Black Panther Spoilers Thread






143 replies
  1. 1
    Jeffro says:

    Whoa…first in the ZONE!

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  2. 2
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Where’s Wallace?

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  3. 3
    Served says:

    While I was down that the big Dora Milaje storyline from the comics didn’t make it, and that Ayo’s sexuality was erased, this was the best translation of a comic’s spirit to the screen. Shuri’s character had the biggest transformation, but it seems like they borrowed a lot from Moon Girl, a young black girl who is one of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe of the comics. Making her into an equivalent to Bond’s Q was genius.

    Looking back, it’s a little bit shocking how little T’Challa himself shined in his own film. The supporting cast and the world itself were stunning.

    Film-wise, my main complaint is that the first act has no stakes whatsoever, and it takes too long to get to Killmonger’s ascent. That meaty part of this type of Shakespearean story is sprinted through in order to get to our special effects finale and it dulled some of the impact.

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  4. 4
    Mary G says:

    I hope Killmonger’s not really dead.

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  5. 5
    Jeffro says:

    Spoiler-by-way-of-a-question: why didn’t the Dora Milaje also have those cool techno-shields that the male warriors had (or some sort of shield, as a last ditch defense)? This is the kind of thing that nags at me about all these super heroes considering the kind of tech Tony Stark (and now also T’Challa) are able to produce.

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  6. 6
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    OK, now I get to voice the plot point that really bugged me: the burning of the special herb. I gather that a lot of this film came from story lines already existing in the comic going back to 1966. Does that include that one? So there can never be another Black Panther? And if T’Challa has to undergo another ritual combat, that’s a one-way trip?

    I know it’s fiction and a good story needs some serious, apparently insurmountable trouble. I know (I hope) there’s some sort of deus ex machina in the future (“Wait! It turns out that his Mom just happened to have an old seed packet from Burpee in between the sofa cushions, ordered just before they discontinued the line”).

    But I still feel like Fred Savage’s character in Princess Bride when he learns Westley is dead.

    I suppose it’s more likely that Shuri has some magical, I mean technological, solution.

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  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Served:

    Film-wise, my main complaint is that the first act has no stakes whatsoever, and it takes too long to get to Killmonger’s ascent.

    I disagree a bit, but it’s true that Act I is not as action-packed as the rest of it. It’s basically showing what T’Challa’s life would have been like if Killmonger had not forced him to face the fact that his father fucked up, big time, by abandoning young Erik. And it also forced T’Challa to face the fact that his ex was right and Wakanda needs to engage with the world.

    Basically, it sets up all of the issues that will come crashing down starting with Act 2 … which is what Act 1 is supposed to do.

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  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    I loved the movie. For, so many reason.
    You can’t be Black in America and not wonder ‘ What If?’

    What if there was an Africa that had never been colonized?
    How would it be?

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  9. 9
    Naedre says:

    Strangely, I didn’t LOVE it when i saw it. I just liked it. I felt like the action sequences were weak except the car sequence in SK. I also felt like T’Challa was more interesting in Civil War, and was strangely muted in his own movie.

    However, the all the female characters were compelling, the villain was interesting, and there were some genuinely deep topics that were explored pretty well for a 2 hour movie. Honestly, I wish the action had been reduced or cut entirely, in favor of spending more time on the political drama and social commentary. I want to see it again, and see if I enjoy it more the second time around.

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  10. 10
    Naedre says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: I feel like the herb existed in nature long before the Wakandans learned to care for it. I’d be willing to bet it (or atleast its seedlings) could survive some fire and grow back over time. Maybe by the time T’Challa is ready to retire.

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  11. 11
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Served: It was actually kind of cool that Klaw turned out to be a complete MacGuffin, in the finest Hitchcockian tradition. Very much like Janet Leigh’s completely unexpected death in Psycho, when you’re expecting her to be a central character.

    Like Mary at #4, I was hoping we would be set up to see more of Killmonger in future. In fact, I was completely expecting T’Challa to admit to Erik that he was right about taking part in the outside world, and to start working with him. His choosing to die surprised me.

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  12. 12
    rikyrah says:

    I enjoyed Killmonger as a villian, but, in no way, did I see him as any kind of ‘hero’.
    Not even anti-hero.
    I didn’t find him as compelling as Loki, who is my favorite Marvel villain that I want to hate, but can’t.
    I saw Killmonger’s pain and rage. I even related to it. On a gutter level, I understood what he wanted to do, but also knew that it wasn’t an actual plan. There was no plan after the conquering. He didn’t know how to be a King; he only knew that he wanted to be King. That he was ‘ owed’ being King because of what was taken from him.
    And, a lot was taken from him.
    We don’t know where his mother was.
    We know that his father was murdered and he was thrown into the ‘ system’.
    There are those that say that maybe T’Chaka should have taken him back to Wakanda, and while that would have been nice of him to do, I don’t know how that would have settled things. He killed the boy’s father..the child had no attachment to Wakanda..his father was the only attachment that he had, and his father was dead.
    Those ‘meeting the ancestor’ visions were very telling. T’Challa’s was full of the ancestors that he had grown up learning about.
    Killmonger’s was in that Oakland apartment, with only him and his father. No ancestors. No history. And, no tears from a child, which was also indicative of how emotionally gone Killmnonger was.
    Blacks in America are the lost children. We are Killmonger.

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  13. 13
    rikyrah says:

    I loved Sterling K. Brown’s role. He was on screen, what, maybe 10 minutes, yet he was absolutely pivotal to the story.
    I would love some sort of Netflix treatment of the brother’s backstory….how did he become radicalized?

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  14. 14
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Mary G: not a chance.

    ETA: I mean I don’t think he’s dead, even if he isn’t in the next sequel.

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  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    I don’t for a minute believe that Killmonger’s actually dead.

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  16. 16
    rikyrah says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    OK, now I get to voice the plot point that really bugged me: the burning of the special herb. I gather that a lot of this film came from story lines already existing in the comic going back to 1966. Does that include that one? So there can never be another Black Panther? And if T’Challa has to undergo another ritual combat, that’s a one-way trip?

    I’m hoping that there’s a second field somewhere. A backup plan. It bothered me too – Nakia, why didn’t you take two!!

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  17. 17
    Mary G says:

    @Naedre: Yeah, I am not usually a Marvel movie watcher and I would get frustrated by the car chases and fights, because the characters were so interesting.

    The production design was to die for.

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  18. 18
    dlw32 says:

    @rikyrah: I’m white in America and wondered ‘What If?’

    I would have smiled so big if they had de-cloaked right after Trump said Africa was a “sh*thole”…

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  19. 19
    rikyrah says:

    I absolutely loved Okoye in South Korea. I loved the car chase more than the fight in the casino. She dismantled a car with a spear. I mean, that was fierce!!

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  20. 20
    rikyrah says:

    Shuri- best Disney Princess ever :)

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  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    I have about 10 minutes left of my lunch break, so I’m going to do a long comment and then check back.

    Although there were a lot of interesting women characters in the film, this was very much a man’s story. And that’s okay! I think it’s great when a Hollywood movie (especially a superhero movie) actually questions and critiques traditional masculinity.

    A huge part of the film’s arc is that T’Challa has to decide how to be both a good man and a good king. He has the evidence right in front of his face that his father failed to be a good king when he also failed to be a good man and abandoned young Erik. He keeps getting different advice from all of the elders and has to figure out what to keep and what to discard to be a new kind of king.

