Apr 23, 2018

The MCU Roundtable: Black Panther

If you’re anything like us, than you were blown away when the first Avengers: Infinity War trailer dropped.  The extended Comics Cube family was so excited that we have decided to embark upon a full re-watch of the Marvel Studios film series.  Every week we are going to watch and provide a roundtable discussion about each Marvel movie in release order.  Next, what is now the biggest movie domestically in the entire MCU, a true milestone!

Countdown to Avengers: Infinity War
Black Panther

Black Panther was released on February 16,2018, and made $202 million on its opening weekend.  Its theatrical run is, as of this writing, at $676 million in the United States and $1.3 billion total worldwide.

KATHERINE: DAMN. This movie was so insanely beautiful, entertaining, thematically complex, inspiring, I could go on and on. I loved it and loved every character.

DUY: I think I can rank the MCU now, in terms of my favorites: 1) Avengers, 2) Thor: Ragnarok, 3) Winter Soldier, 4) Thor, 5) Captain America: The First Avenger, 6) Black Panther. Given that I was a Captain America fan going into the MCU and a Thor fan in general, I think that's high praise for Black Panther.  I have zero complaints about this movie. None. I think it's the best one since Winter Soldier. If I had any one nitpick, the only thing I could say is that the plot was predictable, which is just looking too hard for something to say about it. I think that Panther probably fits the description of "ticks the most boxes" for me, in terms of criteria. Like in terms of the stuff I look for, it probably doesn't hit anything the best out of all the Marvel movies... but it hits them all, whereas the other ones miss a box or two.

SAMANTHA: Black Panther definitely hit my Top 5, maybe even Top 3 — I have to sit and reevaluate! The cast as a whole absolutely crushed it at the tee. I was near tears for every freaking emotional moment.

TRAVIS: It was, in large part, what I wanted several of these to be, that just weren't. It stood on its own, as an epic story, without intrusive promos for future movies. No weak, pro forma lines, except for ones that are in character. And, visually, it actually looked stunning, instead of just recreating a YouTube video's one gag for 90 minutes, like Doctor Strange. And, y'know, I'm named for a panther and our family has a hereditary duty and the honor of caring for the dead. So, feels.

DUY: You're named for a panther?

TRAVIS: Red Stone Panther. My personal name. Got my legal name, personal, ceremonial...

MATT: Just finished it and holy shit, 2 points. 1) Serkis is Kilmer and 2), holy fuck the visuals. Wakanda is a real place and I want to go to there.

TRAVIS: I just liked Serkis not being a monkey or camp gay uncle. But, I can't see him as the Kilmer when so many actors were dominating. Gonna have to have a real think before I choose one.

PETER: “We must find a way to look after each other, as if we were one single tribe.” This is the line that gets to me.

RICH: I freakin' LOVE this movie. I think it's my favorite of all the Marvel films that I've seen so far. There is nothing about it I'd change. Not one thing.

DUY: Yay! You're making one of the roundtables! Now elaborate.

RICH: I thought the acting was superb right across the board. The cinematography was gorgeous. I loved that there were only two main characters who were white--and one was a secondary villain while the other was a secondary hero, with neither of them taking a "main" role. I loved that women in Wakanda were portrayed as the complete equals to men, and that the best warriors were female. I adored the music. And I found myself connecting with the characters' plights, which isn't always the case with superhero-based films. I also liked that the heroes were capable of being hurt, being wrong, and being humbled.

JEFF: There's a lot I like about this movie, the visuals are awesome, Kilmonger is a excellent villain and the action in Korea was thrilling but the back half of the movie felt too predictable after Klaw gets killed. I watched a second time though at home and actually enjoyed it more.

DUY: I also thought it got predictable as it went along, although the fact that T'challa goes against his elders is a nice twist to the usual trope. Is there something to be said for the fact that for all the debate between the traditional Wakandan methods and Killmonger's extreme methods, Nakia's methods are literally right there, just waiting for one of thse people to acknowledge her?

