Captain America: Civil War hits theaters on May 6. The most awaited hero to join the Avengers in their civil war is Spider-Man, but he’s not the only hero joining the fight that has fans shaking in anticipation. Many people are looking forward to seeing Marvel’s first black superhero, Black Panther, as well.
Black Panther has a rich and complex history in the Marvel comic universe.
The first appearance of Black Panther was in Fantastic Four Vol. 1 No. 52, published in 1966. At the time of his introduction there had never been a black superhero printed in any mainstream comic book series. It was a revolutionary choice, made by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, to include Black Panther in a time when racial tensions were high.
As the story goes, Black Panther’s shift from his alter ego (T’Challa) to his superhero identity was not accidental. T’Challa is the descendent of a royal line, and, as a result, becomes king of his nation (a fictional kingdom in Africa called Wakanda).
Marvel explained all of the various abilities and skills of Black Panther on the character description part of their website.
“T’Challa is a brilliant tactician, strategist, scientist, tracker and a master of all forms of unarmed combat whose unique hybrid fighting style incorporates acrobatics and aspects of animal mimicry. T’Challa being a royal descendent of a warrior race is also a master of armed combat, able to use a variety of weapons but prefers unarmed combat. He is a master planner who always thinks several steps ahead and will go to extreme measures to achieve his goals and protect the kingdom of Wakanda.”
In Captain America: Civil War, audiences will get to see Black Panther as he joins the fight in his first ever movie appearance. According to Movie Pilot, Captain America: Civil War will likely show how the superhero deals with the weight of carrying on his legacy as Black Panther while highlighting his feud with Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier).
Chadwick Boseman is the man playing the brilliant and skilled king of Wakanda.
Recently, Boseman was on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show. He talked about how he chose what accent to use for Black Panther, as well as how fan-boys and fan-girls reacted to Marvel choosing him for the superhero. He also issued several interviews, including one reported by the Toronto Sun, where he discussed other aspects of how he views Black Panther.
One of the things mentioned by Boseman was that it was possible to look at Black Panther in a way that shows him more as a man and less as superhero.
“You could argue that he’s not a superhero,” Boseman said. “He’s probably the only superhero who’s a king of a nation, so he plays politician as well. What makes him special is he’s strong, but he’s not the strongest. It’s more agility and more his wit and more his ingenuity.”
Although it’s true that there are other superheroes that are, or could be considered, leaders of their nations (such as DC’s Aquaman), Black Panther is definitely one of the few.
Boseman went on to explain the legacy of Black Panther and why it weighs so heavily on T’Challa.
“If you know the comic, he has to live up to a lineage of other Black Panthers that came before him. It’s that same thing as if your dad was a rock star, then how do you live up to being a rock star? How do you live up to being a king? How do you live up to a superhero? That’s definitely part of it; that he has to prove himself.”
The decision to bring Black Panther to the big screen has been received very positively by Marvel fans. In fact, movie goers can expect a solo Black Panther film in 2018.
[ Photo by Marvel ]