Marvel’s Black Panther is one of the best superhero movies of all time

Dalton Stokes

This past weekend kings were crowned, things exploded and records were broken. Possibly the most anticipated and hyped movie of 2018 thus far, Black Panther, released and had the most successful opening weekend of 2018 so far.

In its first three days, Marvel’s Black Panther has made a little over $201 million coming in as the fifth biggest opening weekend in movie history. With new competition coming in the superhero movie game, Marvel did not fail in asserting its dominance in the industry by pulling from their deep lineup of heroes.

Black Panther was not only the best movie of 2018 so far, but I would say is it is in the top 10 best superhero movies of all time. Throughout its two hours, the film provides a near perfect mixture between fun and entertaining and deep and meaningful.

The movie takes place in the fictional African nation of Wakanda where a secret civilization hides within a technological utopia. Within the movie, Wakanda was formed by African tribes in an area with a massive abundance of Marvel’s fictional metal of vibranium, which has amazing and almost mysterious properties.

Because of this abundance of vibranium, the nation thrived and advanced much faster than the rest of the world, so they used their technology to hide themselves away from the rest of the world. They are the richest and most technologically advanced country in the world, yet they linger in the shadows.

This is an amazing subversion to the typical power dynamics. In our world and in history, we usually are told how poor African nations are in a misleading manner. We are also told that the western world is the richest and most responsible for the world’s technological advancements. This fictional world flips all these stereotypes on their head.

The movie also conveys meaningful commentary on themes such as isolationism of the western world, refugee crisis, and racial inequality. These things, the movie’s amazing cast and crew, and the fun comic relief and action scenes come together to make this movie a great experience.

As if this movie wasn’t making enough statements, Marvel also hired a Dreamer onto their cast. In the past few months Donald Trump has been raving against and repealed the Obama era immigration program called DACA, that gave hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants a legal path to reside in the U.S.

Actor, Bambadjan Bamba, appearing in Black Panther and spoke out against this legislative decision by coming out and publicly admitting to being a Dreamer, or DACA recipient.  

Some may say that there is enough politics outside of entertainment and that we should keep that out of our entertainment, but I think that these levels of commentary are in part what makes this a great movie, especially as they are just the right amount of subtlety. This clever subtlety gives the movie a strong meaning to the people watching it without completely oversaturating the film. The movie was still amazingly fun to watch and was very dynamic in both cinematography and plot.

The political messages that the movie presents are also very cohesive with the character himself. Contrary to popular belief, the Black Panther is not a new superhero. He has been around as long as many of the huge marvel superheroes like Iron man. Black Panther was the first superhero of African decent. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced him in Fantastic Four as a statement during the civil rights movement.

The biggest thing that makes the movie great and drives the emotional impact of the film is not only what lies in the hero but in the villian. Superheroes are easy to write for but the hardest part of making a superhero movie is making the villain interesting and three dimensional. A good superhero is nothing without a great villain.

It is so easy for a writer to make a villain that is completely one dimensional and uninteresting. This is what Black Panther does well. Without revealing too much, the villain in Black Panther is so human and he isn’t all bad. He has good intentions to the point where you are almost inclined to agree with him.

This is why Batman: The Dark Knight is credited as the best superhero movie ever, because it features villians that are very three dimensional and are in their own ways very human, while still serving the overall plot of the movie. The villain in Black Panther accomplishes these goals very well.

For a culmination of all these reasons, I would give Black Panther a solid 9 out of 10. Overall it was a great movie and I would recommend it to superhero fans and movie goers alike. Marvel definitely broke the mold with this movie and it paid off in their favor with another hit superhero movie.