JEFF: Younger generation is usually the focal point of change though, T'Challa knew the worlds technology was catching up and the facade wasn't going to last forever. That was another thing I enjoyed during the scenes set in Korea, Klaw is telling the truth about Wakanda, and T'Challa who uses vibranium in his suit is like you're going to believe this criminal.

DUY: Really, the entire moral is that Wakanda had great power, and therefore great responsibility. That seems to be a common theme in Marvel movies....

KATHERINE: I’m extra excited now for Infinity War knowing that so much of it will be taking place in Wakanda! And realizing that M’Baku is right here on the left fighting with T’Challa, Cap, and Bucky!  Also just realizing upon seeing this badass picture that this literally represents the casts of Black Panther + Winter Soldier banding together. Best team ever.

DUY: I understand people thinking that maybe this movie is going to be rated more highly than it should be due to its social relevance, but I do think in a vacuum it's a great movie. It may not be the best Marvel movie, and that's what it's gonna be elevated to, I think, but that doesn't stop it from being great on its own. (And it is up there, as one of the best.) For comparison and reference, I do think that Wonder Woman is a really good movie whose social significance elevated it to great.

TRAVIS: I do wish that Roy Thomas had not introduced the hardline isolationism, and that the movie had not played it up so strongly, but it made for good drama.

DUY: I'm honestly surprised at how much calling out of racial tension they were able to do.

KATHERINE: So many rich, complicated problems were being discussed, it was pretty amazing they could even do it for such a big budget four quadrant movie. But at the same time it felt like it had to be done. In this current political climate it felt so important. They all had good points and T’Challa had to acknowledge that Erik was right about the problems in the world, but the solution had to be something other than colonizing and destroying, which is what had been done to them. I hope some world leaders take his line about how the wise build bridges and the foolish build barriers as a direct slap in his face.

DUY: What's "four quadrant" mean?

KATHERINE: It just means they’re trying to appeal to all demographics, reach adults and kids alike, which is what the blockbusters all aim for. Typically the four quadrants are Men over 25, Women over 25, Men under 25, Women under 2.

DUY: So you also pointed out to me that the fact that black women have been the demographic to most overwhelmingly vote liberal in the last few elections, which is really kinda living up to that in the movie.

KATHERINE: Some people still find the Clinton/Trump breakdown to be controversial, but also consider this statistic from Alabama when the race was between a democrat and a known racist credibly accused of multiple counts of child molestation. 98%!!!! They literally had to save Alabama from the worst parts of itself. They are the Dora Milaje.  The lesson is to listen to the black women and allow them to lead progressive causes because for whatever reason, more than any other demographic, they know what’s up, then they show up and do the work. Loooove that there were so many strong women in this movie but they also showcased a variety of ways to be powerful.

DUY: I actually felt like this would be more empowering to women than Wonder Woman was. I hate to keep comparing it to Wonder Woman, but they're both culturally significant, so...

KATHERINE: My favorite part of Wonder Woman was when she was with the Amazons, and this movie got to stay with their Amazons and keep that magic going the whole time!

DUY: I truly enjoyed how it had something huge to say, not even just about race and colonialization, but also about tradition vs. progression. Everyone is right. And everyone is wrong. My favorite bit about that is that T'Challa completely breaks from tradition, tells his elders that he believes them to be wrong, and even shows empathy towards Erik.

KATHERINE: I saw someone make a really great point comparing Black Panther to Captain America’s speech about planting himself like a tree and saying “no, you move.” In contrast, Black Panther’s strength is recognizing when things have been done wrong and wanting to do better. I thought that was a fascinating observation, especially since I think they’re both doing the right things in their respective situations. Maybe it speaks toward American/Western individualism vs. cultures that thrive through collectivism. Neither is “wrong” necessarily, but they make for interesting differing viewpoints.

