A few weeks ago - seemingly to kick start the summer movie season - Marvel dropped their first footage of next year's Black Panther. Overnight social media was taken by storm; soon enough everybody was talking about the Wakandan bred avenger. However what struck us most is Marvel's unprecedented step into black culture. Black Panther will not only be Marvel's first african american led movie, but the first ever entirely black cast to appear within the genre.
I am going to explore reasons why Black Panther will help shake up the MCU and hopefully bring a new wave of marvel superheroes to mainstream audiences.
Marvel could have a complete game changer on their hands. Movies within the MCU hit home almost every time and are increasingly becoming better and better, it's as if marvel have critics and audiences in the palm of their hands. However DC zoomed past after female phenomenon Wonder Woman helped define the superhero genre earlier this June, is Marvel Chairman Kevin Feige behind the curve? Well Black Panther is undeniably the most iconic black superhero in history. And if done right, Feige could further enrich the genre and quite possibly evolve how different ethnicities are perceived in the industry.
The grass isn't as green as it appears. From unknown sources we have learnt that Wakanda may seem like a dream land for those who know of it, however is set to play out much like 2014's Winter Solider. It looks like we are going to be given another sophisticated drama crafted by the hands of masterful film makers. Black Panther will see King of Wakanda - T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as he tries to balance the understanding of his newly appointed power between those from the inside who chose to provoke it. This creates a great opportunity to further explore the man behind the mask and how the weight of his fathers legacy effects him.
New face, New place
"They searched for it in South America - but it was in Africa the whole time". One of the strongest elements that comes along with the Black Panther package is his place of origin aka secret country named Wakanda. Unlike New York used for Avengers, Doctor Strange and now the upcoming Spider-Man film, for the first time since Sokovia we are experiencing and entirely fresh setting. The country's anonymity shuts out the rest of the world, and for once leaves the rest to the animation. Blending the beautiful colours of Africa with the highly advanced technology and welfare of the country, Wakanda will play as a stunning backdrop to an already phenomenal culture.
There isn't a comparison
He is like no other super we have seen before. Whilst fans aspire to be like their icons, previous on screen superheroes can be quite similar and this of course can cause debate as to which hero is most like the other. Captain America has extremely similar traits to Superman and billionaire playboy Iron Man can often have a striking resemblance to Batman. However Black Panther's culture, origin and powers all assist to create an incredibly diverse character that of which is hard to make any comparison to. So when it eventually arrives it is sure to stand out amongst the rest.
Looks like he knows his stuff. Ryan Coogler director of 2015's academy nominated Creed, has expressed in an interview with Hey U Guys "I’m excited. I grew very into pop culture, very into comic books, so it’s something that is just as personal to me as the last couple of films I was able to make." The thirty year old director shows a clear passion and understanding of the character and has vocalised how the origin of Black Panther should be handled by a black director. If Marvel have yet again found a talented director who is passionate about the material, we can only hope they knock it out the park with their 17th instalment.
All star line up
Star power is always important. Although Marvel are known for there ambitious casting choices - Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Chris Pratt as Star Lord - this time around they are setting out with an all star cast. From academy award winning Lupita Nnyong'o as close ally Nakia to Rouge One's Forest Whitaker - there isn't an unfamiliar face in sight. 2018 will also see Andy Serkis reprise his role as the scheming Klaw who's talent was somewhat wasted in Age of Ultron.
Wakanda has a secret of its own
You'll definitely be on the edge of your seats with a face full of popcorn. Though the african king may not initially have all that many ties into the MCU - there is indeed one big question which we've all wanted the answer to since day one. Does the name Vibranium come to mind? New found friend Steve Rogers just happens to posses the shield which is made of the ever so unknown Vibranium. Some of the biggest questions in Marvel history - What is this mysterious metal? and Where does it come from? Is sure to be revealed, as Wakanda's wealth originates from its main export of... you guest it Vibranium. Also a key material in Black Panther's suit - we are sure to finally discover the true secret of the metal and the ongoing power it holds.
Little Kitten to Mighty Panther
His time has come. First appearing in the July of 1966, overtime this wakandan warrior has become a house hold name amongst comic fans - however not the average movie goer. Marvel continue to expand their roster of meta humans and are starting to bring B tech superheroes to mainstream audiences. The iconic web slinger is only just making his appearance this July (though that is more to do with studio rights), Black Panther is quite rightly being given the Avengers treatment and should hope to stem off another branch from the Marvel tree.
Could Black Panther become the next Iron Man, Superman even? With a fresh setting, cast and an incredibly different take on the superhero genre, we are sure to expect great things from Boseman and hope to see a lasting impact on the series.
Black Panther hits theatres February 16th 2018.