It’s cool that Ta-Nehisi Coates is to write the forth-coming Black Panther comic series, but is it too little too late?
Lets be honest, the concept needs a radical overhaul. In fact it may be too late, he just needs to go.
The very existence of the Black Panther is corny and offensive. It isn’t a true representation of any hope or ideal. He is one of the weakest characters within the Marvel Universe, the ultimate sideman. Which Avenger would you rather be?
1. Tony Stark the playboy entrepreneur with a successful tech empire, and a fully operational portable WMD in the form of body armour.
2. Thor, a living God.
3. Captain America, a forever young immortal superhuman.
4. The Black Panther, a grown ass man, king of a country that doesn’t exist called Wakanda, who jumps around like a baboon, and runs around like a cat with claws.
One of these guys got the short end of the stick. One of these guys isn’t cool. Any person in severe peril would rather be saved by 1 2 or 3. They would call the police if option 4 came to the rescue.
Nobody wants to be the pussy.
The Black Panther doesn’t represent the American dream or the African dream. He is the affirmative dream from the 60s, he’s not a super hero, he’s not even a hero. Captain America’s shield is made out of Vibranium a rare indestructible precious metal only found in Wakanda, but the Black Panther doesn’t get one, he doesn’t even get a spear to chuck.
Somethings got to change right?
For a start, the name has to go, its an affront to the actual Black Panthers who fought for something in the real world. Mansa Musa 1 is a 12th Century African King, he’s in the history books as the richest man of all time. So we could flip his name into…..Mansa Man or Musa Man…..these could work, and would also make great Rap names!
So scrap Wakanda, lets make him originate from a real Country……Ethiopia……the cradle of life, and also one of the worlds fastest growing economies, so lets make him an industrialist who helped the country rise to success.
It’s hard to make it to the top, evil corporations are always trying to upsurp him, ‘the man’ is constantly trying to hold him back, so lets say he actually did what Muammar al-Gaddafi didn’t get to accomplish and he unites all the African nations, he creates a pan-African state; The United States of Africa.
So Mansa Man has the diplomatic fortitude of Kofi Anan in public, but when he changes to Super Hero mode he gets his Robert Mugabe on and kicks ass at night. He’s got his own tech to rival Tony Stark because he’s pooling the resources of the biggest continent, and so on……
Straight away this is a lot better than the Black Pussy; its interesting, its real, its what could be, and there is only one actor that could play this role if it was taken to the big screen.