I freakin' LOVE this movie. I think it's my favorite of all the Marvel films that I've seen so far. There is nothing about it I'd change. Not one thing. -Rich

SAMANTHA: Michael B. Jordan did an incredible job. Happy to add Killmonger as one of the greatest MCU villains ever. I wish he would be around for future movies but his ending line was so damn poetic and iconic.

BEN: Michael B. Jordan has been in two of my pantheon TV shows, The Wire and Friday Night Lights, and I don’t think he’s ever been better than he was in this.  He set the screen on fire to the point where you kind of wanted him to win.

DUY: Erik was my favorite character, and his last line was my favorite line. Chilling.

TRAVIS: I really rolled my eyes at the last line. Takes a special kind of ego to compare his situation with... that other situation.

SCARLET: God, I want to say something about "wasted potential" and "internalized white emo nihilism".

KATHERINE:I loved the poetry and emotion of that line, and personally, I think it’s also part of the point that he’s wasting his potential on ego-driven martyrdom. He’s an extremely sympathetic and tragic villain, and part of the tragedy is the extremity of his thinking. He’s right that the rest of the world can benefit from Wakanda, but he’s wrong that it can only happen by giving them all weapons so that they can terrorize their former oppressors and take control by force. There’s a middle ground that T’Challa finds (and even offers to him in the moment) that he rejects, which is a damn shame because I think they could’ve done some great things together.

DUY: Yeah, that's the thing. He is self absorbed and ego driven. But as T'challa said, a monster of their own making.  I legitimately thought T'challa would cure him and then put him in his cabinet.

MATT: Yeah, I knew the ending going in, but they didn't have to choose that way. They could've Loki'd him. That is one of my actually quibbles with the movie, killing a gray villain with potential for future uses.

DUY: I could go either way on that one. Remember, Loki is basically a full on good guy now who teases turning evil. No bad guy has ever been brought back.

SCARLET: Absolutely. I'm hoping there's still a chance for Lokization in the inevitable sequel.

MATT: I read the wanting to be buried at see as a call back to the throw away of him graduating USNA at 19, being a SEAL and having no regard for tradition. I would expect the next we see of him is in a Wakandan crypt with a statue or something.

So many rich, complicated problems were being discussed, it was pretty amazing they could even do it for such a big budget four quadrant movie. But at the same time it felt like it had to be done. In this current political climate it felt so important. -Katherine

MATT: Here's another thing I'm interested in comparing/contrasting: Killmonger's visual introduction is, I think, pretty atypical. When you first see him, he is effectively presented as a nerd. Baggy clothes, glasses, pretty stereotypical not a threat nerd-vibes. Granted, this fades quickly once the heist is obvious. I'm trying to wrack my brain for other antagonist intros and except for Loki in Thor I and maybe Stane, do other MCU villains get as curve ball an introduction? The reason makes narrative sense, I just think few of the movies choose to go the route of making their primary antagonist less 100% first look threatening.


MATT: That's a good one. I haven't seen Homecoming yet, so not sure how Vulture is introduced, but I'm thinking he's a bit easier to not immediately upon sight declare supervillain. It's also mostly true in Winter Solider, though the true nature of what's going on takes some time to become obvious.

ANTONIO: Vulture was just this blue-collar stiff trying to pay his mortgage. The government screwed him out of the investment he’d put into upgrading his salvage company to deal with the aftermath of the NY invasion. He actually seemed like a pretty decent guy.

DUY: I don't want to say Stane, because how does no one see that coming.

MATT: Well, if you try to go into it cold and not seeing any of the promo materials, Stane doesn't seem like the initial villain. We first see him in PJs on a FaceTime. His visual isn't that of say Ronan or Thanos, stereotypical villain looks.

JEFF: Donald Pierce in Winter Soldier.

MATT: Winter Soldier is a slow burn as to WTF is going on. And who thinks Redford is ever a villain?

