So, Black Panther, the lastest Marvel installment has been out for just around a month. It already has stellar reviews by fans and critics alike and has just recently reached over a billion dollars in box office. I’ve already outlined why marvel movies are inherently great but now I want to figure out why Black Panther itself is a great movie. Is it the source material? Is it still because it’s a Marvel movie? Or is it something else entirely?
In my last blog post, I explained why Marvel movies are good. Long story short, it’s because of several factors. The MCU started off with amazing choices in actors with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, the first hero in the MCU franchise, then Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans as Thor and Captain America, respectively. It also knew how to build the world it was trying to represent. This is a world where superheros and aliens and billionaire playboy philanthropists existed. Their worlds are intertwined with one another in the comics and the movies show that by giving little snippets of other heroes or concepts in the solo superhero movies. That’s why the Avengers was so great. All the movies prior to it led up to this climactic venture.
T’Challa and his father, T’Chaka, were introduced in Captain America: Civil War. Their motivations, their personalities, and their ideals were seen for the first time on the big screen. That wasn’t only it though. T’Challa and T’Chaka were seen interacting with the other superheroes, those that have already been established in the MCU. However, we weren’t told everything about them. T’Challa and T’Chaka’s lives were not spelled out completely for us. An air of mystery was left around them both and T’Challa especially. It intrigued the viewer. Here was T’Challa with his own motivations and his own plans that ran counter to the rest of the MCU main characters. He was his own person. His introduction was a tease that left the viewer wanting more from him. This can similarly be seen with Wonder Woman. She was first introduced in Batman v. Superman with not much being said about her other than that she was a character that we all knew about from comics. She inevitably went off to have her own standalone movie that was also a box office success.
The Source Material
Black Panther, in itself, is an interesting sub-franchise within the Marvel Universe. The world’s strongest metal, vibranium, is solely within the African country of Wakanda, an outwardly poor and developing country. However, in reality, Wakanda is the most advanced and richest country on the planet. Within it is the Black Panther, the guardian of Wakanda who wears an all vibranium suit that is virtually invincible. Black Panther’s story is a commentary on colonization, racial identity, power, and morality. It is both political and entertaining, something that very few superhero stories manage to balance. Black Panther is intriguing and captivating. Comparatively, franchises like the Fantastic Four have continually put out box office failures and I think that’s either because that particular franchise is cursed or Fantastic Four just isn’t as interesting.
The Movie Itself
Black Panther is both action packed, funny, and cool. It entertains the viewer with high tech vehicles, intriguing villains and characters, and a central plot that captures your attention. The main villain, Killmonger, is one of the most interesting villains within the MCU mainly because he has a point. Additionally, all of the actors make each of their characters realistic and believable. They make the movie immersive. It is also a breathtakingly beautiful movie with cinematic shots to die for. The Black Panther movie is a great adaptation of the Black Panther comics and it is no wonder that it is doing so well.