Ever since “Captain America: Civil War,” Marvel fans have waited patiently for the chance to see more of the newly introduced prince of Wakanda. “Black Panther,” like many other Marvel films, was pretty heavily promoted in an effort to build up hype and excitement.
That said, the movie does not disappoint by any means. Black Panther opened on Feb. 16 with the fifth-best weekend opening of all time, bringing in over $201 million at the box office. The opening ranked as the second best all-time for any comic book movie.
In Civil War, we meet T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman who then starred in this year’s highly anticipated standalone movie for the Marvel franchise. Although the trailers leading up to the premiere were plenty exciting, some fans, myself included, had a pre-existing fascination with this new hero that audiences encountered two years prior.
Another interesting note about Black Panther himself is that although he is a fresh addition to the big screen, his first appearance in the comic books was in an edition of “Fantastic Four” back in 1966.
During the promotion for Civil War, Black Panther was seen as mysterious, which ultimately made viewers want to know more about him. With this mindset, I made sure I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to see this movie, even if it meant trekking out to a small theater in Sandy with nearly a foot of snow piled up on the ground.
While the film was clearly a hit, this leads some to ask what made it so well received. A big part of how Black Panther stands out, not only as a superhero movie but as a generally well-done film, is that some of the key characters are relatable and serve a bigger purpose that extends the reach of their typical movie archetypes.
The movie’s villain, Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan, is a prime example of an antagonist whose motives are actually justified, resulting in a much more compelling plotline. T’Challa returns home to take his place as king and earn the title of Black Panther through the country’s traditional ceremonies. Once he is king, he must learn how to address Wakanda’s cultural politics in relation to the rest of the globe while deciding whether the country should remain in isolation.
In addition to the impressive box office sales, the soundtrack for the movie spent several weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s top 200 albums chart. Director Ryan Coogler picked Kendrick Lamar to produce the album, saying his artistic themes align with those filmgoers explore in the film.
Black Panther is incredibly well casted, and it showcases the beautiful scenery of Wakanda. This location in the Marvel cinematic universe builds the foundation for the upcoming “Avengers: Infinity War,” where T’Challa will make his next appearance, starting on April 27.