KATHERINE: My first impression of his entrance wasn’t “nerd,” it was smart, cultured, hip, modern, global millennial. And not millennial in a bad way, just that he seemed like a young guy that belongs in today’s world. Not the immediate read of a bad guy, but certainly an intriguing character. It’s a contrast to T’Challa who is many of those things, but feels traditional and on the outside seems like he belongs more to an older world.

TRAVIS: The Dragonball Z connection people are making with the one costume is too entertaining. I do think, without that early harmless nerd facade, the audience might have a harder time *remembering* how creepy smart Killmonger is. They played him, not as a posing supervillain, but as the underestimated young guy in a heist movie, and that was smart. Panther is a lot more Heat than that Batman movie they were comparing it with a few years back.

SCARLET: This just pisses me off even more that he didn't get a redemption arc.

DUY: Killmonger: idealistic extremist, or guy who justifies his own personal issues by conflating it with larger global issues?

MATT: I think a bit of both. He becomes the thing he railed against, but primarily because of dynastic killing issues.

(Killmonger) becomes the thing he railed against, but primarily because of dynastic killing issues. -Matt

MATT: Did your screenings have any fan favorites? Shuri was definitely the one at mine, with good reason.

PETER: Monday morning at the office and of course we're all talking about it. And I can happily report that Shuri is everyone's favorite character.

SAMANTHA:  My greatest wish for the MCU moving forward is that when Tony Stark dies or retires, that Shuri takes his place and becomes the next Iron Man/Woman. She’s a brilliant, gorgeous, wise-cracking, tech-whiz billionaire philanthropist warrior princess. And think of all the extra enhancements that could be made with their vibranium tech! My pain at losing Tony would be immediately relieved.

ANTONIO: I’ve seen a few conversations revolving around Shuri being smarter — or just as smart — as Stark.

TRAVIS: There's been Shuri as Iron Woman fan art already, it seems. I'd be way more excited for Infinity if she's in there actively.

KATHERINE: Honestly if the next MCU phase is trying to be more balanced and inclusive (which is not only the right thing to do, but would be smart business-wise), this would be a brilliant move. And people already love her, they would accept it.If Shuri does become the next Iron Man (I'm going to talk about this as if it's already a thing and a possibility, I have no idea if there's any validity to it at all) and Bucky becomes the next Cap, they'll already be great buds and have a wonderful working relationship because of all the time they spent together in the African savannah. Also, if Bucky is not going to be with Natasha and if Shuri is not an actual teenager (I wasn't sure how old she's supposed to be!! The actress is in her early 20s, but she does look young, I don't know if she's playing her as 16-18... and if she is pretend I didn't say anything!!), I'm low-key shipping them too. Is it just me or was there some chemistry? Or maybe it's just that Bucky's smoldering eyes makes it feel like he has chemistry with everyone.

DUY: She's a teenager in Black Mirror, so I assumed she was a teenager here. Yes, I know that doesn't follow.

KATHERINE: Okay this is pretty awesome: Disney is opening a STEM Center in Oakland after the success of Black Panther.

DUY: That is insanely awesome.

KATHERINE: Shuri and T'Challa's dynamic is funny but it’s also a legitimate character development thing that I really enjoyed. And it felt real and familiar because that’s how family is. "Yeah, you’re a badass superhero and a celebrity and a king and whatever and I love and respect you, but you’re also my brother, sooo I also know that you’re a total nerd and a loser."

ANTONIO: I love the moment Shuri flipped him off. Oh, and the sandals scene. Our theater erupted.

Monday morning at the office and of course we're all talking about it. And I can happily report that Shuri is everyone's favorite character. -Peter

DUY: Check it out, apparently some Filipino design went into the Dora Milaje costumes.

TRAVIS: It seems like they pulled from a lot of "world cultures" for design aspects. But, that goes all the way back to Panther's initial development. I wonder if Panther's strength coming from not-kalo... that sort of thing, bothers some purists. Hanuman and Bast.

