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Could Black Panther become the new Batman?!

Could Black Panther become the new Batman?!So I had pretty high hopes for how the Black Panther was going to be presented in the latest Marvel movie “Captain America: Civil War”.  Fortunately, I was not disappointed.  There were a few moments prior to seeing the film when I was a little worried that he was gonna come off as just some generic foreign character without any kind of personality.  Take the Entertainment Weekly cover photo for example; they had Cap and Iron Man in the foreground with the Black Panther sitting between them and slightly behind.  Now that would’ve been FINE,  but they had to go and muck it up by adding a “Meow” next to T’Challa’s head.  It was at that moment that it seemed like we were in for a “Borat” level of representation for this character.  Other characters would be cracking cringe worthy jokes about his suit and the idea of this fresh new BLACK Hero would become a parody of itself.

Could Black Panther become the new Batman?!

After I saw the film for the SECOND time, and bore witness to Chadwick Boseman’s freaking MAJESTIC portrayal, I started thinking about the Panther’s origins and his persona in general; he’s a wealthy, reclusive, genius with expert level combat capabilities who dresses in ALL black.  Remind you of anyone?  Now I’m gonna try not be one of those people who tries to compare Civil War to Batman v. Superman.  Personally I liked BOTH films for different reasons, and I’ll just leave it at that.  BUT, I am well aware of the negative reactions people have had not just towards BvS, but Batman himself as well.

Could Black Panther become the new Batman?!

Personally I LOVED everything that Ben Afleck did with the “Caped Crusader”.  I’ll go on record right now to say that he is to date my favorite cinematic depiction of the character.  He’s just so friggin’ HUGE!  This is the first time that I myself felt intimidated by the Batman.  It’s pretty clear that the dude can inflict some serious damage if you sit on the wrong side of justice.  But after I seeing the mysterious and captivating intensity that Boseman brought to the Panther, I genuinely feel like Afleck might have some competition when it comes to the hearts and minds of the Bat-Fans of the world.

For decades now we’ve all looked up to “The Dark Knight” as an example that we aspire to be as citizens of the world.  Actually, that’s a little too broad.  I’d say that we use him as a moral compass in our very own neighborhoods.  I know, at least for myself, that anytime I’m walking around at night and I hear a suspicious sound I feel my chest puff out just a little bit as if to show off my impressive cape.  Batman has been a part of our mythological history since before my GRANDPARENTS, and I have no doubt that he will continue to hold that mantle long after I’m gone.  But I gotta say, I really think that he’ll soon have to make room for the Black Panther on that mighty pedestal.  As much as I love Batman there has always been one thing that kept me from completely seeing my self in his boots, and that is the fact that he’s white.  With the Panther you get everything that we loved about the Bat, PLUS the brown kids have a new option for Halloween!

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I’m not saying that we’ll forget about Batman as Black Panther becomes more popular.  That’s impossible.  But, and particularly when the The Black Panther movie comes out, there will definitely be a cultural shift in how both Hollywood and the world at large view black superheros when it comes to commercial viability.  I still see PLENTY of kids walking around with Batman v. Superman t-shirts.  But I’ll leave you with this; recently my wife was tasked with throwing a baby shower for her cousin, so we went to a party store to get supplies.  As soon as we entered the store, directly to our right was a display of Civil War party supplies and costumes including a Black Panther costume.  Meanwhile you could find plenty of Batman stuff, but it was towards the BACK of the store…..

Could Black Panther become the new Batman?!

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Writer, Musician, Composer, Singer and Dancer. To sum up: I like to get jiggy with it!

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