Black Panther

Aaron Boehmer, Sports Editor

It goes without saying that despite the passing of the great Stan Lee yesterday, his genius will live on through the inspiring fictional stories of comic book superheroes.

This is especially true for Black Panther, a movie which provides a narrative on systematic issues and has given a sense of racial representation that the franchise previously lacked.

The character of Black Panther, or King T’Challa, inherits the throne of Wakanda— a land of riches and technological advancements through their supply of vibranium, the strongest metal in the world.

With the crown, he received exceptional powers of super-strength, agility, speed, and heightened senses from the Heart-Shaped Herb; a Wakandan plant that connects the host with the spirits of past Black Panthers, as well as the Panther god Bast; a historical allusion that refers to the Ancient Egyptian god of the same name.

This spiritual connection, along with a suit of full vibranium and the powers he receives from the plant crowns the king as the best superhero in the entire Marvel Universe.

Although it isn’t powers alone that cause a superhero to be the best in the universe, as the message presented and what the hero symbolizes is just as important.

For Black Panther, although he is not the first, he has become the most well-known and high-profile black superhero, which has provided immense representation within Hollywood for not only black people, but all minorities.

Even though I cannot vouch for minority groups, I am one to acknowledge my own privilege as a white male in America. It is evident that the majority of Marvel superheroes are white, and now that there is a person of color within that realm, it speaks volumes on the possibilities of society turning in a more progressive and inclusive future for all.