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Black Panther Brings Diversity to Live Action Superhero Movies

Marvel’s “Black Panther” is shattering the idea that movies based on black culture can’t be a global blockbuster.  The movie has already made some impressive box-office feats.

The Afrocentric movie follows the hero Black Panther, the prince of the fictional country, Wakanda.  After his father dies, the main character T’Challa must become a king and protect his home country at all costs.

The movie already made history by becoming the top-grossing film by a black director, Ryan Coogler, and with a mostly black cast.

In preparation for the arrival of “Black Panther,”  Florida Southern’s Comic Book Club decided to focus on some of the writings featuring the hero.

Black Panther: World of Wakanda. One of Comic Book Club’s readings.

Comic Book Club President W James started the club in order to bring comic book readers together to talk and share their thoughts about different comics.

James believes it is unfair for different races, genders and other identities not to be represented in the superhero film industry.

“If you don’t fit the typical white male stereotype, there isn’t a lot out there for you, and it’s extremely unfair,” James said.

There hasn’t been a lot of diversity in superhero film industry.  “Wonder Woman,” which was released in November 2017, was the first superhero movie where the main protagonist/hero was a female.

Avid superhero movie fan and sophomore Taylor Vincent is incredibly excited to see the movie in theatres as soon as possible.

“I love all of Marvel’s movies and I am sure “Black Panther” is not going to disappoint,” Vincent said.

Vincent doesn’t read the comic books but still has an extensive knowledge of Marvel and DC Comics characters.

“Diversity is something that is a big topic these days and for Marvel and DC to be successful they need to start incorporating characters that are diverse,” Vincent said.  “There are many diverse characters in the comic book world but they have never seen the film industry.”

Junior Film Studies major Ashley Augusty saw the movie with a couple friends over the weekend.  Being African-American, Augusty said the movie was portrayed in a different way in order to make people realize how people of color feel.

“I believe this movie gave an honest opinion from a black standpoint that doesn’t get highlighted in most films,” Augusty said.  “It puts you in a position that makes you think how other people feel.”

Augusty compared the protagonist, Black Panther, and the antagonist, Killmonger, to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.  Her main point was they both fight for the good of their people but go about it in different ways.

“They both want things that can benefit their people, one with violence and one without,” Augusty said.

Augusty rated the movie and 10 out of 10.

Black Panther will be seen again in Avengers: Infinity War on April 27.


Related Links:

Michelle Obama praises Black Panther for inspiring ‘people of all backgrounds’

The Matter of Representation in Superhero Movies

FSC focuses on diversity on campus