A week from now I will have seen the Thursday night premier of Marvel’s Black Panther and I will probably be filled with excitement, hype and all the feels. Now this is different for me than the thrill I felt from Marvel’s Captain America: Winter Soldier or Rogue One. Why, you may ask? Because this is the first time that a major movie company has produced a super hero movie featuring a black super hero and a predominately black cast. You guys know me and know that I rarely, if ever, discuss race. But what is coming is HUGE! And the fact that 47 year old me is here to witness it… well, it’s the stuff blogs are made of!
Let’s go back 20 years to a movie called Blade. You remember it, don’t ya? Now true, this movie is a comic book movie, but Blade isn’t really a super hero. He is more of an anti-hero. Plus, it did not feature a predominately black cast. The success of this movie is responsible for the X-Men films and what we know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And here’s an interesting tidbit: Wesley Snipes had planned to star in a Black Panther film, produced by his production company Amen Ra. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. But maybe it did help usher us to the notion of a black super hero on the big screen?
This film is so much more than just a cinematic first. The toy merchandising features commercials with black leads, another first. It took me 47 years to see a black kid as the lead in a toy commercial for a super hero property. In the 12 month cycle in which we were reminded that Nazis are still out there, we also have taken a major step forward in showing that we can embrace diversity. And I am excited to see that it is not just my geek friends who are excited for this movie. I have coworkers who are on the verge of exploding over waiting for this movie to be released. People who have never stepped foot into a theater for an MCU movie. People who are now watching Marvel movies to get caught up… it is a truly exciting time.
So, yeah, a week from now I will be full of feels and excitement and feeling a bit happier that, during Black History Month, I get to express my geek and people can get it, for once… and maybe even join in!!