My husband is a long time comic book fan. My son read graphic novels long before I was into the genre. Between the pair of them, they got me into Marvel. My favorite hero? Black Panther.
Yeah, I had to deal with some fan girl grief. Chadwick Boseman, the actor who played Marvel’s Black Panther, died on Friday. Black Panther as portrayed by Boseman can teach us all a lot about creating a hero.
We Need Diversity
First things first, we need a wide variety of heroes for a variety of reasons. As adults, we tend to think that Black Panther is essential because he appeals to black readers. Young black fans can see a hero that looks like themselves. But his appeal is actually much broader than that. Kids who feel overlooked and unheard? The ones who feel like they don’t quite fit? Many of them are Black Panther fans as well.
I know, I know. That’s something Bill Nye says. But in Wakanda science rules. Yes, Iron Man is into science but it is Iron Man doing the science. In Wakanda, Shuri, one of the princesses, is also a scientist. Female, brainy, and gorgeous in one amazing package.
A Support Network
Black Panther does amazing things but he’s also got a network of family and friends. He’s even able to get aid from former rivals. Some are brawny while others are brainy. There are women and men. Scientists and mystic healers. All come together to support on amazing hero.
Like I said – I’m a bit of a fan girl even now.