Have you heard about Black Panther? Either the movie or the character qualifies in this situation. Black Panther is a major hero who has been a part of the Marvel universe since 1966. However, he has never really received the same attention outside of the world of comics that he deserved until recently. But then, Chadwick Boseman blew us away and stole the show in Captain America: Civil War. Now, his own movie is upon us and people are going crazy. Everyone is talking about Black Panther, and you may be wondering why. Well, there are some fantastic reasons to be incredibly excited about this particular entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Black Panther is an amazing character.
Black Panther is one of those heroes who is incredibly well rounded. He is not just relying on some magical, special skills. While he did get some from a Wakandan ritual that made him the official protector of his country, he is also someone who worked hard throughout his life to become a hero. He’s a genius. He is a martial artist who has spent years training. He is an inventor and a scientist with a PhD. This is in addition to increased senses, improved speed and reflexes, and knowledge from past Black Panthers. He is just a very talented man who is doing all he can to help protect the country he rules and his people. (Though, considering his marriage to the X-Men's Storm did not last and he broke up with Nakia, he clearly needs to work on his personal relationships.)
The director is a fan.
One of the important things when people make movies is familiarity with the source material. You want the ones involved with bringing Black Panther to life to actually care about it. Ryan Coogler is the direct and helped write the film with Joe Robert Cole. He knows Black Panther. He grew up reading comic books. He wanted to, in his own words, “put his own personal stamp” on the movie. Plus, we know he can make a great movie that is part of a larger whole, but is also a stand-alone, origin tale. After all, he wrote and directed Creed. That fantastic film worked, because he was a Rocky fan. Imagine what he can do in this similar position with Black Panther.
The cast is incredible.
If you look at the people who are appearing in Black Panther, it reads like a who’s who of the world’s most talented actors. We already know Boseman is incredible from his portrayal of Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, but even if we didn’t, we would know he was amazing in Marshall and Draft Day too. Lupita Nyong’o, of both 12 Years a Slave and Star Wars fame, is Nakia. Michael B. Jordan, who you may remember from Fruitvale Station, Creed, and Friday Night LIghts, is Erik “Killmonger” Stevens. Danai Gurira, The Walking Dead’s Michonne herself, is Okoye. The legendary Angela Bassett is Wakanda’s queen, Ramonda. Forest Whitaker, another icon, is a statesman named Zuri. And we also have Martin Freeman reprising his role as Everett K. Ross and Andy Serkis showing up as Ulysses Klaue. Some big names in the industry are all here.
The worldbuilding is intense.
Wakanda is a fictional country, but it certainly seems like the right amount effort and passion is going into making it feel real. There is a staggering amount of heritage and backstory being created for Black Panther. For example, the Xhosa language is being used as a foundation for Wakanda’s language. Hannah Beachler, the production designer, looked to countries in Africa, like Burundi, Ethopia, Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo when it came to creating architecture and even vibranium technology. The Basotho, Dinka, Dogon, Himba, Maasai, Suri, Tuareg, Turkana and Zulu people and their fashion were used as inspiration for Black Panther’s costumes. While we obviously can not see if it is all a hit yet, it certainly seems like a lot of effort is going into paying tribute to Africa and the series’ roots in this movie.
Black Panther is a fan favorite character beloved by all. He has stolen the show in many recent media releases. And now, he’s getting his due. This movie has some astonishing talent behind it, the character is one of Marvel’s coolest, and it is only natural to be incredibly excited about the film!