Chadwick Boseman Was a Source of Light in My Understanding of a Black Hero

In the Bantu language Xhosa, Ulwimi olunye alwanelanga tu means “One language is never enough.” In the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s passing, there is an inconceivable grief rippling across language barriers and cascading through communities and countries. The letters on my keyboard look like a jumbled mess — trying to use language to communicate this loss is an act I am unfamiliar with.

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Heavy is the Panther’s Cowl

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic characters in comics, The Black Panther.

Springing to life in the pages of Fantastic Four #52, the Panther’s comic journey has been one fraught with fits and starts. Some people look at Christopher Priest’s run as the definitive arc. Other’s look at Reginald Hudlin’s take as the best representation of the character. One guy at Dr. Comics and Mr. Games comic shop in Oakland felt Jonathan Hickman’s version in Secret Wars was, “The best look for the Panther. No one else got it right.” I’m going to have to refute that and argue that Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze, and Laura Martin’s Black Panther relaunch will be the definitive version of T’Challa, King of the Wakanda, for a long while to come. Instead of gold, the Panther received the gift of a fantastic creative team.

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Why’d They Do Black Panther Like That?

Originally posted on Ebony.com

What was meant to be a celebratory moment for (Black) comic book fans turned out offensive. This week’s Entertainment Weekly turned the highly anticipated reveal of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s interpretation of the first Black superhero into a fiasco of epic proportions. T’Challa, king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda (also known as the hero Black Panther), got sonned by EW.

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Why The Black Panther Is Marvel’s Answer to Batman

As most comic book fans are aware, the success of an adaptation — be it a live action film, a television series, or a cartoon — can prove to be a game changer for the superhero protagonist and their standing in the comic book universe.

A little exposure can result in minor throwaway characters becoming heavy hitters overnight.

This is yet another reason I’m excited about the forthcoming Black Panther movie. This is a character who hasn’t always been properly utilized and this has resulted in more than a few missed opportunities. The highly anticipated film may finally alert the public to one fundamental truth about the Wakandan superhero. For all intents and purposes, the Black Panther is Marvel’s answer to Batman.

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How to Not Screw Up a Black Panther Film

A while back, Avi Arad stated “they” (I’m assuming Marvel Studios) had a “great take” on a Black Panther film, and follows this up with referring to the film thusly: “It’s like black Indiana Jones.” Really? A monarch of one the most technologically advanced societies in the world, not to mention that this society is in Africa — just how in the jolly green fuck can you relate this to Indiana Jones?

T’Challa is a king, a diplomat, a scientist, an athlete, a super hero… He makes Indiana Jones’ racist, plundering adventures obsolete. To make a great Panther he has to be regal and own his arrogance — not use his arrogance as a front for insecurities, a la Tony Stark. He doesn’t fail up like Indiana Jones. He strategizes and then takes chances. If T’Challa were in Raiders of the Lost Ark he would have just let the Nazis open the Ark and watched them all melt. He wouldn’t have engaged in all that unnecessary adventuring. The Black Panther is a character unto himself. He needs to be afforded the same care and consideration of the other Marvel-verse heroes and their various “phase” films.

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