Black Panther is back in the spotlight this week, with a behind-the-scenes insider look from the upcoming Marvel comic being written by journalist/author, Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Chadwick Boseman spoke with Entertainment Weekly about his upcoming role in the film version, and the magazine revealed its Marvel inspired cover with Black Panther on the cover. The cover has added controversy to a film that has already seen a few this year already, including Ava DuVernay turning down the directing gig.
“You never quite know where he stands,” Boseman says of Black Panther in the interview. “There’s always a bit of concealing and mystery. So I think mysterious is more his boat. Not to say there’s not charm and he can’t be a ladies’ man and all that. It’s more like if there is humor, it’s more like James Bond.”
Historically, Black Panther has been considered by most to be the richest comic book character in either DC Comics or Marvel, a scientific genius, an expert combatant, and a straight up bad-ass. However, on the cover of the most recent issue of EW, Black Panther is turned into an emasculated joke.
The cover further undermines T’Challa by comparing him to a Real Housewife and a meowing cat. Strangely enough, the character profile and the cover are not in sync. Many would say that it is not a big deal, but the fact that the first mainstream Black comic character is made into a laughing stock, reinforces the historical emasculation of powerful Black figures. Things like this don’t happen to Captain America or Iron Man but Black Panther is the butt of a joke.
Let’s face the facts— there are very few powerful Black characters on the silver screen and the fact that Black Panther is treated like this shows that Black power is a threatening thing.
EW can and should do better.