    And can we talk about Michael B. Jordan as Erik/Killmonger for a minute? Seriously, that was an Oscar performance. He was able to create a character who was a vicious and remorseless killer while never letting us lose sight of the abandoned child he was. He’s a tragic figure because he gets everything he ever wanted — to be king of Wakanda and control everyone — but he’s so damaged by his past that he can only destroy everything he touches. That’s the symbolism of destroying the seeds — when he’s gone, he wants Wakanda and the Black Panther to die with him.

    Last thing for now: bookending the film to start and end in Oakland was both perfect and an example of what writers sometimes call an “author insert.” Writer/director Ryan Coogler grew up in Oakland and I couldn’t help seeing that as a fantasy/wish fulfillment of being able to come in and fix the terrible things you saw in your childhood. What makes Coogler a great artist is that he makes the whole audience want that, too. The moment with the little boy walking up to T’Challa after the Wakandan ship lands is magical, and it’s really just those two actors standing together You can see that this child represents T’Challa’s lost and damaged cousin without him saying a word.

    Chadwick Boseman’s performance is less showy than Jordan’s, but IMO he’s terrific and subtle, which is what the character needs to be. He’s a superhero who’s great at physical stuff, but he’s also brilliant and can outwit his opponents.

    Great movie with so much to say about America and masculinity. Loved it. Need to see it again.

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  22. 22
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @rikyrah: Agree. The questions he raised are the ones that I pondered, and continue to ponder, long after the film was over.

    It seems to me that it was a direct consequence of seeing and living among black Americans and knowing that there was, back home, power and technology that could help.

    For me, it raised the possibility of another story that might be pretty powerful: If there have always been Wakandan spies out in the world, what would they have thought /done about the slave trade? How could at least some of those spies not be radicalized?

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  23. 23
    germy says:

    How beautiful, that in the end, Black Panther brought Killmonger outside to show him Wakanda’s beauty. Offered healing and forgiveness.

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  24. 24
    guachi says:

    Wakanda is not an admirable country. It’s a country with a rotten society, politics, and culture. Basically: Good people with bad ideas.

    Wakanda is a hereditary monarchy with a screwed up political system that gives power to people who picked the right daddy or to the powerful. Their level of isolation makes North Korea look open and inviting. Wakanda is a terrible place as far as I’m concerned

    It’s like a fantasy version of a Gulf petro-state like Qatar or Kuwait. It’s wealth from natural resources enables it to avoid much of modern society.

    It’s a good thing the movie is partly about Wakanda’s transformation from a backwards nation to a more modern state as I just can’t otherwise get behind all the Wakanda love.

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  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    The screenwriting trick they played on you was to have the Wakandan craft stay in the clouds in the prologue with all of the kids looking up at it … and then have it land in the epilogue, bringing Wakanda into the lives of those kids who really need it. It works in terms of the story, and it’s also symbolic of what Coogler hopes the movie will do.

    And Shuri made me LOL so many times. “When you said we were going to California, I thought you meant Coachella. Or Disneyland!”

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  26. 26
    Mary G says:

    @rikyrah: Okoye throwing the wig was awesome.

    @Mnemosyne: Killmonger could have been written by Shakespeare and Michael B. Jordan nailed it. I agree about Chadwick Boseman, too, he is brilliant at showing thinking without saying anything.

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  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    @guachi:

    Basically: Good people with bad ideas.

    That’s exactly the point, yes. How stupid is it that Killmonger was able to defeat T’Challa in single combat and become the unquestioned king?

    I’m pretty sure that T’Challa will be calling a constitutional convention sooner rather than later to take care of that stuff.

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  28. 28
    petesh says:

    I havent read a Marvel comic in, um, a long time, and I hadn’t seen any kind of Big Action Blockbuster since probably Michael Keaton was Batman and Christopher Reeve could fly, until we recently saw Wonder Woman on TV and immediately regretted that we hadn’t seen it in the movie theater.

    Even without that, we had to see this, and it beat our already high expectations, for all the reasons Awesomely Luvvie said except identification (we’re old and white) and maybe some others in addition. I loved the fact that the technologically advanced people had costumes totally different from modern western ones. Some of that still exists in the “real” world but white society badly needs a whack upside the head.

    For a while I thought Martin Freeman was a bit of a cop-out, as in giving white folks someone to identify with (there are loads of black pilots); but then he does balance the Bad Guy to hit us over the head with the concept that all people have good and bad relatives. And as an actor he was pretty good.

    But, yeah, it’s the women who made it. Letitia Wright and Danai Gurira and maybe especially Lupita Nyong’o were great. And credit to Bozema, Jordan and Whitaker, too, for strong performances that mostly didn’t chew up the scenery.

    Did you gather that I liked the movie?

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  29. 29
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    D’oh! Sorry I messed up the itals above. Now I missed the edit window.

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  30. 30
    TenguPhule says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    If there have always been Wakandan spies out in the world, what would they have thought /done about the slave trade?

    The spies were a more recent development following the outside world developing technology and starting to catch up to Wakanda.

    Prior to that, the tribespeople caught as slaves committed suicide on the ships to the New World. WIthout a single exception, apparently.

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  31. 31
    TenguPhule says:

    @guachi:

    Wakanda is not an admirable country. It’s a country with a rotten society, politics, and culture. Basically: Good people with bad ideas.

    Wakanda is a hereditary monarchy with a screwed up political system that gives power to people who picked the right daddy or to the powerful. Their level of isolation makes North Korea look open and inviting. Wakanda is a terrible place as far as I’m concerned

    It’s like a fantasy version of a Gulf petro-state like Qatar or Kuwait. It’s wealth from natural resources enables it to avoid much of modern society.

    True, swapping the cast for Arabs instead does raise some unfortunately implications.

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  32. 32
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mary G:

    I hope Killmonger’s not really dead.

    Word of Director says he is.

    But Remember, Infinity Gems mean Death might be cheap under certain circumstances.

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  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    And, no tears from a child, which was also indicative of how emotionally gone Killmnonger was.

    No tears from the child, but tears from the adult Erik in that vision as both he and his father realize what Erik’s desire for vengeance has cost him.

    But when he wakes up from the vision, he knows it’s too late for him. He’s already gone too far down the path of violence and destruction, and he doesn’t know any other way to be. That’s why he prefers to destroy Wakanda than to be its king.

    T’Challa is the true king — and a good man — because he’s able to look at the whole picture and decide based on that. Killmonger is too damaged to be able to see any but his own pain and desire for revenge. He’s a tragic villain, but he’s still a villain.

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  34. 34
    gwangung says:

    Actually, if you’ve read Priest’s Panther books, you’d know that Martin Freeman channels the spirit of the character: self described King of the Useless White Boys (even while being a conventional movie badass—he really didn’t get nerfed very much). He was always there to hang the book around (much less so in the movie, though), and he brought baggage most white Americans have about black people.

    And, no….there was no burning of the herbs in the comics….but since that was a cultivated plot, it’d be quite likely there would be patches of the herb in the wild.

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  35. 35
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @TenguPhule: Killmonger’s mother was not Wakandan. Those are the ancestors he’s talking about.

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  36. 36
    TenguPhule says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Sorry, are you responding to another poster?

