Of the newest upcoming slate of Marvel movies, the two I’m easily most excited about are Captain Marvel and Black Panther. Both are favorite characters of mine (for a taste of them together, I highly recommend the new, intergalactic run of The Ultimates featuring Captain Marvel, Black Panther, America Chavez, Blue Marvel and Spectrum - a terrific, underrated series). Both are also incredibly important in terms of representation and diversity in not just comic book movies, but action/science-fiction movies in general.
The cast behind Black Panther is bonkers — It’s a mostly minority cast featuring (deep breath) Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, and Martin Freeman. I mean, damn. It’s directed by Ryan Coogler, one of the more gifted young directors out there, and now that the new trailer is here? I. Am. Feeling. It.
They’re diving headfirst into the Wakandan history — an insanely advanced African nation that’s been hidden from most of the world for centuries, steeped in a combination of African tradition and stunning technological marvels. The king, T’Challa, is the Tony Stark of Africa, perhaps even more brilliant. And they’re running with it. The damn thing looks gorgeous, and they give you a little glimpse of everyone. Take a look:
It looks to be an exciting, intelligent picture, reveling in the deep and complex mythology of T’Challa and Wakanda. I’ve been waiting far too long for another black superhero to lead their own franchise (I haven’t forgotten you, Blade), and this one looks like it sure as hell will live up to its potential.
It’s also worth noting that a poster for the film dropped today:
Yeah, I’m not exactly jumping for joy at it either. It’s a horrendous, lazy photoshop job. BUT. It’s a bit more interesting than that. Because there’s also this:
That, for those who may not know, is an iconic photograph of Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party. That, people, is a deep goddamn cut and a remarkable statement. Don’t anybody try to tell me that’s not the source of inspiration and if they’re willing to do that with the promotional material? This really may be a new generation of superhero film.
By the way, if you want to study up on the Black Panther, check out that aforementioned Ultimates series, as well as the recent Ta-Nehisi Coates run, and anything by Christopher Priest. There is some very good stuff out there.