My love hate relationship with Marvel’s Black Panther

You know, I really like the Black Panther. I do. As a kid growing up reading about him in Marvel comics he was my favorite because.. hey, we got a brother for a super-hero. Now, I’ve been pretty much away from the comics for over thirty years so I’m somewhat out of touch with the new stories and heroes and all that. That being said I’m down with all these enhancements that they’ve made to my main panther man. Seriously, back in the day he was basically a jungle gymnast and that was about the extent of him being super. That was okay because one doesn’t need to be “super” to be a hero – Rick Jones y’all. Anyway, that’s all back story and me involvement with the mighty BP.

Now, for my problem with the character.. because I did have an issue with him and that’s where we had our falling out. Sorry, T’Challa, but there’s something about your game that ain’t working for me. My issue is with his origin.

So the Black Panther was basically the first black super hero. He was “invented” in the midst of America’s civil rights movement. It was way cool for Stan the Man to come up with a brother for the masses, but let’s break it down for a moment.

Here we are in the midst of trying to get black Americans on par with the dream and what do we get for a super hero? Remember everybody else was hanging out in NYC, but what do we get? An African jungle hero!

In the midst of the 1960’s we get a black man, that hails directly from the jungles of Africa and, naturally, is the king of his (tribe) nation. Seriously? You went the jungle bunny route, Mr. Lee? Seriously? You mean to tell me that with all of us brothers here in the states your answer to diversity was to pull up from the jungles of Africa? Is that the best that you could relate to? Is that the best that you thought we could relate to, a jungle king, in the midst of the civil rights movements?

Think about it.

And now in 2016 y’all brining us the same concept for the first black super hero on the big screen? Fifty years later and y’all falling up in here with that?

Hey, like I said, the new and improved hero with his kingdom of the world’s most rare and strongest metal is cool. I like that y’all took my boy further than a real good athlete from the jungle. Y’all brought him up to par. Still, I can’t get past this hero from the jungle origin as the ambassador of black super-heroes.

I know you meant well. I still love Black Panther and I still love me some Stan Lee. I just wanted to ask that question that’s been bugging me all these years.

Hang loose, Excelsior!

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