by Tristin Hurst
The new Marvel Superhero Movie Black Panther came out on February 16th. In this article I will be discussing key points, themes, and much more that came up in Black Panther. It makes sense that Black Panther during Black History Month since this is Marvel’s first African American Superhero movie. But I can’t help but notice that we get to celebrate African American people for one month in a year. The other eleven months are obviously to celebrate white people. We’ll let them have their glory but we know that we did way more things than what can be summed up in what happens to be the shortest month of the year.
There are so many themes that were touched on in this two hour phenomenon. This movie maintains it’s norms for the superhero but at the same time adds so many new layers to this character. Black Panther makes me think about how African American women had to grow strong because the African American men were killing, and getting killed. The women in this African Tribe are the warriors that defend it. The great thing about this is that both genders were of equal rank. Men aren’t the superior to women and women aren’t the superior to men. The illusion that men are stronger is far from over in our society but in Wakanda (where this movie takes place) they have seemed to have figured out the truth. Gender, race, and color aside they all have the potential to be amazing human beings.
In previous superhero movies the focus was mostly on the main superhero’s power. This movie brought a new element of knowledge. Even the most cruel murderous villain in the movie graduated from M.I.T. at nineteen. The only Marvel Movie that had something like that was Dr. Strange (but that’s a whole different story). Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) was kind, compassionate, and smart while being the strong warrior of Wakanda. That’s the kind of superhero we need to show kids; smart is actually pretty cool.
Many people might be disturbed that the smart African people had some magic that brought them to power. However, if you really think about it they only got the resources needed to get where they are today. They still had to use brain power to create the amazing inventions they made. Black Panther’s sister (Letitia Wright) has designed virtual reality vehicles that can appear anywhere in the world. As well as Black Panther’s current suit which dissolves into a necklace. T’Challa (Black Panther) designed his original suit. His sister has also made many more amazing inventions that white people consider impossible. So they deserve a spot in our Black History Month hall of fame. But I think we should call it Black History 28 Days so we all know just how much recognition Black History gets each year.
What really brought this movie home was the costumes. This might surprise you but the one hundred people on the costume design committee were the real heroes that tied this film together. I spent a great deal of time looking at the different costumes which I haven’t done in any previous Marvel Superhero Movies. There is a really interesting video on how they pulled different African Tribes’ clothing to make one big clothing style. I think that we should consider wearing their clothes in our everyday life style.
Black Panther deserves all of the hype that it has been getting this opening weekend. Which happens to be on Presidents’ Day where we get to celebrate all forty-four white presidents along with one African American president. Black Panther nails it all from costumes to the key themes that make you think for a long while. I saw this movie before it came out, on opening day and I’m still finding more themes that this movie conveys. I could watch it five times and not get all of the messages. All of this makes it the best superhero movie ever made, which is an understatement.
Black Panther. Directed by Ryan K. Coogler, performance by Chadwick Boseman, 1, Marvel, 16 Feb. 2018.
Betancourt, David. “‘A Different Kind of Superhero’ Why ‘Black Panther; will mean so much to so many.” The Washington Post [Washington D.C.], 9 Feb. 2018, p. 6. The Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2018/02/09/its-going-to-change-hollywood-why-black-panther-will-mean-so-much-to-so-many/?utm_term=.7136732805dc
Racked, Video. “‘‘Black Panther’ Costumes Are Peak Afrofuturism.” Racked, 9 Feb. 2018, p. 3. Racked, www.racked.com/2018/2/9/16995936/black-panther-costumes-symbolism-video.
Chen, Sandie A. “‘Black Panther Movie Review.” Common Sense Media, 16 Feb. 2018. Common Sense Media, www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/black-panther.
NOTE: The formatting of this article has been modified since original publishing. -Ed.