BEA Feature Story of the Day:
The REAL Star of Marvels’ Black Panther
The newest chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, was released this past February with Marvel Studio’s Black Panther. The film released on February 16, 2018, and it received plenty of praise from both fans and critics. Although Chadwick Boseman’s role of T’challa, or the Black Panther, was incredible, the film gave birth to one of the greatest villains in Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger. What sets this villain apart from others Marvel has given audiences is how well someone can relate to Killmonger. Erik not only grows up in the rough streets of Oakland, California but experiences a lot of traumatic events that the audience can see why he does the things he does. This makes him a fantastic villain because every time he is seen doing something bad, the audience can say to themselves, “you know what, maybe he has a point.” Every time Killmonger showed up on screen, I personally felt constant dread and anxiety.
Of course, there have been plenty Marvel movies before Black Panther, but there has not been a more compelling villain like Killmonger since the god of mischief known as Loki. In my opinion, Marvel villains have suffered from being extremely average because of the lack of character development and the inability for the actors to bring to life the one we as an audience should love to hate. Whiplash from Iron Man 2 is a perfect example of this. His character portrayed by Mickey Rourke never reached full “villain potential” because of his inability to play the role effectively. Even though the movie provides a small backstory as to why Whiplash does what he does, the audience does not go through what they did with Killmonger in Black Panther. The audience constantly sees what Erik goes through and every time it is shown it is understood more and more as to why Erik is evil and why he does the things he does. Whiplash for the most part just lashes his whips around just because he hates Tony Stark and thinks he should be dead.
Black Panther is the 18th installment in the MCU and according to Marvel Studio’s President Kevin Feige, expect more to come not just in the next few years, but few decades. With that in mind, this “villain issue” that Marvel has with its movies can be improved upon and Black Panther was the first step into creating more in-depth villains. With the month of April fast approaching, the group of heroes known as The Avengers will be reuniting once again. This time the team will be facing the mad titan Thanos who is known for being a very strong villain in the comic books. Will Thanos continue the trend of making the villain the most valuable character in Marvel films, or will the heroes continue stealing the show? The answer to that question will be answered on April 27th, 2018.