Ranking: Black Panther

Okay, I should’ve reviewed Black Panther weeks ago. I’m finally getting to it!

I have previously ranked the Batman movies, the Superman movies, the other DC movies, the Avengers movies, the X-Men movies, the summer 2015 comic movies, the Spider-Man movies, the non-Marvel and non-DC comic moviesCaptain America: Civil WarDr. StrangeGuardians of the Galaxy 2, the Man-Thing, Thor: Ragnarok, and Wonder Woman.

I have a friend who mentioned this was his favorite Marvel superhero movie so far because the setting is different. It’s not set in New York or San Francisco, with fights taking place in the city streets. Rather, it takes place in the jungles, mountains, and waterfalls of Wakanda, a fictional African country that enjoys advanced technology that it has long hidden from the world.

I agree, the settings were a high point of this movie. The first time we saw the capital of Wakanda, with its Afrocentric skyscrapers drawing on traditional African building styles for its architectural themes, I almost gasped. It was beautifully done in a way we haven’t seen in Marvel movies before–maybe to an extent with Asgard in the Thor movies, but really Asgard is kind of cheesy. This felt like an architectural style that really should exist in the world–why don’t Lagos or Nairobi or Johannesburg have buildings like that?

Alas, the rest of the movie wasn’t quite as good. I mean, the plot, with Black Panther having to take back the kingdom from his nephew, who’s usurped it, was more than serviceable. But the movie sort of struck me strangely–it’s message seemed to be that what an advanced African economy really needs as an enlightened king to be in charge? I mean, shouldn’t the Black Panther be trying to make the country into a democracy, rather than just being the best king he can be?

I was also disappointed in Klaw, although probably for a reason most movie-goers won’t share. It’s because in the comics, Klaw is a villain with an awesome costume, who after he lost his arm, crafted a new arm for himself out of pure sound, and can use his arm to blast concentrated sound waves at heroes. In the movie, he’s just a mercenary who lost his arm and replaced it with a metal one. Ho hum. Definitely would’ve benefited from following the comics more closely, in this case.

I know this one was highly regarded, but other than the settings, it didn’t really strike me as terrible memorable. It falls into the Okay category, although near the top.

As ever, my ranking system is
Green=excellent  Blue=pretty good  Black=Okay  Red=avoid


Here’s the master list of all comics movies I’ve rated so far, in order from best to worst:

American Splendor
Iron Man
Heavy Metal (1981)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Superman (1978)
Captain America
Wonder Woman (2017)
Batman Begins (2005)
Captain America: Civil War
Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
Spider-Man (2002)
X-Men 2: X-Men United
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Superman II
Batman (1989)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Dr. Strange
The Dark Knight (2008)
Iron Man 3
The Wolverine (2013)
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Sin City (2005)
X-Men: First Class
X-Men (2000)
Black Panther
Avengers 2: Age of Ultron
Swamp Thing (1982)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Iron Man 2
Watchmen (2009)
Batman Forever (1995)
Superman Returns (2006)
Thor 2: The Dark World
Incredible Hulk (2008)
Mystery Men (1999)
Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Man-Thing (2005)
Superman III
Supergirl (1984)
X-Men 3: Last Stand
Hulk (2003)
Fritz the Cat (1972)
Batman and Robin (1997)
Batman Returns (1992)
Superman IV

Amazing Spider-Man (2012) (Haven’t seen)
Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) (Haven’t seen)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) (Haven’t seen)
Batman (1966) (Haven’t seen)
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Haven’t seen)
Catwoman (Haven’t seen)
Constantine (Haven’t seen)
Deadpool (Haven’t seen)
Green Lantern (Haven’t seen)
Hellboy (Haven’t seen)
Judge Dredd (Haven’t seen)
Man of Steel (Haven’t seen)
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) (Haven’t seen)
V for Vendetta (Haven’t seen)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Haven’t seen)

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