With each Marvel movie, there is a reputation to uphold. Since the release of “Iron Man” in 2008, Marvel movies exceed well past their reported budgets. According to Matt Goldberg of Collider.com: “Iron Man” grossed $585,174,222 worldwide; “The Incredible Hulk” grossed $263,427,551 worldwide; “Thor” grossed $449,326,618 worldwide; “Captain America: The First Avenger” grossed $370,569,774; and “The Avengers” grossed $1,518,812,988 worldwide. Marvel’s latest film, “Black Panther,” also exceeded well past its budget. According to Scott Mendelson of Forbes.com, “The movie all-but-certainly passed $800 million worldwide on March 2.” With a score of 97% on rotten tomatoes, “Black Panther” continues to draw in crowds and dominates the movie theaters.
The protagonist of “Black Panther,” King T’Challa, first made his appearance in “Captain America: Civil War.” Here the audience got a taste of who and what T’Challa can do as they see him suit up as the Black Panther for the for the first time in his life. He does this to find who is responsible for the death of his father.
“Black Panther” proceeds to pick up where the “Civil War” left off: as T’Challa returns to Wakanda to take his rightful place as king and as the persona of the Black Panther. Wakanda is isolated from the rest of the world not just to protect its people and its critical resource of vibranium. For those who do not know, vibranium is the metal that appears in Marvel Universe. Audience may know it as the metal used to make Captain America’s shield. The people of Wakanda use the vibranium for their armor, clothes, and, more importantly, for the outfit and claws for Black Panther.
As T’Challa takes the throne, he battles his emotional state, claiming that he is not ready to live without his father. He wants to be a good king, like his father before him, but questions his ability to do so. While chasing down Ulysses Klaue, a black market dealer who stole vibranium from Wakanda and tried selling it to Ultron in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” a deep secret that T’Challa’s father kept hidden rises. Eric Killmonger, an unknown Wakandan, challenges T’Challa, claiming he is the rightful king. Killmonger wants to expose Wakanda and supply vibranium as weapons to those who are oppressed. T’Challa fights against Killmonger to keep the people of Wakanda united. In the end, T’Challa decides to usher in a new era under his rule and brings about a new order, potentially exposing himself as Black Panther and the country of Wakanda.
“Black Panther” also find strength in in its female characters. Nakia is a strong female character who fights to protect Wakanda’s secrets. T’Challa’s sister, Shuri, showcases her talents by designing different suits for her brother as the Black Panther along with designing new technology using vibranium. Ayo, is a loyal warrior to the throne, helps T’Challa with his mission and is a fierce fighter on the battlefield. Without the help of these strong female leads, T’Challa would not have been successful. This film excels in its focus to use its female leads more for more than romantic plots.
The Black Panther will reappear in Marvel’s “Infinity Wars,” now set to premiere April 27.