The new Black Panther trailer has been released and I’m beyond hyped. February can’t get here soon enough! Coming off the heels of Wonder Woman’s success and a wave of support for inclusion of marginalized voices, Marvel finally released a trailer with a non-white male lead. I got to see the intersection of Black Twitter and Nerd Twitter come out in full force, so with all this excitement, I should probably explain why it looks so great.
Besides the pure bliss of seeing Black Panther himself, the whole cast looks amazing. During the initial narration from the Klaw (the vibranium dealer from Age of Ultron) we’re told that the idea of Wakanda being a third-world textile country is a front, and we’re shown a colorful cast of Wakandans on the crest of a waterfall in addition to what is basically a spaceship. Color is always a nice addition to these superhero movies, which have been becoming increasingly drab. Then we see Black Panther being bulletproof, beating up some bad guys, and the hip-hop background music kicks in! From here on out, it’s basically all action scenes. T’Challa looks great when he fights. The Dora Milaje look great when they fight. They get swords, shields, spears, these panther-shaped gauntlet gun things? It’s some sort of tech, and there’s all kinds of ships and weapons on display everywhere else. It’s overwhelming in the best sort of way.
There’re so many Black Hollywood stars showing up here, too, from all corners of the business. And honestly, Disney/Marvel have full intention of going after the Black dollar on this one. They released this trailer during game 4 of the NBA finals, they had the previously mentioned hip-hop soundtrack accompanying the action, and they had so many Black stars, both men and women. (I really hope they blast right through the Bechdel Test, by the way.) I’m not complaining! We are definitely an audience that wants to see ourselves on the screen. Additionally, it’s great to see T’Challa doing the royal stuff, the political/United Nations type stuff, and his butt-kicking superhero work — we’re finally seeing a multifaceted Black leader, rather than a simple stereotype. This compliment doesn’t apply only to Black Panther, it’s also applicable to all of Wakanda: we see both the downtrodden areas as well as the ultra-high-tech, afrofuturistic areas. And it is all colorful, whether it is in the clothing or the building lights. The dichotomy of tribal imagery and scientific imagery works so well, and the bar/restaurant fights fit nicely right in the middle. This teaser shows so much range of Blackness in a minute and a half that it astounds me and almost leaves me speechless.
This teaser looks great, and you should definitely go check it out. The general reaction from everyone seems to be good, as the teaser on Marvel’s YouTube page stands at 25 million views (as this article is being written) with a healthy amount of likes. I point that out to say: this movie, despite looking Black as hell, seems to be resonating with all fans of the greater cinematic universe. Like Wonder Woman, Black Panther isn’t only going to appeal to the demographic getting its time in the spotlight. When you have awesome characters with good looking stories, everyone can enjoy what’s going on. But for now, I’m glad to be seeing some representation on the screen. I can’t wait to see what the next teaser brings, and I have my fingers crossed for a huge presence for the Dora Milaje. I’m so ready for Black Panther to come out next year on February 16th.
Hear more from BrothaDom on Character Reveal, the podcast he cohosts with Lady Saika!