Black Panther: A new era of Marvel

The new Black Panther trailer has recently dropped and fans cannot contain their excitement for this next Marvel instalment. We were first introduced to the Black Panther on screen in Captain America: Civil War, and now Chadwick Boseman is back playing T’Challa, superhero and prince of Wakanda.

Black Panther

But this is more than just another superhero movie. With an almost all-black cast, including influential icons such as Luptia Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett, plus black director, Ryan Coogler, it is the beginning of a franchise that could help change the superhero genre forever.

As the first black superhero introduced into the mainstream comic world back in 1966, this movie has quickly become a symbol of hope for young and old for more racial diversity and representation in the movie industry.

Black Panther

Boseman revealed his thoughts on why having a black superhero in the mainstream film industry, especially in today’s society, is so important for everyone;

“For a black kid to never see a black Superhero, then that in a sense is an obstacle that cannot be conquered, things that cannot be conquered in their lives…When you can see somebody that is of colour —Latino, Asian, African — when you can see that, it frees you from that boundary as well. So it’s exciting to me to see kids of all races see Black Panther because it’s a freeing process for everybody.”

The story follows T’Challa’s return to his homeland of the fictional African village, Wakanda, and his journey to take the throne, after his father and former king were murdered in an attack during the Civil War. But in the process of becoming king, he will face challenges from other tribes vying for leadership.

Black Panther

In the trailer we see Wakanda as an impressive mix of futuristic spaceships and vibrant, traditional prints and garments from Kenya and South Sudan.

Black Panther’s costume designer, Ruth E. Carter’s aim was to give the people of Wakanda garments that celebrated African culture as a whole. She spoke with Elle about her thought process behind the designs.

“…authenticity is very important to me. With Wakanda, I’m sort of piecing together a puzzle. It’s the puzzle that is our history. Black history didn’t start with slavery or end with the civil-rights movement. I’m trying to put together that puzzle while considering everything that relates to us, including present stuff like the Black Lives Matter campaign.”

The film poster, released hours before the trailer, was staged so it cleverly resembled the 1967 image of the Black Panther Party, (a political party whose original purpose was to patrol African American neighbourhoods to protect residents from acts of police brutality), co-founder, Huey P. Newton, sitting on a throne.

Black Panther

It is important for the youth of today to be able to see themselves and aspects of their heritage represented, as well as it is important for those not a part of the culture to learn and understand it.

Black Panther will be released in February 2018, and is set to be overflowing with gripping story lines, clever wit, amazing imagery, and of course, kick-ass fight scenes.

Will you be rushing to see this next year?

Text: Afua Aidoo

Images: Marvel Studios

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