Just a little bit over two weeks before Black Panther hits theaters nationwide, Marvel Studios has lifted the social media embargo for those who attended the film's world premiere. We round up the most telling online posts so fans can get an inkling as to how the new superhero flick entry in the MCU will fare against all the has come before it. The first out of the three Marvel projects set for the company's 10th anniversary year, it's one of the most anticipated flicks of 2018, not just because of its branding but because of its potential to create a significant effect in terms of proper racial representation in big Hollywood blockbusters.
Starring Chadwick Boseman, who debuted as T'Challa aka Black Panther in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, the flick picks up when the now King of Wakanda comes back home after he assumed the position due to the sudden death of his father, T'Chaka's (John Kani). Instead of a welcome party fit for a royal, the young leader is immediately met with several crises from both internal and external factors. Directed by Fruitvale and Creed filmmaker Ryan Coogler, Black Panther boasts a stellar ensemble cast of Black actors like veteran Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett, as well as younger stars such as Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong'o.
With the embargo now up, here is the first wave of social media reactions from those who were able to see Black Panther tonight. You can check them below, and don't worry, they're spoiler-free:
Black Panther is the best MCU movie ever. I was blown away from start to finish and I’m not even being biased. This was by far the best marvel movie to date. Thank you, Ryan Coogler! #BlackPanther pic.twitter.com/8Qh0hlOYAb— Geeks of Color (@GeeksOfColor) January 30, 2018
#BlackPanther: I never wanted this movie to end, and as soon as it did I wanted to go back. Solid action, smart story, tons of personality. Shuri is my new fave, Nakia is everything, Killmonger is incredible, T'Challa deserves to rule the MCU. Coogler has done it again. 💜🖤💙 pic.twitter.com/t9gG3DLuCL— Angie J. Han (@ajhan) January 30, 2018
#BlackPanther is exceptional - the James Bond of the MCU. You've seen nothing like this in a superhero movie - it's bold, beautiful & intense, but there's a depth & spiritualness that is unlike anything Marvel has ever done. It's 100% African & it is dope af. pic.twitter.com/Z77IjnIjf2— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) January 30, 2018
BLACK PANTHER is not screwing around. By far the most political Marvel chapter, to the point I had to remind myself this is a Marvel movie. BLACK PANTHER is a movie with a lot to say.— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) January 30, 2018
Also, Michael B. Jordan ... damn
It is 10:01pm PST and I am here to say that BLACK PANTHER is an excellent film with the most realistic Marvel villain.— (BΔK)endra James (@KendraJames_) January 30, 2018
BLACK PANTHER is incredible, kinetic, purposeful. A superhero movie about why representation & identity matters, and how tragic it is when those things are denied to people. The 1st MCU movie about something real; Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger had me weeping and he’s the VILLAIN— jen yamato (@jenyamato) January 30, 2018
#marvel does it again with 'Black Panther'. Very impressed with the story and filmmaking. @michaelb4jordan absolutely kills it as the villain and is the best one since Loki. Also @DanaiGurira kicks so much ass and I loved every second of it. Going to make serious $. pic.twitter.com/YBrg2x3Nnz— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) January 30, 2018
The MVP of #BlackPanther is Letitia Wright's hilarious, ebullient Shuri. I want a Shuri supercut, I want a Shuri spinoff, I want a capsule collection of Shuri sportswear at Opening Ceremony, and I want these things now!— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) January 30, 2018
Black Panther looks, feels and sounds unlike any Marvel film to date. A visual feast. Wakanda is amazingly realized, the antagonist actually has an arc with emotional motivations. Marvels most political movie. So good. #BlackPanther— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) January 30, 2018
#BlackPanther is black, beautiful and proud. A gorgeously shot film with heart, action, and a message that is so needed today. The women shine bright, bold and strong and are everything women of color have been denied... till now. #RyanCoogler is a genius. LONG LIVE THE KING!! pic.twitter.com/oYHxk0qg4G— Yolanda Machado (@SassyMamainLA) January 30, 2018
“Black Panther” is one of Marvel’s most ambitious works and includes, in Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger, a top tier villain for Marvel or otherwise. He owns every scene he’s in and the film is everything it’s been billed as. Long may it reign. pic.twitter.com/KajWk3PNRm— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) January 30, 2018
From the looks of it, Marvel Studios is on their way to open their 10th anniversary year with a bang. Coogler seems to have done a great job shining a light on all his characters and not just focus the attention on Boseman's T'Challa. It also appears to deliver on its promise to tackle racial awareness. However, arguably the biggest takeaway from these reactions is the amount of praise that Jordan is getting for his portrayal of villain Erik Killmonger. It's not a secret that the MCU has struggled with their primary antagonists and the fact that he stands out amid a cast of well-developed characters is a testament that Black Panther is not your formulaic Marvel flick where the bad guy is usually underdeveloped in contrast to the narrative's hero.
While not revealing any spoilers, these comments will definitely impact people's anticipation of the film in a positive way. Not that it needs any more hyping, the movie’s pre-release ticket sales are going well and even outpacing Civil War. Its box office projections are equally impressive with the flick tracking to pocket $120 million during its opening weekend - surpassing even last year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming's $117 million tally in its own opening. With this good word of mouth, it's possible that Black Panther will exceed expectations when it comes to its total haul. Most importantly, it will illustrate that superhero films can move on from being just a popcorn flick and have a core message that can resonate with the real world.
Source: Various (see links)
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