MATT: The River Tribe elder had one hell of a green suit going on there.

DUY: This reminds me, and I know this can sound patronizing, but I legitimately thought of Zulu LaMar Forte throughout the movie. I can't even imagine what it would be like to see my culture, my race idealized and treated with that level of care and quality to an audience that large. It was legitimately moving and gives me hope for representations of more cultures in the future. But then you have people bringing up Blade to discount the cultural significance of this movie and they miss the point. It's like if you're a Pacific Islander seeing Moana and being happy that your culture is being portrayed, and then someone goes "But didn't you see the Fast and the Furious with Dwayne Johnson?"

MATT: The but there was... crowd is tiresome. It's been a while since I've seen Blade, does it hold up?

TRAVIS: Blade still kicks ass. Blade 2 and 3 depend on how entertaining you find 2's director and 3's Deadpool. But, it's not Black Panther any more than The Bride Wore White is Guns of Navarone.

MATT: Yeah, from my recollection, it's a good 90s superhero in the pre-Matrix era. Who doesn't like vampire rave parties?

TRAVIS:  Snipes doesn't make bad movies, only movies that wouldn't be as good without him.

KATHERINE: Aside from the whole thing about Black Panther being an all-black cast and actually immersing you in African culture, the comparison is still kind of like apples and oranges. Blade is an R-rated vampire antihero. He might be badass but he’s not presenting himself as a hero for kids.

DUY: It would be like if they made a Filipino-centric movie and then telling us we shouldn't celebrate because Rufio existed. Also people saying Wakanda is an alt right paradise. They call out the lack of diversity and the fact that Wakanda hides itself and doesn't interfere with the rest of the world. There's nothing that can be done about the first point, but did they all miss the part where T'challa says the isolationism was wrong?

MATT: How is Wakanda not diverse? If I'm correct, and call me out if I'm not, but the five tribes featured in the film basically represent a wide swath of African cultures. It would be like saying a movie isn't diverse because the cast only has people from Asia, but it's Turks, Indians, Afghans, Japanese, Filipinos, and on and on. And yeah, there is a literal line that says people are dumb for building walls instead of bridges, so no again.

DUY: There's something to be said for the Wakandan baddies — Killmonger and his dad — choosing the ways of the oppressors on the basis of race and skin color as well, while Nakia and eventually T'challa don't make those distinctions.

MATT: I was listening to the Slate Spoiler episode on this, and they make a good point that Nakia and Erik are really only separated by their methods. And that the film makes both view points understandable and relatable. Erik, being the villain, goes too far, but their end goal is the same: help the oppressed.

DUY: Their methods and their definition of who is or isn't oppressed. Nakia may, or may not, put black people at the forefront of that list, but Erik explicitly does. "People who look like us." But that's also a huge component of Erik and his search for identity, I think. Erik is also the type of villain who, yes, means what he says, he wants to help the oppressed. But he means it less than he is using it as a cover-up for his own childhood trauma. He's conflated the world's problems with his own, and he wants revenge more than justice. Ross saying that everything he did after getting to Wakanda - overthrowing T'challa and burning the garden - are all just part of his training, so he did become what the world made him.

TRAVIS: Can we talk about how there's a lot of white people in this movie? Nothing against, but even South Korea had three black people doing stuff, background Asians to open a door or pour a drink, but every other active person is white. I was just surprised.

DUY: Really? I just remember Bilbo, Smeagol, the female curator in London, and Stan, to be honest.

TRAVIS: Stan made us laugh. But, the "entourage" were two black people and several white, background of South Korea had more white folks, and London was largely, which I guess makes more sense than the unusual concentration in Korea. Not a bad thing, necessarily, though I did think Ross got way too much screentime.

How is Wakanda not diverse? The five tribes featured in the film basically represent a wide swath of African cultures. -Matt

TRAVIS: Is this the first superhero of color in the MCU whose shtick isn't being less good than a white guy? Falcon, who is generally great, is literally introduced with a joke about how he can't be that good. Rhodey's deal superheroing is that Tony lets him. Is it not embarrassing that the MCU had to, today, make the same kind of jump the comics did over 50 years ago?

