It's pretty clear that Black Panther has more meaning for race and diversity than your average Marvel superhero movie. This movie means a lot in terms of black pride and representation - and has much cultural significance in America as a whole.
Personally, I loved the diversity and representation. However, I disliked how the plot centered on a Wakanda-Wakanda conflict. I realize that this movie was based on a Marvel comic, but I wish Marvel could’ve picked a different storyline for the first Black Panther movie. Many people take Wakanda to represent beautiful Africa. Outside of Wakanda’s fictional reality, there is already so much negative publicity around intra-African conflicts, wars, and struggles. I don’t like the fact that the movie fictionally reinforced the stereotype and narrative of African conflict. I would’ve appreciated it if Black Panther fought off an external villain in defense of a unified Wakanda. Such a narrative would’ve had a more positive impact on racial dynamics and diversity, especially given the power of such a blockbuster movie and story. I know the realm of the Marvel universe and saga has its course including the tie-in with the rest of the Avengers, but portraying a story with a unified Wakanda would’ve been that much more inspiring. Black Panther is just so impactful given the current state of movies and society. Overall, I think Black Panther did a fantastic job with the natural representation while still being an exciting superhero movie.
King T'Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country's new leader. However, T'Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne by factions within his own country as well as without. Using powers reserved to Wakandan kings, T'Challa assumes the Black Panther mantle to join with ex-girlfriend Nakia, the queen-mother, his princess-kid sister, members of the Dora Milaje (the Wakandan 'special forces') and an American secret agent, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.
King T’Challa / Black Panther
Michael B. Jordan
N'Jadaka / Erik 'Killmonger' Stevens