The Best Marvel Blockbuster On Disney+ Transcends The Entire MCU

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Updated

The Black Panther is in a league of its own in terms of Marvel films. It could almost stand on its own, entirely separate from the genre of comic book movies just because it deals with so many important issues and means so much to so many people. However, the fact that it is actually part of the Infinity Saga and does indeed get its root material from Stan Lee’s amazing archives only makes it that much better.

Not Your Average MCU Film

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The Black Panther is an outlier among the other films in the MCU because it confronts realities that still make a lot of people uncomfortable — the oppression of Black people around the world and specifically in the United States, the history of colonization by Europeans, and the question of whether it is up to successful Black people to help those still living under oppression.

These are not questions I would even begin to try to answer, but I respect that a movie that on its surface is supposed to be pure entertainment asks them. It’s bold.


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The Black Panther tells the story of Wakanda–a hidden, highly advanced society in Africa. Because the nation of Wakanda was founded in a region that produces a powerful mineral called vibranium, the people within it are able to develop spectacular technologies.

Their transportation systems are faster, more efficient, and stealthier. Their medicine borders on the miraculous. And their weapons are unmatched. As one of the Dora Milaje (an all female warrior band that protects the king) says, “Guns. So primitive.” It is a celebration of Black excellence.


The king of Wakanda is also the Black Panther, a protector who imbibes the juice from a flower called “the heart shaped herb,” which is also connected to vibranium. This herb makes the Black panther stronger and faster than any human could hope to be. In this film, our king is T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), who recently lost his father, T’Chaka. It is an origin story of how T’Challa earns the respect of his nation as king and Black panther. He’s kind, sweet, funny, and worthy of the loyalty his subjects bestow on him.


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But it is more than that, too, because T’Challa has a cousin he never knew about, N’Jadaka (Michael B. Jordan), who was abandoned by the nation, and T’Chaka, left to essentially raise himself on the streets of Oakland, California.

Hateful and spiteful, with all of his venom aimed at Wakanda, N’Jadaka takes the name Eric, grows up in an America that has never been kind to Black people, and eventually earns the moniker Killmonger, as he’s killed his way through special forces in the U.S. military, all in preparation of taking revenge on Wakanda.   

Stream It Now

chadwick boseman black panther


At its heart, The Black Panther is a movie about the reckoning the world must have over how it has treated Black people, and how Black people reckon with that history as we try to make progress toward a better world today.

T’Challa is the peace-loving yet isolationist figure that just wants to move forward and Killmonger is the reminder that the world still has hundreds of millions of Black people suffering as a direct result of colonization and slavery. Boseman and Jordan do an excellent job of confronting these issues as their characters and fighting their way through them.

The Black Panther deserves to be watched over and over until it’s embedded in your brain, and then you should watch it again. It transcends the MCU. Stream it on Disney+ the first chance you get.