The Return of the Panther


“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” hit theaters on Nov. 11, two years after the death of lead actor Chadwick Boseman.] Marvel attempts to fill the void left by Boseman with new thematic elements and a fresh new face in the titular role. 

Franchises like Marvel Studios are built on the backs of Stars like Chadwick Boseman. Given his tragic passing, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is haunted by his absence. Most MCU films rarely revolve around grief, with the exception of WandaVision’s take on spousal passing. Director Ryan Coogler stressed the grief from T’Challa’s passing throughout the film, setting it apart from other superhero films. 

“I felt like they did a good job covering up Chadwick Boseman but seemed to get too caught up in his legacy sometimes,” junior Omar Ashraf said. 

Since “Black Panther”’s release in 2018, fans young and old have been obsessed with the Vibranium-clad superhero. Scoring 96% on the Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer and earning a total of $700.2 million, the first Black Panther film established a tough precedent for the new film.

I felt like they did a good job covering up Chadwick Boseman but seemed to get too caught up in his legacy sometimes.”

— Omar Ashraf

“I thought that Shuri [T’Challa’s sister] becoming the new Black Panther was good because it was about female empowerment,” said senior Missy Yarbrough. “However, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ was mid, confusing and boring. The end credit scene was really weird and out of pocket, and I think the MCU as a whole is on the decline.” 

Not everyone feels this way, though; some thought that the film showed promise for the future of the MCU, including senior Emma Geilman. 

“I wouldn’t say it’s declining but it’s not the best,” Geilman said. “The multiverse saga is not it but it has potential.”

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” has brought an end to the MCU’s Phase Four films, and, perhaps, a blip in the typical ‘good guys win and the bad guys lose’ narrative. With the majority of the film based on heartache and remembrance, though, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” aims to leave an interminable stamp on the legacy of Chadwick Boseman and his role in the Marvel Universe, finding minimal success in doing so.