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  37. 37
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s why he prefers to destroy Wakanda than to be its king.

    I never got that. I think he very much wanted to be king because it would allow him to wreak vengeance all over the world. He didn’t care if that would destroy Wakanda, though.

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  38. 38
    rikyrah says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    For me, it raised the possibility of another story that might be pretty powerful: If there have always been Wakandan spies out in the world, what would they have thought /done about the slave trade? How could at least some of those spies not be radicalized?

    Yes, how could they see chattel slavery and do nothing?

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  39. 39
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @TenguPhule: Nope. Responding to this:

    Prior to that, the tribespeople caught as slaves committed suicide on the ships to the New World. WIthout a single exception, apparently.

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  40. 40
    rikyrah says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s exactly the point, yes. How stupid is it that Killmonger was able to defeat T’Challa in single combat and become the unquestioned king?

    But, Killmonger was preparing for that moment since he found his father with the panther claws in him. Every moment, it’s what fueled him. Every kill was inching him towards that battle. It was his life’s obsession.

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  41. 41
    dmsilev says:

    @Mary G:

    I hope Killmonger’s not really dead.

    Disagree. For him to survive, by whatever means, would really cheapen the ending of the film. The Wakandans could have saved him (see: instant spinal-cord healing), but he chose to die and T’Challa chose to honor that decision.

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  42. 42
    rikyrah says:

    Did the father’s radicalization make it impossible for him to go back to Wakanda? Did he pull the gun on the young Forest Whitaker’s character, because he knew it would provoke a reaction from T’Chaka? Was death better than bondage (Wakandan prisons) for him too?

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  43. 43
    TenguPhule says:

    @rikyrah:

    Yes, how could they see chattel slavery and do nothing?

    Because those people were not Wakandans. I thought that was made pretty clear.

    Much like modern Africa, there is no “unity” between the different countries, hell even within Wakanda there was the whole bit about one tribe not wanting to interact with the others because of cultural differences. So essentially Wakanda was historically “IGMFY” and lived like white elitists could only dream of in their own self-contained paradise.

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  44. 44
    petesh says:

    Yes, how could they see chattel slavery and do nothing?

    Same way people throughout history did.

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  45. 45
    TenguPhule says:

    @Bobby Thomson: That was in response to his question about the slave trade. My understanding was that those Wakandans that were caught as slaves all killed themselves and Wakanda never cared about non-Wakandans who were enslaved.

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  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    But Killmonger doesn’t see being king as a responsibility, like T’Challa does. He sees it as a tool that will let him take revenge on the world.

    That’s more what I was trying to say — Killmonger wants to be king for the destructive power of it, not for the actual job it entails. He feels no responsibility to the future, which is why he burns the herb. He doesn’t expect Wakanda to survive or that he’ll have a son to inherit it. Wakanda will end with him because that’s half his plan — either he will successfully rule the world, which means he won’t need tiny Wakanda, or he’ll fail and Wakanda will be destroyed. Being king of Wakanda is a stepping stone, not a goal.

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  47. 47
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And Shuri made me LOL so many times. “When you said we were going to California, I thought you meant Coachella. Or Disneyland!”

    She had all the best lines! Aside from the mountain tribe leader barking at the CIA guy. (Which had me rolling)
    I identify with little sisters that needle big brothers they love.
    “Guess what I call them. … Sneakers.” <—- I dies right there.

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  48. 48
    catbirdman says:

    My wife and I feel quite out of step about this movie. At a very basic level, why would such an advanced technological society determine its leader through physical battle that essentially rules out the possibility of a female ruler? It’s not like the women in the movie are weak, at all, but certainly none would be capable of seriously challenging the men based on sheer strength. But in the movie, all the characters seemed to support the concept of the most physical person being the best choice to lead. Am I missing something?

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  49. 49
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    I mean more that it’s kind of a dumb system of government. 😄 Really, you’re a technologically advanced society far beyond the rest of the planet and you still pick your king based on who can beat the other guy up?

    Like I said, though, that’s part of the design of the movie — it makes T’Challa question everything he took for granted before, including the tradition of single combat to become king.

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  50. 50
    TenguPhule says:

    @catbirdman:

    . At a very basic level, why would such an advanced technological society determine its leader through physical battle that essentially rules out the possibility of a female ruler?

    Because the cultural development started from a bunch of warring African tribes that were conquered by a male warlord and presumably just because they got awesome techonology doesn’t mean that enlightment about the genders necessarily followed?

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  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @catbirdman:

    But in the movie, all the characters seemed to support the concept of the most physical person being the best choice to lead. Am I missing something?

    See my argument above: losing that fight to Killmonger is one of the things that makes T’Challa question what he’s been taught and decide to make changes like opening outreach centers. It is a dumb way to pick a king, and the movie ends up making that pretty clear, IMO.

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  52. 52
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Really, you’re a technologically advanced society far beyond the rest of the planet and you still pick your king based on who can beat the other guy up?

    Well they did kinda isolate themselves from developments in modern gender thinking……

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  53. 53
    rikyrah says:

    @catbirdman:

    My wife and I feel quite out of step about this movie. At a very basic level, why would such an advanced technological society determine its leader through physical battle that essentially rules out the possibility of a female ruler?

    In the comics, Shuri does become the Black Panther.

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  54. 54
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It is a dumb way to pick a king,

    Voting got us Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Trump. Let’s not throw stones. Wakanda apparently only messed up their leadership once in recorded history.

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  55. 55
    Timurid says:

    @TenguPhule:

    But Remember, Infinity Gems mean Death might be cheap under certain circumstances.

    Killmonger would make a great Sith apprentice for Thanos.

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  56. 56

    Black Panther was the first comic character I was exposed to who looked like me. To see him on the big screen in his own movie – there are no words for that. I loved the movie; it was beautifully shot, Shuri was an absolute treasure, and OMG THE DORA MILAJE! I agree with the assessment of Jordan’s performance (that makes two Human Torches that went on to better things in the MCU), and Bozeman displayed just the right amount of restraint. Good show all around.

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  57. 57
    TenguPhule says:

    @catbirdman:

    But in the movie, all the characters seemed to support the concept of the most physical person being the best choice to lead. Am I missing something?

    Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump. To the Death. Winner Takes All.

    /just my thought

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  58. 58
    TenguPhule says:

    @Timurid: I see what you did there.

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  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    There’s a lot of gender parity in Wakanda — leaving aside the women who are related to T’Challa and his guards, there are women who are on his council in the throne room.

    The single combat thing is Wakanda’s Electoral College. It’s never been a problem before, so why change it?

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  60. 60
    patrick II says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    I thought the special herb was originally an earth plant that gained its power through being planted in soil laced with vibranium. The meteor that fell was made of vibranium. It is not clear to me that it contained seeds also or if the vibranium had an affect on various forms of life on earth, like giving special power to the black panther.

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  61. 61
    clay says:

    @rikyrah:

    In the comics, Shuri does become the Black Panther.

    It’s important to note that, in both comics and movie, Black Panther =/= king (or queen). T’Challa was Black Panther well before his father died. And his father didn’t seem to have the Panther powers in his elder days (else he probably wouldn’t have died in Civil War).

    The Black Panther is a mantle granted to someone to allow them to protect Wakanda. Being king is a political position. They can overlap, but they aren’t the same. I hope they delve into the differences between the positions in the sequel.

