After an agonising wait that has promised an excellent film, the latest Marvel Studios release has finally arrived in cinemas: Black Panther.
What is immediately striking is Marvel’s ability – confirmed once again here – to expertly characterise and give space to hidden or marginalised characters from one moment to the next (indeed, Black Panther was introduced as a side character in Captain America: Civil War). Without doubt, this is one of the characteristics that will allow the popular production house to enjoy infinite offshoots for new and engaging stories and characters.
For now, if you haven’t seen it yet, get yourself to the cinema to see Black Panther, released on Tuesday 13th February 2018: the umpteenth Marvel film to receive excellent reviews by critics and audiences alike.
Who is Black Panther?
The film tells the story of T’Challa, prince (then King) of an imaginary African nation called Wakanda. Because of a meteorite that hit thousands of years ago, this land is very rich in Vibranio, a fictional mineral, the most important characteristic of which is its indestructability and the presence of which has rendered Wakanda a very wealthy and technologically-advanced land.
T’Challa, or Black Panther, is one of the most intelligent people in the world and has a great gift for diplomacy, which he uses in his important political position in Wakanda. Our hero does not just have brains, but also brawn: from childhood, thanks to the training he received, he has learned to fight and has developed real super powers (agility, enhanced senses, resistance and strength) after having ingested a Heart-shaped Herb, a magic plant that is consumed as a ritual during his appointment as King of Wakanda.
Some information on the film Black Panther
The film tells of Black Panther’s power conquest and the ensuing battle against his cousin Erik Killmonger, who, allied with Ulysses Klaue, wants to avenge the death of his father (killed by the king, father of Black Panther) and conquer the throne of Wakanda.
The protagonist is played by Chadwick Boseman, who, until now, has never taken on any especially important roles: he had played James Brown in the documentary Get on Up as well as the protagonist of Marshall, a film released in 2017 and which told the story of Thurgood Marshall, the first Afro-American judge in the Supreme Court.
The director is Ryan Coogler, who also directed Creed, chosen after 25 years of attempts where he tried – without success – to dedicate a whole film entirely to the character of Black Panther.
Black Panther: an Africa that you weren’t expecting
What is immediately striking is not so much the entirely Afro-American cast, but rather the fact that a production from Disney – usually very attentive to political correctness – has not ostentatiously paraded the African setting chosen for shooting, but has rather enhanced it in a highly intelligent way, above all from a cultural point of view.
An example could be the fantastical but extremely evocative representation of African tribal customs, which is also useful for giving an extra spiritual touch to the protagonist and elevating him from a moral point of view.
A special mention must also be given to the aesthetic and visual depiction of Wakanda: an African land that, at the same time, seems intriguing for its incredible state of technological development.
The publishing history of Black Panther
The character of Black Panther appeared for the first time in a Fantastic 4 comic book. He was the first real black superhero, a pioneer who paved the way for a series of other characters appearing over successive years: Falcon, Luke Cage, Blade and Tempest.
After various appearances in other Marvel series, he had his first independent comic book in 1973, within a series called Jungle Action. Following this, Black Panther carved out an important role for himself as a “superhero against racism” within the Panther vs the Klan story, which told of Panther’s battle against the Klu Klux Klan.
It is also interesting to note that the character was born a few years before the founding of the Black Panthers, the revolutionary Afro-American movement founded in 1966.
A soundtrack of “Respect”!
The soundtrack was provided by none other than his majesty Kendrick Lamar.
The king of world hip hop was originally supposed to compose just a few songs, but he soon developed a passion for the story and for the character of Black Panther – so much so that he composed an entire album.
Within the album we find collaborations with international figures such as SZA, The Weeknd, Vince Staples, Jorja Smith, Future and Travis Scott, and the response of critics has been truly positive; it has even been described as “an album that could stand alone, even without the film”.
Tribe and Marvel also win the battle against boring technology
If you love the Marvel superheroes, you can’t miss the highly original collection of Tribe technology accessories, while we wait for the release of the personalised Black Panther USB stick.