Black Panther claws its way to the top


Elegant yet deadly. In Marvel’s latest movie, “Black Panther” the protector and king of Wakanda of the same name is able to embody both traits while capturing the attention of a broad audience.

The movie stands out from most other superhero films with its fantastic balance of incorporating African culture and uncomfortable social topics while still being a fun and interesting watch.

The movie not only has strong black heroes in a mostly white dominated genre, but it also gives African cultures a chance to shine. Wakanda is only one kingdom in East Africa, but its clothing and accessories are inspired from various real African tribes. The Mursi and Surma tribes in Ethiopia are one of the many tribes that were represented in the movie through the lip plates, a ceremonial body modification, that a few characters had.

However, the cultural aspect steps into real life as well. Many African-American fans of the movie went to theaters nationwide dressed in traditional wear, celebrating their deep heritage that was finally getting a Disney movie of their own.

“Black Panther” was also successful when it came to keeping the audience entertained. The movie was able to balance the amount of action and dialogue needed to make a movie perfect. Each action scene matched or even beat the amount of excitement any other superhero movie action scene has been able to produce. What made it different, however, was the fighting style of characters.

Especially now, superhero movies are released almost every other month. Whenever you watch one, the fighting scenes always seem to look the same. But in this one, African tribal culture was incorporated into scenes, such as the epic waterfall matches, which made it unique.

The realism of the movie was also outstanding. King T’Challa was portrayed so perfectly by Chadwick Boseman in ways that made him seem real. His accent brought life to the character. Dialogue between all characters was made to be meaningful. Each conversation was important, focusing on topics such as power among countries, diversity amid cultures, and the challenges of facing racism.

In one scene, there were artifacts in a museum that were supposedly found and made by one culture. However, it was proven by Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) that Wakandans made the artifacts and the museum was just creating false information. The movie was able to recognize how sometimes history is changed in a way to favor and represent only one culture.
Though the Kingdom of Wakanda and the legacy of the Black Panther only exist in fiction, the social problems that are addressed are far from fiction and can teach others a valuable lesson.