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  62. 62
    clay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Killmonger wants to be king for the destructive power of it, not for the actual job it entails. He feels no responsibility to the future

    This seems depressingly familiar.

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  63. 63
    Woodrow/Asim says:

    @TenguPhule: Hunh? Not only do we see (albeit briefly) women Black Panthers (2nd time T’Challa visits the Spirit realm, peep the collection of people-with-Panthers)…

    …at no point in the movie is any woman demeaned around ruling. The closest is the reaction to Shuri’s comments at the 1st fight-for-King, but that’s easily read as reaction to her snark (and for M’baku, her technophile tendencies), not a dismissal of her right to fight her Bro for the crown.

    (And in the comics, a very different version of Shuri does become Black Panther, for a time.)

    As far as Wakanda being a Monarchy – why not?

    I submit that cultures shift governments usually due to deep dissatisfaction with the current regime. Wakanda has been rolling along, prosperous and protected from the stupid shit the rest of Africa has been dealing with, for centuries. What would prompt a change? Why change what’s clearly been working for them?

    Especially as the movie takes pains to point out there’s a very real and known spiritual component to the Black Panther, which is a position usually aligned to ruling Wakanda. So it’s Divine Right of Kings, with Proof of Divinity. And that proof isn’t just i deeds, but in the best quality of life, all around.

    In the comics now, a similar storyline has been done, at least twice, to change aspects of Wakanda’s absolute monarchy. It’s possible that’s a future plotline for Wakanda, as well.

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  64. 64
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @rikyrah: And there’s a moment in the movie when somebody says Nakia should be wearing the suit. I was wondering why Okoye isn’t, but she seems to get by without it.

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  65. 65
    WaterGirl says:

    @clay: I see that I was not alone in having that thought when I read what Mnem wrote.

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  66. 66
    ruemara says:

    @rikyrah: He’s the new Ashy Hotep patron saint. I do not understand those folks.

    @catbirdman: Yes. It’s a ceremony. Tradition is important, hence Wakandan aesthetics. But, normally, there’s not a challenge. The challenge at the first was from M’Baku, largely over the changes to tradition. Shuri for example. It’s not “who can beat each other up”. It’s the current dynamic playing out in multiple countries where tradition is pushing back against change. It foreshadows the destruction caused by Killmonger who was created by tradition & uses tradition to nearly destroy the heart & soul of Wakanda.

    @Matt McIrvin: Dora Milajae aren’t called to wear the suit.

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  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ruemara:

    It foreshadows the destruction caused by Killmonger who was created by tradition & uses tradition to nearly destroy the heart & soul of Wakanda.

    Prezactly, fellow screenwriter.

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  68. 68
    rikyrah says:

    @Timurid:
    Tee hee hee 😄

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  69. 69

    @ruemara: “Ashy Hotep” – perfect!

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  70. 70
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @gwangung: I heard an interesting suggestion, that it would have made as much sense to have Sam Wilson (Falcon) be the foreign audience-POV character (to the extent that Killmonger isn’t already)–and we already know that Sam Wilson is an excellent pilot, so he’d have worked as well in the scenes at the end.

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  71. 71
    TenguPhule says:

    @Woodrow/Asim:

    Hunh? Not only do we see (albeit briefly) women Black Panthers (2nd time T’Challa visits the Spirit realm, peep the collection of people-with-Panthers)…

    …at no point in the movie is any woman demeaned around ruling. The closest is the reaction to Shuri’s comments at the 1st fight-for-King, but that’s easily read as reaction to her snark (and for M’baku, her technophile tendencies), not a dismissal of her right to fight her Bro for the crown.

    (And in the comics, a very different version of Shuri does become Black Panther, for a time.)

    Not arguing with you on any of those points. I would just like to note that the Dora Milaje were originally supposed to be wives in training. Different developments.

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  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    But then we wouldn’t have been able to have the two Tolkien white actors. I seriously think that was meant to be an in-joke/Easter egg all on its own.

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  73. 73
    lamh36 says:

    @Mnemosyne: When Killmonger said “who could imagine a boy from Oakland seeing this fantasy”…that for me was ALL bout Coogler…and if you’ve seen him talk about his ambitions and how he got interesting in film making and his approach to film making…and the absolute joy he seems to have when he talks about his work (do yourselves a favor if you haven’t seen it, and find tha Vanity Fair video of Coogler breaking down the casino scene you can feel his pride in the work he did and how he still amazed at the final product)

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  74. 74
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @catbirdman: I don’t know if this is true or not, but I got the sense that it was rare for anyone to actually make the ritual challenge–everyone seemed shocked that M’Baku stepped up at the beginning. Maybe it’s kind of like the reserve powers of the Queen in the UK.

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  75. 75
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mnemosyne: My daughter had an interesting reaction to the movie: she said “I kept waiting for it to get bad, but it didn’t.” The moment Everett Ross ended up in Wakanda, she thought “oh, here we go, I’ve seen movies before, the white boy is going to become the big hero.” But she was happy that his role in fact stayed relatively secondary.

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  76. 76
    lamh36 says:

    @Mnemosyne: I totally agree about Chadwick’s performance…remember this is the man who was raised to be King…yes, he became King sooner than he planned, and due to the tragic death of T’Chaka…but he was raised to be King…so he has the thoughtful type of nature his own father had as an elder King (we see as a younger King, what he did to his brother and his brother’s son weighed on him, so maybe it made he a more contemplative King?).

    T’Challa is basically Prince William, to Killmonger’s kinda Prince Harry, cept Prince Harry ain’t a murderous mercanary? But notice the difference in the way Prince William carries himself in both his official and “unofficial” capacity commpared to Harry…

    To my mind, Chadwick played it JUST right…a good man who wants to be a good King, better than what he ‘baba” was

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  77. 77
    lamh36 says:

    @petesh: in the comics, that is exactly what Ross is supposed to be…a “white eye for the white guy reader”…LOL.

    According to creator Christopher Priest, Ross’s personality was based on that of Chandler Bing, a character from the television series Friends, while the name was inspired by the Family Ties character Alex P. Keaton.[1] After introducing Ross in Ka-Zar, Priest chose to bring the character back in Black Panther for use as an audience surrogate who “saw Panther the way Panther had ultimately come to be seen by Marvel: Just Some Guy who was routinely overshadowed by heroes in which they were more invested”.[2]

    Priest further elaborated, “Comics are traditionally created by white males for white males. I figured, and I believe rightly, that for Black Panther to succeed, it needed a white male at the center, and that white male had to give voice to the audience’s misgivings or apprehensions or assumptions about this character and this book. Ross needed to be un-PC to the point of being borderline racist”; and clarified, “I don’t think Ross was racist at all. I just think that his stream of conscious narrative is a window into things I imagine many whites say or at least think when no blacks are around; myths about black culture and behavior. I was also introducing a paradigm shift to the way Panther was to be portrayed; somebody had to give voice to the expectation of a dull and colorless character who always got his butt kicked or who was overshadowed by Thor and Iron Man suddenly knocking out Mephisto with one punch”

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  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lamh36:

    Exactly. Coogler made the movie he’d always wanted to see when he was a little kid growing up in Oakland. And I liked how there’s that tiny little indication that things have improved since 1992 when the old milk crate that Erik and his friends were using fades into being a proper basketball hoop in present day.

