Marvel’s Black Panther, The Rise of the Black Superhero

Photo: Kiwi The Beauty

“The revolution will not be televised. Let’s Go.”  The official trailer for the latest installment in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, Black Panther, starts with a bang. Black superheroes have existed for over 40 decades, ironically enough starting with Black Panther in 1966. It has been 10 years since the superhero craze started in 2008 with the first Iron Man movie. While we have had black superheroes for much of that time now in movie adaptations their roles have often been secondary.

The stereotypical American art form that is superhero comics is embracing fictitious worlds that look like America itself. In 2018, black capes matter. The Black Panther hype is real and now there are numbers to prove it. Movie ticket retailer Fandango is reporting that Black Panther holds the record for most pre-sale tickets sold for a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. The previous record was held by Captain America: Civil War, which was released in May 2016.

Black Culture in the Theatre

Furthermore, Marvel is trying to keep the black culture true and relevant in Black Panther. From the tribal outfits to all-star black cast and a soundtrack produced by Kendrick Lamar, black culture is alive and well in this movie. Black Panther is expected to sweep the box office and set a new trend that hopefully is here to stay.

“Black Panther is riding an incredible wave of momentum right now,” Fandango’s managing editor Erik Davis said in the release. “It’s one of the biggest and most anticipated movies to ever open in the month of February, and its trailers have electrified the Internet. Tickets have been going fast ever since pre-sales started on Fandango late Monday.”

Black Lightning

Photo: The CW

Black Lightning (BL) joins the ranks of Black Panther in this resurgence of black capes joining the mainstream media. The CW’s Black Lightning is especially peculiar because of how unapologetically ‘black’ it is. Dealing with issues such as the ‘black lives matter’ movement, gang violence, or police brutality, BL is here to make a splash on the conventional ‘American’ superhero, and from preliminary viewership results, here to stay. In Black Lightning the good guys and bad guys, teachers and students, victims and criminals and reporters are mainly African-American, and why shouldn’t they be, this is all paints the true America that these heroes are trying to save.


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