KATHERINE: The "being less good" thing is unfortunately just part of being a sidekick / supporting character, isn't it? Until the character becomes the lead like Black Panther, their shtick is generally that they're not quite as capable as the star (especially when the lead has super-serum on their side). Unless they have phenomenal cosmic powers in a supporting role, like Heimdall, who can literally see everything in the universe.

TRAVIS: Yeah. I don't mean that anyone sat down and decided, consciously, "If we have black people in these, they should be second stringers." Nick Fury puts the lie to that. But, Nick Fury isn't a superhero.

DUY: Yeah, it's funny how before T'challa, the one supporting cast member you could say was on par with the lead in one way or the other was the omniscient Norse guy who doesn't want to fight so much. And now this movie has three female supporting characters who in their own ways are better than the main guy.

ANTONIO: Falcon’s pretty cool in the movies. Helps soldiers with PTSD.

TRAVIS: I like movie Falc. I like and respect comics Falcon a lot. Just saying, he's introduced in the movie to be the guy who shows us how fast and strong Cap is. It's not him as a person, but his role in communicating things to the audience. Panther... is a different animal, even in other people's movies.

ANTONIO: I...suppose? But there’s also a connection between old soldier and modern soldier. Falcon knows why Steve wakes up so early. I mean, I feel like the running thing is a very small part of his introduction. More just the build-up to their introduction.

MATT: Yeah, I read Falcon as more a cipher so the audience can see how Steve needs to adapt to the new time, like introducing him to Marvin Gaye.

TRAVIS: I love Falcon's intro. I think it's the best scene in that movie. But, there is a dynamic, and I think Panther is really the first MCU superhero, maybe really the first MCU character who isnt white or an alien, to fully escape that dynamic completely.

MATT: Do we need to talk about how Valkyrie is Killmonger's girlfriend? In other news, I just watched Creed.

KATHERINE: LOVE Creed. If you’re a new Michael B. Jordan fan, also watch Friday Night Lights. One of the best moments in that show was with his character and it will give you a lot of Killmonger feelings.

This just pisses me off even more that he didn't get a redemption arc. -Scarlet

MATT: Two completely nonexistent quibbles, how did they miss out on the scene of 2 Human Torches in the same place at the same time? And Klaw's fake hand looks really bad. Especially considering how beautiful everything else looks.

TRAVIS: It was a cheap copy of better Wakandan tech. How good should it look?

MATT: Good point, but I was hoping with his billions he could afford some better fake skin.

“We must find a way to look after each other, as if we were one single tribe.” This is the line that gets to me. -Peter
DUY: Is it the most visually beautiful Marvel movie yet? I'm partial to Ragnarok, but that's because they very specifically took 2-dimensional Kirby and designed the entirety of Sakaar around it, and I'm hella biased.

MATT: I was thinking about this today. I am of the mind that BP succeeded at what Doctor Strange was trying to do. It is a fully stunning and realized world.

DUY: Here's some interesting stuff about how much thought went into the visual symbolism:

TRAVIS: I actually love that he calls South Korea, "the Western world." Because nobody knows what that phrase even means, anymore, it's just a feeling you have.

MATT: That's pretty interesting. I realized watching, after his explanation, that Nakia is the Pan-African flag, red hair, herself, green dress. So much detail, can't wait to see it again (mostly like when it's out on Blu-Ray).

Shuri stole the movie, but also, no one could get a word in any time M'baku was there. -Travis

DUY: MCU Plothole or Smart Writing? T'challa in Civil War learns that revenge isn't the answer. In this movie, he goes after Klaue as an act of revenge.

MATT: He had the right guy this time.

ANTONIO: Yeah. Klaue deserved the death penalty for his crimes. And being a total dick.

