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Review: Marvel Strikes Gold in Black Panther

March 23, 2018

Courtesy of YouTube

Courtesy of YouTube

It’s incredible to see an intricate story told in just a little over 2 hours. Black Panther, released on February 16th, has stunned all types of audiences- from teenagers to older adults. This is not your typical superhero movie where someone is in trouble and it’s the superhero’s job to save everyone. Black Panther has an impressive backstory, a well-planned plot, and most importantly, it conveys more than a lousy message.  

Many members of the audience who viewed “Black Panther” more than likely did not know that this character originated over 50 years ago. Black Panther was Marvel Comic’s first black superhero and the character first debuted in Marvel’s “Fantastic 4” comic in 1966. Black Panther became a member of the Avengers two years later, and he got his own comic in 1977. This is very important because the character was showcased in the midst of the Civil Rights movement, a very tense time between whites and blacks.  

The story starts out in the fictional country Wakanda, a very highly developed country. Wakanda has the most advanced technology and is rich in special resources, especially the fictional element Vibranium (the strongest metal on earth). With all of these resources, technology, and a good ruler, Wakanda thrived for a long time. Since Wakanda developed technology to disguise their actual empire and the country is not involved in world trade, many think the country of Wakanda as a struggling third world country. Although many may perceive this country as something created by a comic writer, the country holds more symbolism than what originally meets the eye. The country of Wakanda represents a land of opportunity and possibility- what the people could do if there were no stereotypical barriers.  

For hundreds of years, the country is undisturbed until the ruler, T’Chaka, or Black Panther’s father, dies. In the movie, the future of Wakanda falls into the wrong hands, and it’s the Black Panther’s job to make sure the truth of Wakanda is not revealed to the rest of the world. 

The film first starts out in an apartment in Oakland, in the year of 1992. These first few scenes may have left the audience confused, but everything fell into place as it was explained during the movie. One thing for sure is that Marvel does not lack explanation- there is a reason for everything in their movies. Later, we are introduced to the complex country Wakanda and become acquainted with both the characters and traditions of the country. T’Challa, known as the Black Panther, is soon to become the king, due to his father’s recent passing. His first mission as ruler is to obtain a small cache of Vibranium. Ulysses Klaue, a known enemy of the country, had stolen the Vibranium earlier in the 1990’s with the aid of one of the men the audience had seen in the Oakland scene (makes sense now, right?). Now, Klaue had started working with an African American top-notch soldier, known as Erik “Killmonger” Stevens. T’Challa and Killmonger eventually meet- right before the climax of the movie. Because of this encounter, T’Challa has the potential of losing his position and the country of Wakanda is at risk for utter destruction. With the help of the neighboring tribes and his family, T’Challa is able to rise up and defeat Killmonger, along with saving Wakanda.  

Over the course of the movie, the viewers experienced many cliffhangers and moments where they were just hanging off the edges of their seats, wondering what was going to happen next. The quality of the movie in a general sense was superb- each character had their own personality, the costumes were impressive, and the action scenes were realistic, not cheesy.  There was the perfect amount of humor at the appropriate time, and the landscapes were striking.  

Overall, no corners were cut in the making of this film. After exiting the theater, I was indeed blown away, given the fact that I am not a big fan of superhero movies. I give this film 5 out of 5 tornadoes.

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