the Great Black Hope

the Great Black Hope

or: Walkin’ Thru a Wankandan Wonderland


I have to admit that when the Black Panther first showed up in the Fantastic Four I had no idea it was special or revolutionary. Call it childhood innocence, growing up military and surrounded by blacks asians and hispanics or the blissful ignorance of white privilege. It was just one more cool idea. As a billionaire bachelor with a secret lair of scientific goodies, of course he was a superhero. The revelation of his being black didn’t strike me as revelatory at all. Who else were you going to meet traipsing through the hidden valleys of Africa?


That changed just a year later, partly in going from grade school to Jr High in Virginia and showing the house to a black family when it went up for sale at the end of our tour there (but that’s a long ugly story for another day)


Looking back on it now the importance of it all is quite clear and makes Marvel’s original plan to cancel the character in the movies due to the death of actor Chadwick Boseman seem quite insane. Superman continues after the deaths of George Reeves and Christopher Reeve. We’ve had four different Peter Parkers. I’ve lost count of the different actors playing Batman. Last I heard Marvel is re-thinking it’s position which I hope is true. Boseman died tragically young but to deny others the opportunity that he had in bringing T’Challa to life seems less an honor than an act of disrespect both to him and the character.


Wakanda Forever!


Happy Trails,


2 Comments so far

Chris Haizlip's picture

I didn't realize how important Black Panther was until I saw the outpouring of love upon Chadwick Boseman's death. Black kids had a hero that they could relate to, and he was being given his due, the same amount of attention as Spider-Man and Iron Man. I think it's inevitable that they'll find a replacement, but they may take a pause with this movie to explore what that loss means.
Mark Smith's picture

I liked him from the Kirby run, but the movies really brought him to life. 100 percent agree with your comment, Chris.


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