By BEN RAUZI (@benrauzi)
Photo credit goes to hdwallpapersfreedownload.com.
I am not about to make assumptions regarding where readers’ permanent place of residence is, but unless you live under a rock, you have to have seen or at least heard of “Captain America: Civil War.”
It appears to be the blockbuster event of not only the summer but the year. While this movie is notable for being a successful attempt to pit superheroes against each other -- unlike another blockbuster event to remain unnamed from last month (*cough* “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” *cough*) -- perhaps the most talked about aspect is the addition of new superheroes to the Avengers team.
Ant-Man returns from his stand-alone film with the same wit and awe-inspiring size-changing suit. The rights to include Spider-Man in the team have finally been acquired by Marvel, and the new casting of Tim Holland as Peter Parker appears to be the most accurate representation to date (Sorry, Andrew Garfield. I have no apology for Tobey Maguire).
Yet, possibly the most exciting addition is Black Panther, the cat-suit-clad prince from the fictional African country Wakanda. He was created by comic geniuses (I am not biased at all) Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and made his first appearance in 1966. He was revolutionary for his time period, as he was the first African-American superhero to ever hit the printers. In fact, other African-American Marvel superheroes, such as Avengers member The Falcon, didn’t appear for another three or four years. Black Panther has always been a trend-setter, and it appears he will continue to be so.
Set to have his own movie in February of 2018, this could bring about a breath of fresh air to the Hollywood scene. Following the Oscars incident from this year -- where the Hollywood bigwigs were accused, by some, of racist conduct in the nomination process -- a blockbuster event led by, and mostly consisting of, African-American cast members would be welcomed. Due to his recent inheritance of the Wakandan throne, this movie will take place in Black Panther’s home country, leading to an African-American-led cast.
While Hollywood has undoubtedly become more diverse since its origins. (I mean, come on, Caucasian males in black face can’t pass for your average African-American man. Nice try, though, mid-1900s Hollywood.) Never before has such a motion picture been created -- and on such a big stage. With actors and actresses like Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o already signed on for the film, the best and brightest young stars are ready for action.
Do not doubt that this movie will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, as Marvel has had a decent track record of late. For all I care, Marvel’s motto could be, “Records are made to be broken,” seeing as each subsequent Avengers film seems to garner millions more than the previous installment. This time around, the record will be in improving the equality of races in America instead of box office successes.
Ever the trendsetters, Marvel looks to continue to be at the forefront of American culture for years to come. With the recent heavy pushes in the United States to continue to improve toward total equality between races, it appears this movie moment has been a long time coming. Fasten your seatbelts, because Black Panther is set to shock the world yet again.