Black Panther is finally upon us.
The first superhero movie in years to star a black lead character – with Chadwick Boseman playing an African king, and director Ryan Coogler at the helm – had its world premiere on Monday night in Hollywood.
After the credits ran, social media’s cup runneth over, with early reaction praising the Marvel film for celebrating black excellence at a level never seen before in the genre, and predicting Black Panther will render audiences speechless.
Jill Scott didn’t mince words, saying Black Panther “surpassed Star Wars.”
Actually, she said it in all caps.
USA TODAY’S Brian Truitt calledBlack Panther “simply awesome” and a “top 5 all-time Marvel movie, easy.”
“The representation of Black women in #BlackPanther made me feel seen,” tweeted film critic ReBecca Theodore-Vachon. “Seen in a way other superhero movies have not done well.”
“Whatever you think it is… multiply that by a hundred. Royalty is in our DNA,” raved The Chicreator Lena Waithe (and Master of None writer/star) on Instagram.
Los Angeles Times‘ Tre’vell Anderson compared the emotional highs to those in Wonder Woman. “I don’t even like superhero movies but THIS IS IT!” he tweeted. “I feel like I felt after watching Wonder Woman BUT BETTER! Like. Wow. I’m amazed!”
Vanity Fair’s Rebecca Keegan declared the performances iconic. “Stunning visuals. Iconic performances. And A REAL FREAKING STORY about a wealthy nation confronting its role in the world. Black Panther has the goods,” she tweeted.
Buzzfeed’s Adam B. Vary called the film’s accomplishments “just astonishing.”
“Ryan Coogler has harnessed the superhero movie — and a really fun one! — to explore profound ideas and create vivid images of black excellence that so rarely ever make it to a giant Hollywood movie. Wow wow wow!” he cheered.
The women of Wakanda were done right, added The Hollywood Reporter’s Rebecca Ford. “The female characters in it are amazing. Both physical forces and intellectual badasses. Yes!”
Los Angeles Times reporter Jen Yamato described Black Panther as “a superhero movie about why representation & identity matters, and how tragic it is when those things are denied to people. The 1st MCU movie about something real; Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger had me weeping and he’s the VILLAIN.”
Fandango’s Erik Davis hailed Black Panther as “the James Bond of the MCU.”
And Mashable’s Jess Joho said Black Panther is the kind of inclusive blockbuster that might just save Hollywood.
“WOW. Black Panther will change the landscape of superhero movies forever. Expect and demand more from Hollywood. The stories its denied us for so long don’t just *deserve* to be told — they will save blockbusters from total irrelevance and creative bankruptcy.”
Black Panther hits theatres Feb. 16.