“Black Panther” is one of Marvel’s finest

The anticipation for this movie was like no other. With film predecessors such as “Hancock,” “Catwoman” and “Steel,” “Black Panther” released at a prominent time for people of color in America.

Perhaps it’s not the absolute best Marvel movie, however I believe it ranks among Marvel’s finest films to date.

With an outstanding, primarily African-American cast, this film has made waves among people all over the world. Despite the continually rising racial tension is the U.S., “Black Panther” remains a bright star in a dark time for America, grossing over $200 million in its opening weekend and becoming one of Marvel’s most successful movies in the box office.

I almost didn’t get to see it, but by some great fate, I was able to watch a 9:45 p.m. showing at The Grand 12 movie theater in Greensboro. At the theater, I was met with a long line of people all waiting to enter, all waiting to see “Black Panther.”

As the movie began, unwavering electricity flowed through me and the ride began.

I was stunned at the detail each scene offered. The wardrobe, the story and the settings were so carefully crafted that I was sucked into the film’s fictional world, Wakanda.

The story follows protagonist T’Chala, also known as Black Panther, as he becomes the king of Wakanda and tries to navigate the troubles that come with it. For Marvel fans, we briefly saw him in “Captain America: Civil War” and will see him again in the next Avengers film, “Avengers: Infinity War.”

The film’s continuous highlight of strong independent women through its portrayal of the women of Wakanda was a major highlight. This is special because many African-American girls don’t have many black women superheroes to look up to, and now they can add three to that list. Nakia, Okoye and Shuri are undoubtedly the best trio of strong female leads, embodying power and free will.

The way each one of these women used their talents to push forward was inspiring, and their place in the plot was notable.

Nakia, T’Chala’s fierce ex-girlfriend, whom he still loves, is a natural-born philanthropist. Her heart yearns to help the world by using the technology and knowledge of Wakanda.

Okoye is a talented warrior and general whose love for Wakanda and its inhabitants reigns supreme in her heart. She is loyal to her country, and her feelings do not get in the way of that.

Shuri, the younger sister of T’Chala, is an intelligent scientist and consistently pushes for innovation in her lab. She stood out, not just because of her youthful impatience, but also because of her independence and wit.

Throughout the film, I was drawn to T’Chala because of his kind nature and the importance he placed on doing the right thing. He proves again and again that he is the leader that Wakanda needs.

T’Chala must fight for his throne and he has to deal with the chaos his father made. T’Chala’s father was King T’Chaka, a noble man who was well-loved by his people until his unfortunate death in “Captain America: Civil War.” We constantly see the fruition of King T’Chaka’s words, “It’s hard for a good man to be king,” come into play.

Michael B. Jordan’s character, Erik Killmonger, is the character it seems many people are divided on. On one hand, he is a ruthless killer with destruction instilled in him. On the other hand, he’s a man worn down with emotion. He also helps to carry the films acknowledgement of real-world issues.

From his first scene, when he helps Klaw carry out a mission, we can see Killmonger’s knowledge of African history. Throughout the film, some of the best dialogue, such as “Bury me in the ocean where my ancestors jumped from ships because they knew death was better than bondage,” came from him. It was hard to be forced to dislike his character. Jordan did an amazing job of depicting a man whose battle with his “oppressors” led him to his demise.

“Black Panther” is one of the best movies of 2018 thus far. Not only should it be viewed because of its importance to the Marvel world, but also for its dynamic, primarily African-American cast, the knowledge it expounds in many scenes, its importance to black culture and its focus on social and political awareness.

I’d bet most people are going to see it at least twice, and you should too.