In no way am I a comic book or superhero expert, but I am a videophile with a vested interested in watching movies (and reading books) with black heroes. So, when I heard of the new Captain America trailer with Black Panther, my interest was immediately piqued.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here is the trailer and an explanation of the trailer. Honestly, if black twitter hadn’t told me Black Panter was in this trailer, I would not have known. So this guy breaks it down for us.
I wouldn’t know anything about Black Panther if it wasn’t for the awesome BET and Marvel collaboration (I feel super weird promoting anything good from BET but you can see the first episode here) to create the episodic Black Panther cartoon. (side note: this was expertly written and executed series. Marvel’s Black Panther is a great example of story telling and pacing).
So far, the Marvel movies have given us three black heroes with War Machine/Jim Rhodes from Ironman and The Falcon/ Sam Wilson from Captain America. Johnny from The Fantastic Four would have been a decent example of a black hero. His power is immense, (and Michael B. Jordan is FIIINNNNE). Unfortunately, he didn’t get much play in the movie (really nobody did), and the second Fantastic Four movie was discontinued. I think Jordan did a great job as the human torch in the little bit that we did see of him. (side note: y’all remember when the human torch was Captain America). I would have really enjoyed seeing a (somewhat) carefree black boy as a superhero.
We need black heroes, so I am so excited to see Black Panther because his power is not handed down to him by a benevolent white hero. The Black Panther is not only a black hero, but he is awake and swimming in his blackness. War Machine and Nightwing could have easily been played by a white, brown, or Asian actor and nothing would have been lost in the story telling. But Black Panther could not be Black Panther without being black. Duh.. And this is the intersection of Blackness and speculative fiction that makes my heart melt. He wears his blackness on his sleeve. It cannot be ignored.
In summary, we need black heroes and I can’t wait see Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, a movie I would not have thought to see if it wasn’t for Black Panther.