    I did not wonder at all how Erik’s father got radicalized by living in Oakland at the height of the crack epidemic. It made absolute sense to me.

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  79. 79
    ruemara says:

    Seems that the fact that a good man is a thinking man is going over people’s heads.

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  80. 80
    lamh36 says:

    @Mnemosyne: So many things in the film were portrayed in such a way that you don’t realize until after how well it was done. For example…you have the relationship between the sons (T’Challa & Killmonger) & their respective fathers…v(T’Chaka & N’Jobu). On the one hand you have a loving father/son relationship, where the father was a part of the son’s life and integral in the shaping of his personality (T’Challa/T’Chaka). On the other, you have a father (in this case thx to the actions of T’Chaka) who was taken from his young son’s life, and so was never part of it, and never had that same nurturing hand that T’Challa got from T’Chaka. Two biggest scenes that stand out as most powerful contrast. When T’Challa visits the land of the elders and sees his “baba” again after his death…and how emotional T’Challa was. Compared that to when Killmonger visited the ancestral plain and saw his father again…”no tears for me my son”…”everybody dies…” short but stark…right? A superhero movie that makes you think deep thoughts!!

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  81. 81
    lamh36 says:

    @rikyrah: Also too, the power of the herb was taken from T’Challa, so he fought as a “normal” man…w/o the aid of the herb. Killmonger is a trained killer, less folks forget, those bumbs along his torso were for ALL the kills he had…that’s alot of training and people he killed. T’Challa had trained in martial arts an such, but the herb also aided in healing and gave strength and agility. Without it, it was just him vs Erik…and not so surprisingly Erik prevailed!

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  82. 82
    aliasofwestgate says:

    Something i noticed about the ritual fights. T’challa won by agility, not by strength. Something to note for those mentioning the whole trial by combat strength thing. M’baku has good agility, but not on the level that T’challa was trained at, probably even before he took the herb for the enhanced ability. He won that fight by being smarter than M’baku strategically and by agility. T’challa fights smarter, not harder.

    T’challa lost the second fight, because Killmonger was going for a win at all costs. Nothing would have convinced him to back down if T’challa had managed to keep him pinned. So it pretty much went in a way that T;challa was aware of want preferred the yield option as we saw in the first ritual with M’baku. Killmonger cared for nothing but winning and doing what he wanted with that power, which was destruction anywhere he could sow it in revenge. So he was going from the kill from the start, which i think surprised someone who wasn’t going for that ruthless view of the things. The tradition is frankly annoying, but there were points in the fights that had story relevance. Not just T’challa’s treatment of M’baku and M’baku’s grievance, which was fully legitimate.

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  83. 83
    gwangung says:

    @lamh36: Exactly. And, of course, Ross isn’t needed for that in the movies, because the audience for movies is much, much less white than comics.

    Still has his uses, however. He pretty much symbolizes how he (and white male America) is simply not needed in a story. He can be useful (particularly if he shuts up and does the right thing), but he’s not necessary (which is why Falcon can’t fill that role). The world doesn’t have to revolve around white heroes, even in Hollywood…

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  84. 84
    Brachiator says:

    @Served:

    Looking back, it’s a little bit shocking how little T’Challa himself shined in his own film.

    This kinda reminded me of “Tombstone.” Kurt Russel’s Wyatt Earp is the strong center, but Val Kilmer, Powers Booth and other actors are allowed to be as outrageous as they want to be.

    I disagree that the first act has no stakes, but then again I think that the notion of “stakes” is a bit of a red herring.

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  85. 85
    ruemara says:

    @lamh36: True. I look at our current fight against neonazis. You have folks who simply cannot understand that the fires of hatred inside them burn to destroy Others and are willing to be consumed if we. go. first.

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  86. 86
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Another odd insight I saw a YouTube review point out: in many ways, the plot of this movie is very similar to that of Thor: Ragnarok, at least if you take out all the Planet Hulk bits in the latter. Yet it’s completely different in every other way.

    (The reviewer really didn’t like the style of humor used in the Thor movie, which mostly does not appear in this one–he regarded Black Panther as a movie that fixes most of the MCU’s common shortcomings.)

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  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @rikyrah: Agreed. I want to know more about him, and T’Chaka.

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  88. 88
    catbirdman says:

    @Woodrow/Asim: “Wakanda has been rolling along, prosperous and protected from the stupid shit the rest of Africa has been dealing with, for centuries. What would prompt a change? Why change what’s clearly been working for them?”

    Because a physical fight to determine who rules a society is so obviously and overtly sexist, even if a woman did once overcome the unfairness of the system, somehow. I get that it’s more complicated than this in the comics, but in the movie I didn’t see it.

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  89. 89
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @gwangung: I did like the scene in which he starts whitesplaining and M’Baku immediately shuts him up.

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  90. 90
    lamh36 says:

    @Mnemosyne: as someone said…think about it…it was 92…the riots…the brother was there for a while, I’d say since as for back as when a certain BP Party was formed and did it’s work in Oakland….it was a slick homage from Coogler that likley most folks won’t even think about (BP Party was active from like 69 to 82, and N’Jobu was an embedded War Dawg for some time…so…)

    N’Jobu was essentially radicalized by the times

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  91. 91
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Although there were a lot of interesting women characters in the film, this was very much a man’s story.

    It’s T’Challa’s story. And I suppose Killmonger’s. Everyone else is pretty much by definition secondary, not that this is meaningless. One of the more interesting things about the movie is the degree to which T’Challa’s legitimacy as king depends on the women, their wisdom as much as their strength. By contrast, Killmonger is not fit to be king because he abuses and dishonors women. Coogler has noted in interviews how he deliberately built this into Killmonger’s character.

    The moment with the little boy walking up to T’Challa after the Wakandan ship lands is magical,

    And much better than the last scene with the kid in “The Last Jedi.”

    You can see that this child represents T’Challa’s lost and damaged cousin without him saying a word.

    That’s part of it, but more than that, it represents the road not taken, the path T’Challa’s father should have taken. T’Challa does not ignore the kid. He acknowledges him and welcomes him into the promise of a “woke” Wakanda.

    Chadwick Boseman’s performance is less showy than Jordan’s, but IMO he’s terrific and subtle, which is what the character needs to be. He’s a superhero who’s great at physical stuff, but he’s also brilliant and can outwit his opponents.

    Yep. He builds on the hints of his character displayed in the Captain America film where he was introduced.

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  92. 92
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lamh36:

    The difference between comic books and movies is that we didn’t really need that “entryway” character. I don’t think there was a single white character on the screen until they got to London, but movies are immersive enough that you identify with the characters who are in front of you and don’t need that “entryway” like you might in a book or comic book.

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  93. 93
    Brachiator says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    The reviewer really didn’t like the style of humor used in the Thor movie

    I listen to a comic book and movie podcast in which a couple of the hosts detest Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok precisely because they have humor. These fans want stern comic book heroes and villains fighting.

