Commentary on the Anti-SJW movement, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Captain America, the antics of Racists, worst Youtube Channels, and the collusion of social media in the ‘dismantling of reason’ and ‘Black Hitler’ claims

 

 

 

Okay that is a long unwieldy title.

But I have a few things to say.

I was on a small discussion board  that has absolutely nothing to do with hate speech or politics, but was just a nice board on comics, specifically hardcovers and collected editions.

People just there to post on what they have bought or are thinking of buying. Nice little low key discussion board that I had been active in for a month or two.

In the last week a new poster had popped up.

And from a couple seemingly innocuous posts the topic was quickly brought to Captain America, and all of us were happy to suggest various story-lines to try. But the poster was not there to praise the good, they came to rant on Nick Spencer and ‘Black Hitler” and getting on an anti-SJW platform

They were going on about Ta-Nehisi Coates’ as yet unwritten run on Captain America, and his unfitness, because of his view-points, and calling him a ‘Black Hitler’.

At this point I responded with a post that shut the poster down. Leaving the poster not a leg to stand on, and the board to its credit also let the poster know in no uncertain terms, this far no further. And that was one troll/hate-monger disguised as a comic fan sent packing, and the good nature of the board restored.

Here is the thing, however.

Everyone has an opinion, that is fine. Where the issue comes in, is people have the belief they have a right to a platform to share that opinion. And that is blatantly incorrect.

You have a right to share an INFORMED opinion. If you are in a packed theater and have a hot flash and are of the opinion there could be a fire, you are not allowed to jump up and share that at the top of your lungs. If after looking around and informing your opinion with observations from those around you and actual facts, such as ‘hey there is smoke in the aisles’, and ‘your neighbors are also smelling something’, you have now INFORMED your opinion and it is worthy of sharing.

An uninformed opinion, also known as bs, will get you thrown in jail because it leads to anarchy and damage. An informed opinion, adds to this conversation we deem culture and is additive rather than destructive, enriches people, even when the viewpoints are opposing.

An uninformed opinion is completely destructive, it is consensus by fear and intimidation, it is the bloodthirsty howling of the mob. It is rule by the lowest common denominator.

Freedom is not mad dogs pissing and shitting where they may and broadcasting that for all, on Youtube or Facebook or twitter.  Freedom is not consensus by this mob, is not policy being made by the loudest and lives being ruined by the vilest.

Freedom is being able to live your life not constrained by another man’s fear of his mediocrity being out-shined by your greatness.

Outrage and ignorance is no substitute for reason.

But is it often used, by those fearful of reason.

In the absence of a moderated platform, outrage and Ignorance has nothing better to do than waste time and waste words and create noise, and the signal, the measured, thoughtful, humanist, additive, cultured conversation is lost, drowned out by the baying of loons.

And that is what has happened to the state of conversation on and off line. A whole generation of people who have never learned how to reason, and think it is enough to speak without thinking, and attack instead of listen.

We are raising as a nation and a world, rabid dogs wallowing in their own stupidity, dogs meeting with derision any concept that aspires to something more than the mud. And a nation that has no perspective on history, or respect or decency, or measured response, lives perpetually in the mud, with those who are, like pigs, at home there.

I come back now to that poster’s attack on Coates, and their hope for a storyline he had not yet started to be canceled quickly. And attacking him using the appellation ‘Black Hitler’.

Again outrage and insults and ignorance, as i told that poster, are no substitute for reason.

First you want to call out a person you use their actual words, not what you think they have said, or have heard third or fourth hand they have said.

Second, a difference in politics or opinion is not a reason to viciously attack a person or call for their firing or loss of livelihood.  Especially over a storyline they have NOT WRITTEN YET!!! If you do not want to read a storyline by this writer do not read it, but to openly go out of your way to try and stop the story from being written, by attacking a talented gifted writer with lies, and innuendo and hate, going so far as to call him ‘Black Hitler’ says incredibly more about the stupidity of this anti-sjw crowd than it could ever say about their targets.

Now , regarding the Youtube and blogosphere people who tend to go on endlessly about “sjw this is bad”  and “sjw that is bad”.

Here’s the magic advice: try using the whole word and you will know what you are really arguing against.

Social Justice Warrior, acronyms only serve to try and denigrate a position you do not understand. If you do not like Social Justice Warriors, you should not be reading Superhero comics. The origins of Superhero comics is about Social justice Warriors sticking up for the little guy, against the fat cats and exploitative, evil regimes.

Superman in his beginnings is very much a Social Justice Warrior. So is Batman. They all are. And none more so than Captain America.

