Words by Cardell Phillips
I was scouring the Internet, looking for happenings in Chicago, when I noticed that the Comic and Entertainment Expo, C2E2, was coming to town. Digging for more news about the event, I stumbled across a video about Stan Lee.
Stan Lee and Jack (King) Kirby, the writer and artist tandem behind Marvel comics golden era during the 1960’s, are two of my favorite heroes. But that’s because of what I know about them now; back when I was a kid, all I knew was the characters they created had problems and insecurities just like everybody else but they still managed to save the world and I loved that. It made them more believable.
Daredevil was blind, Iron Man had a heart condition, the Thing was Ugly, Spider-Man was insecure and the Hulk had anger management issues. And there were a group of characters who had it even worse; the X-men (hippies) and the Black Panther (a Black African) were outcasts as well as outsiders.
Lee and Kirby’s riskiest bet was the Black Panther, the first black superhero in mainstream American comics. When he debuted on the cover of the Fantastic Four #52, me and my buddies were simply amazed; not only was there now a black superhero, but he was fighting alongside the Fantastic Four, the baddest super-hero team on the planet and galaxy class butt-kickers!
I shelled out the then princely sum of twenty-four cents for two books, one to read; one to put in a plastic sleeve and store in the high security vault under my bed. As I drank in the images on the cover of the book – the Black Panther leaping into action alongside the Fantastic Four – I realized that the world had somehow changed and my dreams became brighter.
At the E2C2 convention, the comic book industry celebrated Lee and Kirby’s vision but we haven’t quite lived up to it yet. If you’re a comics fan, I bet you know where I’m going with this and no; Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury is not going to get it done. All Jackson does in that role is talk tough. Although, I have to admit he looks good in his floor length leather coat.
What I want to see, and I’m sure millions of fans want to see as well, is a movie starring the Black Panther.
How about Djimon Hounsou, in the role of the Black Panther? Is he perfect for the role or what? And he brings all of that street cred from the Gladiator movie.
In January of 2011, it was reported in the Hollywood Reporter that Marvel Studios hired documentarian Mark Bailey to draft a Black Panther screenplay. But there’s been no official word yet as to when the Black Panther might come to the silver screen.
So, what’s the hold up? We’ve seen like a zillion X-Men movies, let’s get to work on the Black Panther movie and tip our hats to Mr. Lee and Mr. Kirby who created a world where anyone, even outsiders and outcasts, could be a hero and save the world. That idea is what made Marvel great.
“Like” this article on your FB page and Twitter (#Marvelbpmovie), if you want to see a Black Panther movie.
Cardell Phillips is a blogger, writer and photographer who resides in Hyde Park. You can visit his blog about people, places and things in Chicago at http://talesofthewindycity.wordpress.com