    But here’s the deal. From my perspective, Guardians of the Galaxy is a superhero movie with jokes. You can even spot the set up and the punchline for some bits. But Thor: Ragnarok is a classical comedy. That is, it is a superhero movie set in a comic or antic universe. And it works like a charm. The Grand Master is presumably one of the most powerful beings in the universe, but he arranges battles for his amusement. And warriors and heroes amuse him. He looks at Thor, God of Thunder and remarks on the sparkly bits of lightning that Thor shoots out of his hand. Grand Master is not threatened by him at all. And like a classical comedy, everything ends well. At the end of Thor, there has been an attempt to overthrow the society, and the Grand Master’s reaction is “You tried with your little revolution. Good for you.” In a comedy, all is forgiven. Jeff Goldblum, of course, was just flat out great as the Grand Master and was obviously tuned in to the director’s vision.

    Black Panther is not a comedy, not much humor, but I think that the cast was similarly tuned in to what the director wanted. I don’t think there is a misstep in any of the performances.

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  94. 94
    lamh36 says:

    It’s the subtle but strong lines the make Killmonger so interesting as a villain…many times you find yourself goin…”hmm..”

    For example the museum scene:

    Erik Killmonger: [to the lady in the museum] Now tell me about this one?

    Museum Guide: Also from Benin, 7th Century, Fula tribe I believe.

    Killmonger: Nah.

    Museum Guide: I beg your pardon?

    Killmonger: It was taken by British Soldiers in Benin, but it’s from Wakanda, and it’s made out of vibranium.

    Killmonger: [to the lady in the museum] Don’t trip. I’mma take it off your hands for you.

    Museum Guide: These items are not for sale.

    Killmonger: [to the lady in the museum] How do you think your ancestors got these? You think they paid a full price for it? Or did they take them like they took everything else?

    My reaction was “Welp…not much you can say to that”…

    The thing about Erik Killmonger’s philosophy is that it was def not “wrong” but not “great” his execution came from a selfish place… he’s no hero, IMHO

    But if you think about it…there was a main character, who had the same “philosophy” as Killmonger, but it didn’t come from a selfish place, and that was Nakia…like Erik she also felt that Wakanda should be doing more to aid to it’s neighbors in Africa…if folks appreciate the “reason” behind Erik’s “mission”, then in Nakia they have a much better object for “hero-worship”

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  95. 95
    ruemara says:

    @lamh36: They excise her because vagina

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  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    It’s T’Challa’s story. And I suppose Killmonger’s.

    Killmonger is T’Challa’s mirror, in some ways. That’s one of the reasons T’Challa is reluctant to fight him and offers to save his life — he realizes that Wakanda is responsible for what Killmonger became.

    Like I said, it’s a very male movie that is primarily about T’Challa figuring out what kind of man he is, and what kind of king he will be. We rarely get to see those kinds of movies made with Black leads, and I loved that Coogler really dug into the questions he was asking and didn’t shy away from them. T’Challa loved his father, but he learns that his father made a decision that made him both a bad man and a bad king. Now he has to become his own man and his own kind of king rather than following his father’s and ancestors’ path.

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  97. 97
    lamh36 says:

    @ruemara:This is the first glimpse Coogler gives into Erik Killmonger and his “relation” to women. He has no use or respect for them. He killed his “girlfriend” fairly easily, his total disregard for the elder women of Wakanda (the “Hey auntie” line was funny, but not meant to be respectful), his disrespect for Queen Ramonda and the Dora (there was no real reason for him to slice that Dora’s throat other than evilness), when he choked out the ritual elder who questioned him buring the herb, and of course he was gonna kill Shuri, even knowing that Shuri is the one who sheparded in all the tech advancements (recall, Shuri is the one who harnessed the power of Vibranium to power the underground trains, and inventor of almost ALL the tech works).

    Take that vs T’Challa, where the women in his life were his CLOSEST council and confidante, and even in the case of the Dora, his personal bodyguards…he SURROUNDED himself with powerful thoughtful woman, where Erik seemingly had no use for them other than for his own gain

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  98. 98
    daryljfontaine says:

    Loved the movie, even if I have yet to unpack all the nuances. That Coogler breakdown video was fantastic.

    One of the things that struck me after watching is that Black Panther is a movie with multiple strong, competent women who are never subjected to the “male gaze” of the filmmaker. On top of everything else it does? The movie accomplishes one more extraordinary thing.

    Is it wrong that I want to be General Okoye when I grow up?

    D

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  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lamh36:

    That’s what makes Erik a tragic villain: he’s not wrong. He’s right with all of his facts. The problem is that his tactics are even worse.

    The dialogue between T’Challa and Nakia is a little elliptical at the end, but basically he accepts that she was right and Wakanda needs to be more active in the world, and that’s why she’s back together with him at the end. Marriage and queenship is pending, but they’re heading in that direction.

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  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lamh36:

    T’Challa is man enough and secure enough to listen to the women in his life, while Killmonger is not.

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  101. 101
    Brachiator says:

    @lamh36:

    T’Challa is basically Prince William, to Killmonger’s kinda Prince Harry, cept Prince Harry ain’t a murderous mercanary? But notice the difference in the way Prince William carries himself in both his official and “unofficial” capacity commpared to Harry…

    To get Shakespearean, T’Challa is like Henry V, a prince who must prove he is worthy of being king, and Killmonger is the Hotspur of Henry IV, Part 1, who seethes with rage. And, like Laertes in Hamlet, Killmonger does righteously seek revenge, but overreaches and lets his anger blind him to any other path.

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I heard an interesting suggestion, that it would have made as much sense to have Sam Wilson (Falcon) be the foreign audience-POV character (to the extent that Killmonger isn’t already)–and we already know that Sam Wilson is an excellent pilot, so he’d have worked as well in the scenes at the end.

    That would have worked at one level. I was trying to think of another black character in the Marvel Universe who would have fit in. But on another level, it was useful to have a “colonizer” POV character.

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  102. 102
    maeve says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    “oh, here we go, I’ve seen movies before, the white boy is going to become the big hero.”

    In fact there seems to be commentary on the cliche when bring in Ross on the stretcher, Shuri says something like “”Another broken white boy to fix,” which in the old cliche would have led him to be better at Wakanda-ing then the native Wakandans and then save the day.

    (At least it is how I heard it because I’d forgotten that they brought Bucky Barnes to Wakanda at the end of CA: Civil War until I saw the 2nd after-credits scene.)

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  103. 103
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Killmonger is T’Challa’s mirror, in some ways. That’s one of the reasons T’Challa is reluctant to fight him and offers to save his life — he realizes that Wakanda is responsible for what Killmonger became.

    Outside the requirements of ritual combat, T’Challa has no reason to fight Killmonger or to see him as an enemy. And Wakanda is not entirely responsible for what Killmonger became. He chose his own path to a large degree. I am not a reader of the comics, but I get the impression that Killmonger was supposed to be a tactical genius when it came to warfare. I almost wish that the movie was a mini-series, so that some time could have been devoted to Killmonger’s life growing up, as a soldier, setting up his own spy ring, etc. But I enjoy it when the characters in a movie are so rich that you can imagine their adventures before the time of the movie you are watching. I guess this also is why some hope that Killmonger is not dead.

    Like I said, it’s a very male movie that is primarily about T’Challa figuring out what kind of man he is, and what kind of king he will be.

    I think many of these themes would have worked similarly had the movie been about Shuri becoming the ruler. But this is a small matter.

    T’Challa loved his father, but he learns that his father made a decision that made him both a bad man and a bad king. Now he has to become his own man and his own kind of king rather than following his father’s and ancestors’ path.