KATHERINE: I think W’Kabi wanted to go after him for revenge and that partially blinded him and sent him on the wrong path for a while because he was so angry that he didn’t get it. T’Challa was trying to serve justice for his country. So I think there is a difference.

DUY: MCU Infinity Stone watch: The Soul Stone must be in Wakanda, because they can go to the spirit world

ANTONIO: Supposedly the director shot this theory down, but I’m thinking he’s just trying to throw us off.

MATT: I always thought Thanos was headed to Wakanda because it's the only organized place that could put up a fight. The Chiaturi overmatched regular humanity armed forces.

Do you vote for T'challa or Killmonger? -Duy

DUY: Okay, you're a citizen of Wakanda and it's for whatever reason now a democratic state. Do you vote for T'challa or Killmonger?

RICH: The truth is, until T'challa changed his mind about helping the world, I might have CONSIDERED voting for Killmonger. Maybe.

ANTONIO: I mean, I live in a secluded African nation and probably been taught all my life that the outside world isn’t my problem. So probably T’Challa, ‘cause Killmonger is just inviting trouble to my borders. Even if I agreed that a global uprising was necessary to break the cycle of violence and racism.

DUY: It's interesting, because I think one is right in his intent (Killmonger) and the other one is more correct in his methods (T'challa). Really, the correct answer is Nakia.

RICH: Absolutely, it is.

DUY: Which is why I left her out on purpose. Nyaah.

RICH: I'd vote for Black Widow.

DUY: Hey, I totally voted for Black Widow in Civil War. Widow was right.

ANTONIO: No way. "Reading the terrain" just leads to you getting screwed later on. Maybe farther down the road than Stark’s way.

DUY: Not if you screw them first. (And she did.)

ANTONIO: Because Cap refused!

DUY: You have to give the people the illusion that you're giving them what they want!

ANTONIO: That’s spy talk!

TRAVIS: Killmonger is too CIA for the CIA. T'Challa all the way. M'Baku if we're getting an open vote. Man-Ape is the greatest save of a touchy landmine of a character in Marvel cinematic history.

KATHERINE: Nakia 1000%! Or Shuri. Or Okoye. Or Queen Mother Ramonda.

DUY: Cheating! You gotta pick one of the two.

BEN: I'd do a write-in vote for Shuri.

TRAVIS: Movie-Shuri is too smart to lead publicly.

MATT: I would vote Shuri, but Travis is right, she’s too in your face for actually politicking.

DUY: You people are cheating.

KATHERINE: But if it’s between the two guys, T’Challa. Killmonger may be right in some of his principles but to me, it’s not enough to be right. If you’re gonna rule a country, you gotta have plans that will help tangibly advance the greater good and not just blow up the world to make a point.

Erik is also the type of villain who, yes, means what he says, he wants to help the oppressed. But he means it less than he is using it as a cover-up for his own childhood trauma.  -Duy

DUY: Who wins the Kilmer Award? I've decided my favorite character is M'baku.

MATT: I think you can make a case for Klaue, M’Baku, or Shuri with ease.

PETER: Shuri stole the show as far as I can tell. She was getting the loudest laughs at the cinema I was in and as I said earlier, she was the one everyone was talking about in my office on the Monday after opening weekend.

DUY: The memes saying Princess Shuri of Wakanda is their favorite Disney princess are hilarious.

TRAVIS: Shuri stole the movie, but also, no one could get a word in any time M'baku was there. She wins for the movie, he wins for his scenes.

There really is not a bad Black Panther solo run. -Travis

DUY: Comic recommendations?

MATT: I think a lot the aesthetic was influenced by the Ta-Nehisi Coates run if I remember correctly.

TRAVIS: Nation Under Our Feet, World of Wakanda, and really, honestly, any Panther solo comic. They're all good and each author really brings something unique. There really is not a bad Panther solo run. This is one where people almost can't go wrong just diving into something.

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