Like many of you, my world was rocked this year by the power of Black Panther. It was a well-made and progressive superhero movie that managed to have something to say while also being totally fucking rad. However, on top of all that narrative perfection, every single person in the movie was scorchingly hot. Just unreal. I knew to expect bae-dom from Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan, but I was taken aback by Winston Duke. My thirst was awakened. What a gift to the parched among us.
Part of the genius of Ryan Coogler (also a babe) was taking some outdated aspects from the original comics run and updating them for a modern audience, and the greatest example of this was with the character of M’Baku. Previously known as the villain Man-Ape and all of the stereotypes that that implies, the M’Baku of the MCU is now a stern leader and foil for Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa. And let me tell you, seeing Duke lounging on the Jabari throne made me feel some. Kind. Of. Way.
This is a MAN, ladies and gentlemen. He got the best lines (outside of Shuri), got a kickass hand-to-hand combat scene, and a dramatic hero moment. Big Dick Energy personified. In a film packed with more seasoned performers, Duke managed to stand out. While it’s still early on in his career (Black Panther was his first film role), he is primed for greatness. Outside of the MCU, he’s lined up a leading role opposite Nyong’o and Elisabeth Moss in Jordan Peele’s next film, Us. He was educated at the Yale School For Drama and his Instagram is A GIFT.
"Antagonists" challenging established norms and expectations…! @blackpanther is officially the highest grossing comic book film in U.S. history. This is what that looks like: these faces, these shapes, these colors, these genders, these lineages. #BeTheAntagonist … #blackpanther #killmonger #wakabi #mbaku
I understand that you all have some very important decisions to make regarding your final lists, but c’mon.