I only had time for one film on February 17, and there was never any question that my choice would be “Black Panther.” I still remember when the character, the first black superhero, first appeared in a 1965 issue of “Fantastic Four,” but I never foresaw the cultural phenomenon the character would become in the next 50 years. I have to wonder if Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had the remotest idea of how significant the character would become.
The film version of King T’Challa first appeared in “Captain America: Civil War,” and will reappear this summer in “Avengers: Infinity War.” The film opens with a brief reprise from the “Captain America” film, and then moves quickly into new territory. Much of the plot resembles novels by Sir H. Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs, but is thoroughly grounded in our times.
The cast is good and there are several cameos. Chadwick Boseman is good as the king; Michael B. Jordan and Andy Serkis are very good as the villains Killmonger and Klaw (aka Klaeu); Martin Freeman continues and expands his role as a CIA agent.
The film is visually stunning. I saw the 3-D version and enjoyed it immensely. The special effects are very good.
There is one potential problem for future films: in the comic books, T’Challa is married to Storm, the weather wizard from the “X-Men” books and films.