Black Panther Is Breaking Records Already

Marvels Black Panther Coming February 16, 2018

Deadline Hollywood reports ‘Black Panther’ Slashes Superhero Advance Ticket Sales Records On Fandango

K Gerard Thomas



On February 16, 2018, Marvel Films will release the Black Panther in theaters across the nation; the film will star Chadwick Boseman (Marshall) as TChalla/Black Panther King of Wakanda, the character first movie appearance was in Captain America Civil War.  Ryan Coogler (Creed) is the director, and other stars are Michael B. Jordan, Angela Basset, Lupita Nyongo and Sterling K Brown just to name a few.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Vision

1966 was a banner year of introductions into the world of fantasy and science fiction, a new era of heroes began from comic books to television, 1966 saw the premiere of the campy Batman television series as well as Star Trek that let the world know that multiple races will exist in space in the future.

Social unrest was the reality of the turbulent sixties protests against the Viet Nam War to the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr who advocated for the peaceful protest to assure African Americans had the right to vote, and be treated as equals within the predominantly white society. 

While the older followers of Dr. King were religious converts to a non-violent revolution, the younger generation tuned out and turned on to more radical options, according to some in the youth movement: If an African American is attacked, they are well within their rights to fight back.

Militant African American youth came out of organizations like SCLC, NAACP, and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. (SNCC), while older teens were marching in the streets their smaller counterparts were collecting and reading comic books.

African American youth did not know in 1966 they were living in historical times and just the purchase of a comic book would open their eyes to a world they never dreamed existed not even in their wildest imagination. Children and teens of all racial ethnicities followed the monthly adventures of superheroes like, Thor, Iron Man, Spiderman, the and Fantastic Four.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby of Marvel Comics envisioned African Americans being able to embrace a comic book superhero of their own and from their own and they especially needed one that they could be proud.  

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were both of Jewish heritage and felt a kinship to the times and the struggles within the black community. When the popularity of the X Men was at their largest Stan Lee was questioned about the two antagonists in the book, he explained that Professor X was Martin Luther King and Magneto was Malcolm X.

Enter The Black Panther

King T Challa is one of a long list of Black Panthers who for generations was the protector of the realm of Wakanda and its secrets. Wakanda is a nation that is a driving force within the Marvel Universe it is best known as being famous for mining of a fictional rare medal named Vibrainium that is the same source as Captain America’s shield.

 The Black Panther was a series that was still in need of a strong fan base of support; Black Panther first challenge was due to the name and the time, he was not based on the militant Black Panther Party as some have thought, he was created a year before their founding.

Because of the controversial name, Stan Lee decided to change the Black Panther to the Black Leopard which was short-lived, and Lee returned the title to the Black Panther.

The Black Panther made his first debut in Fantastic Four # 52 he later joined the Avengers and was given his comic series, that stretched into the new millennium and at one time was written by two African American writers Christopher Priest and director/ producer Reginald Hudlin whose run on the series gave the character more depth. 

Both writers introduced a stronger character who family background and the trials and tribulations of being the leader of a nation, King T Challa is more than equal to Tony Stark, Dr. Doom and Reed Richards in intellectual prowess. (Google the characters and names)

The Black Panther is the catalyst that opened the door to other well-known black superheroes’, such as The Falcon, Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Storm and Blade who was played by Wesley Snipes.

 DC comics Black Lightning, Cyborg and many more, who owe their existence to two Jewish men and an African King, who was introduced at a pinnacle time in American history that could have led to a fan base backlash but instead today is one of the most popular characters Marvel have ever created.  



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