If you have yet to take a look at Marvel Studios in 4K, this is the perfect place to start. The beautiful and brightly colored costume design of Ruth E. Carter and production design of Hannah Beachler really pop off the screen in Ultra HD, especially in the first challenge for the throne at Warrior Falls in Wakanda. A scene rich with African cloth, blue skies and waterfalls seems to jump off the screen in 4K.
“Black Panther” not only managed to keep the Marvel Cinematic Universe narrative going (hey, look Bucky’s going to be okay, until “Infinity War,” at least), but it also told a uniquely black story while breaking down stereotypes of what a black film can be. Here are “Black Panther’s” top seven blackest moments.
1. The soundtrack
“Black Panther’s” soundtrack, led by Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar, was a top-notch collection of black music from The Weeknd, Sza, Vince Staples and more, and was just as much a part of the movie as its stars and the superhero action were.
2. The release date
Originally intended for a November 2017 release, “Black Panther” was moved to February 2018. A new piece of black history was released during Black History Month.
3. Oakland origins
In a nod to the birthplace of the original Black Panther party (and director Ryan Coogler), “Black Panther” starts off in Oakland, Calif., in the 1990s with a group of young kids playing basketball, mimicking former Golden State Warrior Tim Hardaway’s killer crossover. Adding more Oakland/black flavor is the song “In The Trunk,” by California native rapper Too $hort, which blares over the scene. We then see Wakandan spy Prince N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown) visited by the king/Black Panther T’Chaka, who is decked out in a black and gold Black Panther suit and has a Dora Milaje guard on each side. Those visuals pay tribute to the Black Panther comics of writer Christopher Priest that were known for not being afraid to embrace black excellence.
4. The rage of the bloodline of Prince N’Jobu
Prince N’Jobu was a Wakandan spy, but he ended up bleeding for black Americans when his brother, King T’Chaka (the Black Panther at the time), discovered he was responsible for villain Ulysses Klaue entering Wakanda and stealing precious Vibranium. This was an act that took many Wakandan lives. N’Jobu’s justification for his betrayal was the state of blacks all over the world, specifically in America. He thought they were over-policed and victims of intense discrimination that prevented them from advancing to Wakanda’s heights and objected to the never-colonized country keeping its Afro-futuristic technological advancements a secret. N’Jobu felt it was Wakanda’s duty to help all black people, not just Wakandans, by any means necessary. It was a sentiment that cost him his life and, eventually, the life of his son N’Jadaka (Erik Killmonger), who died in an attempt to take over the Wakandan throne with similar thoughts of liberating the African diaspora.
5. What are those?
When Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright) sarcastically screamed “what are those” to her newly crowned brother T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), chastising him for wearing sandals in her laboratory, it was not just a funny reference to the black social media moment of the same cry, it was a Marvel Studios-like break from the superhero seriousness and a sign “Black Panther” was not afraid to touch on its blackness.
6. The “Wakanda forever” dap
Wakanda forever! Wakandans have a custom of calling out that phrase while crossing their two forearms into the letter x, as a tribute to their country’s black achievement. The salute shows up when T’Challa and Shuri give each other some dap or when the Dora Milaje and fellow Wakandans want to salute their king. It just looks really cool and will be seen at black summer cookouts and HBCU graduations for years to come.
7. Karen’s potato salad
While not a part of the movie, Boseman’s performance as T’Challa participating in Black Jeopardy while hosting “Saturday Night Live” was the “Black Panther” movie universe’s funniest moment, and emphasizes it will always be imperative to know who made the potato salad and that lack of proper food seasoning will never be tolerated.