Black Panther first reactions call it exceptional, political, spiritual, with arguably the best Marvel villain ever

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Black Panther, the greatly anticipated – and historic, being the first Marvel solo movie to be headlined not just by a person of colour, but an almost entirely black cast – next chapter in Marvel’s cinematic saga has got some serious hype behind it. Chadwick Boseman’s debut as T’Challa, the titular protector of the African nation of Wakanda, was a fan-favourite moment from Captain America: Civil War and people are stoked for him getting his own movie which shows off his insane Afro-tech homeland. Add on top of that the fantastic Michael B. Jordan as his nemesis Killmonger, and the critically acclaimed Ryan Coogler, director of Creed and Fruitvale Station (which both starred Jordan) behind the camera and scripting, not to mention a whos-who of top-tier black actors and this has all the trappings of something special.

Well, the worldwide premiere of Black Panther wrapped up just over an hour ago in Los Angeles, and the social media reaction embargo just lifted a short while ago so we can see if it does indeed live up to that hype. The short answer: Yes. The long answer: YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!

Serious praised is being heaped on Jordan’s Killmonger as one of the best Marvel villains ever, while Letitia Wright’s Shuri, T’Challa’s sister (who in the comics was the Black Panther for a while), appears to be quite the scene stealer. So too The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira continues her streak of playing supremely badass characters with Okoye, the head of the King T’challa’s all-female special forces unit, the Dora Milaje. Coogler also seems to have struck a nice balance between spectacle and substance, as many are exclaiming that the movie is even more visually spectacular than we expected but that it’s also very heavy on the politics and character drama. If you’re familiar with his previous work, then you know that the latter is vintage Coogler. The result of that balance is that I’ve seen more than just a few Captain America: Winter Soldier comparisons, which is about as good a comparison to make in the MCU as you can get. In fact, several folks are saying Black Panther surpasses even that movie, which has me stoked beyond belief right now.

Check out a selection of tweets from press below.

Of course, everybody has different tastes. Well, in this case, everybody being just one person. The only reaction I could find that was even negative in the slightest – and I mean slightest – was from Indiewire’s David Ehrlich, who historically has never been a strong proponent of comic book superhero movies in general and not even the popular Marvel ones. Even so, he basically only had one criticism.

LONG LIVE THE KING!

Black Panther also stars Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. It is scheduled for release locally on 16 February.

Last Updated: January 30, 2018

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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