When it comes to Black Panther my comic book knowledge is unfortunately extremely weak. My only exposure was during the Nineties when T'Challa only showed up as a cameo in The Fantastic Four and The Amazing Spider-Man. Too bad that a lot of those stories we're pretty forgettable. It was a dark time back then for The Fantastic Four.
On the surface I just figured the character as a African Batman. I regret not having a deeper interest for Black Panther during the pinnacle of my comic book collecting years.
It sure seems to me that BLACK PANTHER could not be released at a better time! I love how far the genre has come since IRON MAN. This year we get The Avengers facing off against Thanos w/ his Infinity Gauntlet. How cool is that, I still cannot believe we're getting this movie!
That being said, I am really feeling the fatigue of Comic Book movies. And the constant fighting of fanboys on the internet with the MCU versus the DCEU isn't helping matters much. It makes the anticipation and enjoyment of these films a drag sometimes. The Thanos arc in the MCU is too slow of a progression and a tad bit convoluted. I still love watching them/playing in the background, but both AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR run a little long.
And Warner Bros continually meddling in the artistic affairs of the DCEU is frustrating to no end. Trying to compete with Disney you get fun but shallow output like JUSTICE LEAUGE.
Despite my fatigue I still see these films on opening night because I love the genre. Youth is spoiled today, the comic book movies of yesteryear were nothing like the MCU.
After 18 films in the MCU this fan is happy to say that BLACK PANTHER did not disappoint.
With a brand new Superhero movie we have to suffer through the dreaded "origin story" film. Not so with BLACK PANTHER, we're kinda dumped into the world and myth building of Wakanda. Millions of years ago a meteor containing Vibranium, the strongest metal in the universe, crashed into Africa creating the civilization of Wakanda. It's super cool that Captain America's shield comes from the same material that created Wakanda!
After the death of his father, T'Challa is now the new king of Wakanda. And his first duty as king is to capture Ulysses Klaw for dealing Vibranium on the black market. The task becomes more complicated when it is discovered that Klaw's current partner in crime, Erik Killmonger may have a connection to Wakanda, and more importantly the throne.
The one thing about the film I can't stop thinking about is how striking the cinematography was. Also, Wakanda has this Techincolor look to it that is unlike any other MCU film. Unfortunately, BLACK PANTHER suffers from cheep CGI (a staple of MCU) from time to time. The final fight between T'Challa and Killmonger reminded me of early 2000's special effects.
Another strong aspect to the film was it's characters. I loved pretty much everybody in this. Like most, my favorite character hands down was T'Challa's sister Shuri. Judging from the AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR trailer it may not happen, but I'd totally love it if Shuri met Tony Stark and she could school him on some tech!
And it's true, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger is so far the best MCU villain. In fact, one complaint that I have with the film is how little screen time there is of him. Killmonger is a baddie with substance. There is a pivotal moment in the film where it's hard not to side with Killmonger and his beliefs.
There is a lot of "BLACK PANTHER is the greatest MCU movie ever made" type hyperbole coming from critics. In all the hysteria I agree that the film might be the most important/engaging comic book movie to come out in a long time, if ever. Director Ryan Coogler has made the best type of genre film, the kind with a message.
I highly recommend BLACK PANTHER, especially if you're the type that is sort of burnt out on the Superhero genre. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.