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The First Reactions From The "Black Panther" Premiere Are In

By Brian Richards | Marvel Movies | January 30, 2018 |

By Brian Richards | Marvel Movies | January 30, 2018 |


Ever since it was first announced that Marvel/Disney would be making a solo film about Black Panther, it became crystal-clear to everyone how important this film could possibly be for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how important a film it could be in general, especially when representation in front of and behind the cameras for those who aren’t able-bodied White men leaves a lot to be desired. (Sterling K. Brown was the first African-American actor to ever win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama since the very first ceremony in 1995, and is also the first African-American actor to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series since 1998. To quote the late, great Amy Winehouse: What kind of fuckery is this?!) And with every decision Marvel/Disney made, it became even clearer that they knew all eyes were on them and that they had no intentions of fucking this up.

From their attempts to hire Ava DuVernay as director (which unfortunately fell through, only for her to end up in the director’s chair for A Wrinkle In Time, and FYI: this interview with DuVernay took place long before LA Weekly abruptly fired most of its staff and continued using much of their work to promote their publication, so don’t hold that against her or April Wolfe and please give their words the attention they deserve) to Ryan Coogler being hired not too long after, to every casting decision that resulted in the hiring of Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, and many others, to allowing Coogler to hire many a former collaborator to join him on set instead of letting Marvel/Disney use their own familiar in-house talent, to the release of one beautiful poster after another after another after another after another (I haven’t seen this many beautifully-designed posters for a comic-book film since Wonder Woman, and none of these Black Panther posters were designed by Marvel/Disney but are actually fan art from Dettrick Maddox a.k.a. @MrDesignJunkie), the excitement and antici……………………………………….pation only seemed to grow with every new development. In fact, the levels of anticipation and excitement are so high for Black Panther that the hashtag #BlackPantherSoLIT was soon created to mark every occasion of Twitter and the rest of the Internet learning something new about the film. From the casting decisions to the trailers to the fact that Lexus now has us wanting to buy cars that we can’t possibly afford, to the fact that there are now Black Panther toys for kids to play with as they run around with their friends and family pretending to be King T’Challa or Shuri or Okoye or any other member of the Dora Milaje.

We now only have a couple of weeks to go until Black Panther hits theaters worldwide and as many of us begin doing the Birdman Handrub with each poster we see displayed on buses, in subways, and on billboards, it’s only natural for everyone to wonder when the social-media embargo ends and the early reviews drop so they know if Black Panther is actually worth waiting for. And at the Black Panther premiere, which took place last night, it became obvious that #BlackPantherSoLIT was just as serious for them as it is for many of us.

Not too long after that, the social-media embargo finally ended and the early reviews were in…

I will be the first to admit that I was, and still am, worried about the early responses to Black Panther. Not because I was worried it would turn out bad, but because like many early responses to many a Marvel film, they tend to rely on so much hyperbole to express how good or great the film is, as well as letting everyone know that it’s fun and funny to watch, and that it’s so much better than (insert title of any WB/DC film here), even though the comparison really isn’t warranted or necessary. I still remember one early review for Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 that said that it was the best sequel since The Empire Strikes Back, and now that I’ve seen Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 more than once and think back on it, my general response to the film and that comparison pretty much boils down to…


But Ryan Coogler has proven more than once how talented he is and that his skills in the director’s chair are absolutely on point (Fruitvale Station was phenomenal, and so absolutely heartbreaking that I don’t think I can bring myself to watch it again, and Creed was amazing in almost every way possible), so I’m more than willing to have some excitement about Black Panther, while also keeping my expectations in check.

We’re almost there, everyone. Unless this tweet/meme, and the person who created it under the repeatedly mistaken impression that Black people are incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time, convinces you that you’re much better off spending your money in a more useful and charitable manner…

…we have sixteen more days for everyone to decide what outfits you’ll be rocking and what food you’ll be sneaking into the theater to go see Black Panther when it finally drops. (Feel free to share in the Comments section what you’ll be wearing and what food you’ll be hiding in your purse).

Until then…

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Brian Richards is a Staff Contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.