10 years ago, Marvel released Iron Man and started a whole new cinema kingdom for superhero movies. Next week, Black Panther is coming out, and before you ask- no it isn’t the first black superhero movie. Spawn & the Blade series take precedence, but these movies definitely weren’t tailored for younger viewers. Black Panther is the first black superhero who is not playing the sidekick to a white superhero in the Marvel cinema franchise. Not only that, but he isn’t a black superhero who comes from the streets, he comes from the most high-tech country (not a real country) in the Marvel comic & now cinema universe.
Black Panther gives young children of color the ability to look up to a hero that is just like them. Not only that, but the movie is full of African culture from real countries & tribes in Africa. For years, we have only had heroes like War Machine, Falcon, & Storm (who they do not give justice to in the X-men series). Heroes that were always in the back, not having their own story to tell. But now we have shows like Black Lighting, Runaways, Cloak & Dagger, and Luke Cage where they are the main heroes. This is in addition to other shows like Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, & Supergirl where they have heroes of color.
If Black Panther is not only able to make millions of dollars in the states, but also around the world, it will show the movie industry that superhero movies don’t have to be just white men. They can be Black, Asian, Latino, or Middle Eastern heroes who act as the movie’s protagonist. That is the biggest thing that makes this movie such a huge deal- It is a gateway to the creation of more diverse movies allowing the next generation of children to have heroes that they can look up to & say “Hey, they look just like me.”
I believe that Chadwick Boseman said the best thing that could be said about the movie: “The image itself opens people’s minds up. You can talk about it all you want, you can have it in a comic book, you can even do an animated series, but when you see real people doing it, it changes something inside of you.”