The Black Panther has been the man for many Blerds of a certain age since the character was created by Jack “King” Kirby and Stan Lee, and written by Don McGregor, who The Shadow League interviewed for TSL Comic Book Convo back in 2015. Sleek, handsome, super intelligent, regal and lethal, the Black Panther has been a de facto spirit animal for sisters and brothers of the diaspora living throughout the world almost from day one.
When Chadwick Boseman brought T’Challa to life on the big screen in Captain America 2: Civil War, it was simply to whet our appetite for the smorgasbord of unapologetic blackness that was sure to follow. And the whetting continues because, today, fans will be treated to a brand new trailer for the Black Panther during Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Check out the ill poster of the Black Panther sitting on his throne with the weight of the Marvel Universe on his shoulders.
As I wrote in a previous piece, The Cultural Significance of Marvel’s The Black Panther, “A character developed during the Civil Rights era, one which is highly educated, brilliant, good looking, athletic, fearless and instilled with a strong sense of cultural pride, T’Challa was an inspiration to young Black children in the 60’s and 70’s. Seeing him in the pages of Marvel, teaming with the likes of The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, The Defenders, Fantastic Force (remember them?), The Illuminati and The Ultimates was an amazing experience as T’Challa always was, and is, a key character in every storyline. Whether it was his understanding of a situation, his intellect or strength and speed, the Black Panther was a force. He had significance to those who wanted heroes of color to look up to…The Black Panthers dualistic nature as a fictional character with real world importance is unmatched by just about every major mainstream comic book character and his popularity in current day is just as strong as it was 50 years ago.”