Earlier this year Marvel Studios presented their most daring team up yet in the incredibly successful Civil War, which saw a roster of their existing and new heroes splitting into two different groups after tensions run high following a series of incidents inadvertently caused by Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Loyalties between old friends are particularly tested when Steve Rogers’ (Chris Evans) childhood friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is accused of a terrorist attack against Wakanda. This particular incident causes the death of Wakandan ruler T’Chaka, the father of T’Challa, better known by his superhero alias ‘Black Panther’.
Though the character has seen incredible success in comics for around 50 years since his debut in Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s “Fantastic Four” #52 — and has found particular standing in pop culture history as American comics’ first Black superhero — This film is the first time the character has been depicted in live action and the first on-screen appearance of the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whilst only a supporting player in the film, Boseman’s emotive performance is one of the elements that was heavily complimented by audiences and critics alike. Black Panther’s own solo outing is slated for release in 2018, and in a recent interview with CBR.com, star Chadwick Boseman teased that fans should expect something a little darker with this film than the typical Marvel fair.
“It’s funny, because on one hand, the Marvel movies that I’ve liked the most are the ones that are funny. I love Ant-Man. But for me, most of the time the darker superhero movies are the ones that I gravitate towards, that I love the most,” Boseman says. “So I’m glad that I’m not in an Ant-Man. I’m glad that the tone of [Black Panther] may be a little grittier,” he adds. “I just wanted to establish that from the beginning, that that’s what we were doing. That that’s what I intend to do. I feel like we’ll end up in a place that I’ve always wanted to be when I look at superhero movies. Those are the ones I like the most. It’s exciting to do that.”
His individual narrative within Civil War, where he is seen ruthlessly seeking revenge against Bucky before discovering his inner humanity and finding what separates him from the bad in the world is certainly proof that the character would suit a darker tone. Marvel have also found success recently in creating grittier content with their Netflix TV series’, with Daredevil and Jessica Jones both being given 15 ratings and being much more willing to show violence and darker content. This trend should be continuing with Luke Cage, which is debuting later this month.
Much more of Black Panther’s story is set to be explored in the solo film, helmed by Creed and Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler and scheduled for release in July 2018.
Captain America: Civil War is out on DVD and Blu-Ray now.