Day 23,677: Still a Marvel Fan
It’s not clear how I became a Marvel Adventures fan. You would think I got it from the kids, or the multitude of male relatives, but I came to it all alone. I’m the family geek on the latest movie versions of Captain America, Wonder Woman and now The Black Panther. To be honest, one of my daughters is likely a bigger Gal Gadot fan than I am, but overall I’m the Marvel Maniac.
Today, I got my husband to agree to see Black Panther. It was a great movie, proven by the fact that my husband did not fall dead asleep halfway through for his standard $9 nap. The theatre was filled, largely with African American families with kids in tow. It was nice in South Jersey to see a full theatre, and nice to see the new Marvel adventure speak so clearly and proudly to the crowd with wide applause breaking out at the end.
Here’s what it was about: Hope. And Mirror Work. Seeing people who don’t look like middle-aged white men in America being in total control, running everything, and being the best. In this world, the highest technology center is not in Silicon Valley but in the heart of Africa; the best technology innovator is a bright young woman, not an old British guy named Q or even nasty Steve Jobs: and the best warriors are also not men, but strong, toned women who stay true to their principles even over romantic interests. Yes, Virginia, there is something stronger than love; passion for higher patriotic and human values.
The movie may be perfect. It has comic book creator Stan Lee making a cameo appearance; it has action adventure and love; it has a hero coming of age; it has woman power even in a nation ruled by a king.
It’s no accident the movie premiered this month — Black History month. Last year’s February releases ,while more realistic, were equally powerful in different ways. Check them out in my post from Little Hinges: Black History Hinges Creaking Louder.
In that post I mentioned Ta-Nehisi Coates, Atlantic Magazine writer and author of the book Between the World and Me. It’s no coincidence that he was also tapped to be the screenwriter for Black Panther. The book is Coates challenge to explain reality to his idealist black son in a world suddenly filled with high publicity shootings of his own contemporaries from Trayvon Martin in Florida to Michael Brown in Ferguson. Coastes watched his son’s innocence disappear and wondered how to help him hold current events without losing all sense of possibilities for the future.
Black Panther is the answer. It’s about fathers passing mantles to sons, tribes, melding new points of view with old ways of doing things, and opening up hearts to be empathetic to those less fortunate. It resonates on many levels despite being a comic book at heart, and providing entertainment from the harsh truths of today’s real world.
I’m tiring of the Star Wars world, the never-ending Jurassic series, and many other franchises. Black Panther re-energized me to continuing Marveling.
Staying Focused on Gun Violence: Read Coates’ book Between the World and Me. It’s not about mass killings in one event, but the longer-term damage and distrust that unfolds from blind eyes to injustice over the longer term