    One scene that has not been touched on much is how T’Challa initially compounds his father’s errors. He knows who Killmonger is, but early on when first confronted tells the guards to take him away. He does not try to make amends for his father’s mistake or acknowledge to the rest of the people what Killmonger represents.

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  104. 104
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @maeve: I heard it as being about both Bucky and Steve Rogers (who for all we know is still lying low in Wakanda as well)… but it also works as meta-commentary on what’s done with sympathetic black characters in a million movies.

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  105. 105
    Mnemosyne says:

    @maeve:

    He does kind of save the day … by using Wakandan technology to shoot down the shuttles that are carrying the weapons. It’s interesting that doing that gains him some respect from Shuri and the others because he actually earned it by putting himself at risk to help them.

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  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @maeve:
    @Matt McIrvin:

    Also, I had to ask who the hell that was at the end since I haven’t seen any of the Captain America movies or Civil War. So I probably wasn’t as thrilled by that scene as I was supposed to be.

    It still made me laugh, though. “Are you bothering that white man again?”

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  107. 107
    maeve says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yeah but he’s not the only one and not the leader who comes up with the plan so not the “white savior”. The very first trailer I saw (probably a year ago) had a higher portion of scenes with Freedman and Serkis – aka Frodo and Gollum – (probably because they were still working on effects for other scenes) and I was afraid they were going to dominate the script, but they didn’t. They were both good parts – especially Serkis (Kluwe) who seemed to really enjoy his “profession”.

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  108. 108
    rachel says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Yeah, bet we wouldn’t have gotten that if Sam Wilson was the token foreigner.

    @Mnemosyne: He was able to save the day in that sense, but without Shuri’s instructions, he wouldn’t have known what to do or how to do it.

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  109. 109
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mnemosyne: I read somewhere about a showing at which someone asked out loud if he was Jesus.

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  110. 110
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @lamh36: I wondered a bit what Wakanda was like before Shuri, if she’d discovered all those applications of vibranium herself. How many of Wakanda’s riches are very recent? How did they keep the vibranium stash, and the details of their society, secret before (to the extent that they needed to)?

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  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:

    @maeve:

    Exactly — he gets something important to do, but he’s part of the team, not the guy in charge. And that’s sadly kind of revolutionary in American films in itself.

    Also, as noted above, T’Challa is a superhero who uses his brain as well as his strength. He’s the one who tells Shuri to turn the trains back on so he can fight Killmonger more strategically — and it’s his strategic thinking and his understanding of the technology that wins the fight, not Killmonger’s superior killing skills.

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  112. 112
    Victor Matheson says:

    Only slightly off topic, but has anyone here read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run at writing Black Panther, and is it worth the read? Seems like it could be awesome or a terrible let down or anywhere in between.

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  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, I’m going to repeat myself from the non-spoiler thread:

    I was looking at the IMDb trivia and a reporter asked Martin Freeman what it was like to sometimes be the only non-Black actor on the set. His response was, “You think, ‘Right, so this is what black actors feel like all the time.’”

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  114. 114
    clay says:

    @Mnemosyne: The end credit tags are mostly geared towards the full-time Marvel fans, since they’re often used to tie the current film into the larger cinematic universe. (Or, sometimes, they serve a jokey purpose.). So I hope it isn’t offensive when I say the Bucky scene wasn’t made for casual viewers* like yourself. It’s for those of us who have been following this story the whole way through. That’s why it’s at the end — an extra reward for those who make the effort to stick around.

    (*Where “casual” means “doesn’t see every Marvel film”)

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  115. 115
    clay says:

    @Victor Matheson: I have started TNC’s run, but I’m not very far into it. So far it’s thoughtful and full of depth. Looking forward to continuing with it.

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  116. 116
    Brachiator says:

    @Victor Matheson:

    Only slightly off topic, but has anyone here read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run at writing Black Panther, and is it worth the read?

    Some comic fans loved the movie, but did not totally enjoy Coates’ Panther series.

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  117. 117
    Mnemosyne says:

    @clay:

    True. I mostly like GotG, and I’m not caught up on the other movies. It was just funny to me that I didn’t have the faintest clue who he was.

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  118. 118
    Kirk says:

    @Victor Matheson: It’s an “it depends”. And sadly, part of that value seems to be your racial biases.

    A large number of white friends did not. Most of my non-white friends did. And it saddens me that THAT seems to be the major differentiator.

    It has complex plot threads and good character development; history drives the future but does not steer it. I believe it as good as (though not the same as) Priest’s version.

    I enjoyed it and recommend it, though I thought TNC got close to being preachy in a couple of cases. And for the large chunk of salt for evaluating that last sentence, I’m an older middle-class white male — apply the chunk liberally

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  119. 119
    Doug R says:

    @guachi: A little harsher than I would have put it, but it speaks to how much do you dare speak out before you’re invaded one way or another.
    Coming from a mennonite background, it’s always been their way to stay in their own colonies with their own language and stay out of the “affairs of man”. War being an affair of man, mennonites are generally conscientious objectors-one reason they had to move their colonies every so often to stay ahead of kings and tsars that change their mind about conscription.
    Yes, the Pennsylvania D(e)utch are distant relations. Their shunning of modern technology has actually led to a few interesting innovations like a wooden water pump that has no metal parts, useful in parts of the world where metal is scarce.
    Of course being in small colonies means everyone leans on everyone else, any surplus gets shared, if someone’s barn burns down, the whole community helps to put up another one.
    It’s good to have your little close knit community, but you can help the world around you and the world at large-the trick is finding the right balance.

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  120. 120
    Felanius Kootea says:

    My husband and I loved Black Panther so much we went to see it twice. I loved the women’s hair
    (I’ve worn mine chemically unprocessed for about 14 years now and that was a battle) and the scene
    in Busan where Okoye finally flings off her wig in disgust had me dying.

    Why was the casino scene shot in Busan? Was there some larger non-European-worlds interacting thing
    supposed to be going on there or was it simply that S. Korea gave Marvel/Disney incentives to shoot there?

    To me the movie basically highlighted the limitations of a monarchy – there wasn’t that much debate that went
    on in the council meetings whether it was T’Chaka, T’Challa or Killmonger. And I wondered about T’Chaka’s
    relationship with his brother; whether the brother was always the more intellectual/deeper thinker and less
    conservative (in the sense of maintaining tradition) and T’Chaka resented that. I wondered why he didn’t bring
    him before the council and have the council debate the merits of Wakanda interacting with the wider world.

    Killmonger is one of the most compelling villains I’ve seen in a Marvel based film and I do kind of hope he’ll
    be resurrected. A sociopath who brings uncomfortable truths to light, has no regard for anyone but himself
    but still manages to evoke sympathy from the viewer. That was very well done.

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  121. 121
    Doug R says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And Shuri made me LOL so many times. “When you said we were going to California, I thought you meant Coachella. Or Disneyland!”

    Ironically, when Walt was working out what he wanted to do with Disneyland, he got a lot of inspiration from Children’s Fairyland in Oakland. Walt’s work in Oakland

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  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Felanius Kootea:

    I wondered why he didn’t bring him before the council and have the council debate the merits of Wakanda interacting with the wider world.

    I think that was the idea, but then he drew his gun and T’Chaka was forced to kill him. I could see how killing your own brother after he gets too involved in the rest of the world might lead one to decide that your country is better off staying isolated.

