studios’ First Black Superhero Film
One of the most talked about and fair criticisms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the lack of diversity when it came to superheroes in lead roles. The majority of the films prior have starred white men. These men are great heroes, but they don’t reflect the scope of the demographic of people in the world who love and enjoy superheroes. It’s important to give people a hero they can see themselves in and that look like them. People of color and specifically black audiences have wanted this for quite some time. A black character as well known and loved as Black Panther has deserved his own film. This being the first non-white superhero lead in the films makes the most amount of sense. This is a landmark moment and it’s so incredibly important that this film reaches as many people as possible. It has been years since we have had a black superhero star in his own film. It’s such an incredibly significant moment in not only the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also recent superhero films in general as we are going through such racially turbulent times in the US.
1. Majority Non-White Cast
One of the most thrilling things about Black Panther is not only having to do with the character of T’Challa being a black character. In a bold move for Hollywood the film is filled with a majority of non-white actors and actresses including the likes of Chadwick Boseman (reprising his role as the title character), Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker, and Michael B. Jordan. There are many more memorable black actors in the film, but what makes that special is that this is a rare occurrence not only for Marvel, but for major tentpole studio releases in general. It’s incredible to have a wide range of talented actors who aren’t caucasian leads. This diversity of the cast is so incredibly important to highlight. It shows young people of all races that no matter who they are and what they look like they can be heroes. They can be successful. Diversity to highlight people who have been systematically stepped on is incredibly exciting. The times are changing and while it’s not where it needs to be, Black Panther can be a tool used to highlight this.
These are just a few of the reasons why the film is an important superhero film and there are many more avenues to unpack with this conversation, but these stand out as the most important reasons.
So what do you think of the list? Are you as excited for Black Panther as I am? Let us know in the comments!