Black Panther is finally upon us, King T’challa , the first black super-hero created by the legendary Stan lee and Jack Kirby is set to hit the theaters on the 16th of February. Already certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, Black Panther is easily the most anticipated movie of the year. Black Panther was initially known as The Cool Tiger but was thankfully changed to Black Panther in 1966 when the issue #1 was first published. He first appeared in Fantastic Four Comic issue #54 and #53 where he invited the team to his secluded nation of Wakanda (located in East Africa , at the northern end of Lake Turkana, at a fictional point bordering Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya). A technologically advanced nation, that blends super science with the traditional way of life. The comic stood out because it ignored the stereotypical depiction of Africa in the media at the time, showing the continent in its true glorious uncorrupted self. The Black Panther preceded every comic of its time and the movie follows this trend by becoming the first superhero movie to have a 90% black cast.
I believe Wakanda provides a “what could have been in Africa” scenario if we were not colonized or if we took back control of our continent. Wakanda; an African state is the richest and most technological advanced country in the world, I mean this African country is sitting in a shitload of untapped oil but they don’t need it. In fact Africa can actually learn from the fictional Wakanda. Wakanda gets all its wealth from Vibranium a rare metal found only in the African state. The valuable indestructible metal came from a meteorite but instead of asking for help on how to extract it from the western nation, they decide to teach themselves how to extract the metal from the meteorite, kept it a secret form the world and when the right time came they sold small amount of it for an exaggerated amount of money. In the process they advanced and enriched themselves. Africa to has rare and valuable minerals found exclusively in the continent but surprisingly we do not own them due to imperialism. Take the sad case of Congo; potentially the richest country in the world but now it’s one of the poorest states in the world. In the case of the King T’challa he is not just the typical hungry, corrupt ,African dictator as the west believe all Africans leaders are. T’challa is one of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe and that’s saying a lot in a world of Peter Parker, Tony Stark and Mr. Fantastic. He has a PhDs in Physics, Mathematics, Political Science just to name a few: A skilled leader and fighter who puts his nation and people above all. If some African leaders would emulate T’challa then the continent would be top of the chain, commanding respect it rightfully deserves
My only issue of the black panther movie is the less use of African actors; and NO African American actors are not Africans. Personally I find the fake African accents insulting. Don’t get me wrong I love Chadwik Boseman, he is a terrific actor and his acting rap sheet is actually envious, but Black panther and the Wakanda people are based deep in the heart of Africa and we as Africans deserve respectful representation . I know some would say that big names attract audience but this is Marvel we are talking about, the brand itself would attract billions of dollars. But i’ll take it as it is atleast they used cool African Costumes.
All Hail the Black Panther