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  123. 123
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Doug R:

    Looks like it’s still a going concern, which is pretty impressive. Most of those small amusement parks have closed down.

    I’m not sure how much direct inspiration Walt got — Disneyland was already being worked on when Fairyland opened. But he was basically trying to make a bigger version of those types of parks that would always be clean, and with no drunks reeling around like at Griffith Park.

    ETA: And, yes, they are already doing character meet-and-greets at Disney California Adventure for Black Panther and the Dora Milaje.

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  124. 124
  125. 125
    Brachiator says:

    Why was the casino scene shot in Busan? Was there some larger non-European-worlds interacting thing
    supposed to be going on there or was it simply that S. Korea gave Marvel/Disney incentives to shoot there?

    Good question. Don’t know, but this interlude gave the movie a James Bond movie vibe.

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  126. 126
    rikyrah says:

    Not lost on me that Killmonger is an American creation. We have him the tools for his quest for revenge

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  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Doug R:

    Good thing the GEC has stopped running around suing everyone in sight who had a fan art version of their corporate logo! 😂

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  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    Ross actually says, “He’s one of ours,” and emphasizes a couple of times that Killmonger is acting on the training he received from the USA in both the Navy and CIA.

    He is very specifically presented as a product of Oakland, California, USA. 🇺🇸 That’s why T’Challa has to return to Oakland at the end to make things right.

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  129. 129
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @rikyrah: He is both an American and a Wakandan creation. The American part is obvious, but he’s a Wakandan creation as well through his father and because of his uncle’s unconscionable decision to leave him behind without regard for what would happen to a child without a father or mother (she is simply never shown or discussed).

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  130. 130
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, one of the ways you can tell that the GEC is super thrilled about the movie is that they’re publicizing Coogler’s charity work related to the film. $50K probably doesn’t sound like much, relatively speaking, but small organizations like that don’t want gigantic grants since they don’t have the resources to handle them. $50K on top of the grants they already get for the year will help them do a lot more programs without making them ineligible for those other grants.

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  131. 131
    Doug R says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s drawn by Walt hisself, one piece of graffiti they let slide.

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  132. 132
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mnemosyne: There were so many of those little “Storybook Land” parks that opened around that time. I remember going to one in Woodbridge, Virginia in the 1970s; not long ago I saw pictures of the ruins of it reclaimed by the forest.

    Story Land in Keane, NH is another one that’s actually remained open and thrived. The old fairytale buildings are still there at one corner of the park, but it’s expanded into a nice little theme park aimed at families with younger kids. A clever thing about it is that it has almost no “kiddie rides” per se–they’re all gentle family rides that parents can go on with their kids.

    And a few years ago they put up a small wooden roller coaster called Roar-O-Saurus that is actually kind of intense–it got adult coaster fans going to the park to ride it. It’s a bit out of place, but there were surprisingly young kids riding it when I went on it.

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  133. 133
    maeve says:

    @Brachiator:
    That was deliberate – the director admits modeling things on James Bond (with a twist)

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  134. 134
    J R in WV says:

    @catbirdman:

    At a very basic level, why would such an advanced technological society determine its leader through physical battle that essentially rules out the possibility of a female ruler?

    Why does the American electoral system seemingly prevent the most qualified woman leader from becoming president? See how that works?

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  135. 135
    Jay Noble says:

    Did any one else see the first shot of the spirit world and go “Cat People!” and expect to hear David Bowie?

    No humor? One word “Rhino”

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  136. 136
    J R in WV says:

    @TenguPhule:

    “Not arguing with you on any of those points. I would just like to note that the Dora Milaje were originally supposed to be wives in training. Different developments.”

    Are you guys throwing stiff from printed/written material into a discussion of a movie? ‘Cause that’s not valid criticism. Unless you want to bring in the Koran, the Vedas, and the Encyclopedia Americana, etc. I for one have not read any of the comics the film is based upon, so your comments referring to other source material is confusing and basically lost on me.

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  137. 137
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @TenguPhule: I always had the impression that the original Dora Milaje were hostages to their families loyalty. An old tradition worldwide, probably first encountered by Westerners in Solomon’s many wives.

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  138. 138
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Victor Matheson: Coates is a long-time fan and “gets” the genre tropes. The story also builds off recent Marvel Universe events. Recommended.

    @Mnemosyne:

    Ross actually says, “He’s one of ours,” and emphasizes a couple of times that Killmonger is acting on the training he received from the USA in both the Navy and CIA.

    Which is why Ross had to be in this movie and Falcon wouldn’t have worked nearly as well. Since Ross was created for Priest’s run on BP, everyone knew he would be in this movie as soon as he was introduced in Civil War. I expected him to be the Bob*, so I was delighted when they flipped that and just left him confused for most of the screen time.

    *As You Know, Bob

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  139. 139
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jay Noble: There’s humor in the movie, but Thor: Ragnarok is an example of a very similar story actually done as a comedy. In both cases, a superhero is also the rightful king of a fantastic, hidden realm with futuristic technology, after the tragic death of his father, whose long-ago, secret sins manifest in the form of a previously unknown, malevolent relative who usurps the throne; reclaiming it also means acknowledging the suffering of the oppressed and changing everything forever.

    But Thor: Ragnarok chose to put in lots and lots of jokes, whereas Black Panther plays the emotions mostly straight. They’re just different kinds of movie.

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  140. 140
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I did like the scene in which he starts whitesplaining and M’Baku immediately shuts him up.

    The barking was the actor’s idea.

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  141. 141
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Winston Duke was so good. It’s hard to say he steals the movie because there are so many actors in this who could have stolen a lesser movie. But he’s great.

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  142. 142
    Woodrow/Asim says:

    @J R in WV: Apologies — yes, I did ref. the comics as an alt. approach on some of the topics.

    Not certain I’d take it as far as the other works you cited, as the comics are a direct influence on the movie, and — very broadly speaking — a ref. point for intent and future ideas. Not meant to be THE point, but a side point for all my comments, thus why I labeled comic ref. as such.

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  143. 143
    Woodrow/Asim says:

    @Victor Matheson: I’d recommend grabbing the 1st volume for Coates’ BLACK PANTHER for yourself if you can get it digital, as it’s usually on-sale at Amazon!

    It’s brilliant plotting and concepts. Best run since Christopher Priest’s pivotal re-invention. Lovely art all around, and a story that, like the movie, says something strong (there’s a reason Coates is scripting Coogler’s next movie!) And the diversity of roles of women in the movie is certainly reflected in Coates’ run (he’s clearly learned a lot of the years of folks yelling at him when he’d say something retro about women…)

    It also shows that Coates comes from a non-fiction and non-comics background, and thus struggles with pacing among other points. I love it, while also acknowledging it’s not always the most accessible work. The spinoffs (WORLD OF WAKANDA and THE CREW [2018]) are a little easier in that way.

    One other recent work that I recommend for people into BP is Ewing’s THE ULTIMATES and ULTIMATES2. It’s T’Challa as a team member in a deeply intriguing set of comic adventures that, for once, start with human superheroes actively making things better — and it more-or-less sticks. It’s a more accessible comic in many ways that Coates’ BP, while also a strong set of stories with a diverse cast (he gets lots of points from me by having both modern Captains Marvel, on the same team in compelling ways.)

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