While there are debates over #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan, I am actually for #TeamBlackPanther. It may be too early for me to decide without watching the movie, but there are reasons why I assume Black Panther’s major role and support the new character.
Note: There are no spoilers of Captain America: Civil War in this article, but a warning for whom have not watched Avengers: Age of Ultron!
One of the questions I had after watching Avengers: Age of Ultron was, “Are the Avengers splitting up forever or what?” To me, the movie was full of, “I am right. You don’t agree? Let’s fight.” There was not enough time for discussions. The ending where the super heroes walked apart from each other left me feeling uncertain of the reasons why these heroes came together in the first place.
Perhaps the movie assumes us all to have known the characters, their powers, background and relationships through the Marvel comics. Would I have to read all the comics to understand the characters and their relationship to one another? Hopefully not. While character development seemed less prioritised than the storyline in Age of Ultron, I was looking forward to the next installment in the franchise, Civil War, to potentially correct this imbalance.
Captain America: Civil War introduces characters that are new to Marvel films such as Spider-Man (aka. Peter Parker) and Black Panther (aka. T’Challa) . These new characters need to build relationship with the Avengers to know where they stand in the disagreement between Iron Man (aka. Tony Starks) and Captain America (aka. Steve Rogers). As such, the relatively new additions to the Avengers team would potentially be the perfect set-up for clarifying relationships among members of the Avengers and their respective powers that were confusing or not well explained in the previous Avengers films.
The movie has surpassed many of previous films by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, grossing over over $200 million in 37 overseas territories during its opening weekend. According to Forbes, it reached $206.2 million domestic grossing in just 5 days. I have not watched the movie yet but clearly from the numbers, it looks like a hit.
Amid debates on whether one stands in #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan, there was an increase in interests towards characters newly introduced to the scene such as Spiderman, who Marvel had invited after creating a deal with Sony Pictures, and Black Panther, who has an individual film coming up in 2018.
Black Panther especially, adds diversity to Marvel films with superheroes who were predominantly white. He is the prince of a fictional African state, Wakanda. Also, according to the directors of the film Joe and Anthony Russo, Black Panther has as important role as an “outside voice with opinions on the behaviors of the Avengers and the Winter Soldier”.
Captain America: Civil War is not just about the United Nations’ Sokovia Accords that allows governments to control super heroes for less casualties, but also the whereabouts of the wanted Winter Soldier. Rumours are that Black Panther has personal reasons to fight Winter Soldier (aka. Bucky Barnes), who had appeared in the previous Captain America film as Captain’s best friend. Having a foot in both issues, Black Panther has an important role to play in the movie.
Thus representations of diversity in Marvel films are no longer just in appearance, all whom acted predominantly to support the protagonist in some way. We now have a character who makes his own judgements based on observing the actions and hearing the reasons of opposing sides.
While I currently have no clue about the amount of times Black Panther will appear in the movie, I hope that the role will bring changes to the overall vagueness in the Avengers. As an individual who has yet to build a relationship with the Avengers, I assume Black Panther has a standpoint that is similar to the general audience who wants to find out whether they side with Captain America or Iron Man. In order to do so, we would need to know the characters in depth.