When Jack Kirby and Joe Simon decided to have Captain America punch Hitler, that was in the time very dangerous, as you were dealing with an America that had segments of the population that did not want to oppose Hitler, and other segments that actually supported Hitler. And the creators received Death Threats and name calling. Sound familiar? 🙂

This Anti SJW crowd, are comprised of people who if they were alive back then, would have called Kirby and Simon ‘Jewish Hitler’. Because that is the level of what they think passes for discourse. It is a tact racists have used of late, taking what they are, and labeling others with the failings of racism and bigotry that they posses. The jackal, trying to place himself as victim, while his teeth are at your neck.

 

And even to use the appellation of Hitler, a  racist and mass murderer, responsible for the death of millions, who sought to slaughter marginalized people; to use that appellation to object to  someone writing a comic book, shows a level of delusion and hostility and hate that is completely out of bounds with the relatively innocuous and unimportant world of comics.

It is also to insult the large population of people, Jews, Russians, Canadians, Islanders, and quite a few Americans, who lost lives in the real world, to a real person and movement. And for you to minimize all those murders by using it to try and win an argument over a comic book, marks you as particularly vile and immoral piece of work, with no sense of value or values.

So yeah it is this type of rhetoric of hate that people spew out at the least provocation of an opinion beyond the mob, that is the real comparison ground for talks of a Nazi Germany. And it is a self inflicted designation.

Another trick of racists, appropriating and coining acronyms for the sole point of, using that as a base to attack.

So you have channels like:

DIVERSITY & COMIXX (which is definitely not about diversity. This is using an innocuous title to spread anti-diversity rhetoric.)

JUST SOXX GUY

COMICARTISTPXX SECRETS

CAPN CUMMINXX

DOUGLXX ERNST

YELLXX FLASH

MICAH CURTXX

[And fun fact, any of the idiots saying they are boycotting CAPTAIN AMERICA  were not buying or reading the book in the first place. These racists don’t read comics, they regurgitate other racists half formed opinions about a medium, comics, and a character Captain America, that if he were alive, would be on the side of Mr. Coates, rather than on the side of these basement Red Skulls.]

 

It is funny, how ignorance perpetuates. These racists in 2018, are very similar to racists a hundred years ago in 1918. Back then the Minstrel show, White people performing in Black face, occurred because they were scared of a changing America, with changing roles for many, and the Minstrel show was created as a way to denigrate the startling advances occurring at the time for many, particularly people of color. Rather than seeing changing times as an opportunity for everyone to advance, rising waters lifting all ships, certain people wanted to concentrate on stopping advancement and turning back the clock.

That hundred year old mentality of lynchings and minstrel shows, and step n fetch its, field negroes who buy into their master’s racist dogma, is unfortunately alive and well in  2018 America, except our lynchings are more sophisticated, we do it courtesy of the 24 hour news cycle and Twitter, and our Minstrel shows are Youtube channels and bloggers,  who can only denigrate the things they fear, rather than expend energy telling us of the things they love.

If you are subscribed to any of the above channels, you can do better,

 

 

Much, much better,

 

You can see with better eyes than that.

Check out some of the other channels I mention in previous posts.

 

As far as Ta-Nehisi Coates, I quite enjoyed what I read of his Black Panther run in singles, and intend to pick it all up in trade.The nature of Captain America is change, and is challenging the status quo, from Steve Englehart’s run, from his time giving up being Cap, to being Nomad, to being the Captain in Gruenwald’s run, to Dimension X in Remender’s run, to Falc Cap in Nick Spenser’s run, to Kirby’s Bicentennial run, to a resurrected Bucky in Brubaker’s run, there is no one Cap for all seasons.

There is a bunch of story-lines for this 80 year old character, some which work, some which may not, but all worth the trying. Ta-Nehisi Coates Cap seems like it will be much of Don Glut and Gerber in it (they did one off Cap stories, but were some of my favorite cap stories) so I am looking forward to it. Will he hit a home run or strike out? I don’t know, but like this country we should give people the opportunity to excel. To succeed or to fail on their own merits, not on our bigotry and our baggage.

I’ll probably make an exception to my Marvel pricing hate and pick up the first few issues of his run in singles and then switch over to cheaper trades or digital. But yeah, getting me to do that, is already a win in his column.

(Quick aside: At $4 a pop Marvel has priced themselves out of the Monthly Market for sequential books for me. I made the rare exceptions for Ta-Nehisi Coates BLACK PANTHER and David Walker’s POWER MAN AND IRON FIST. But yeah Marvel has definitely made itself a trade only company for me, As well as digital if the price is right, I just refuse these days to pay more than $2.99 for a comic from the big two. And damn you Bendis!!! You go over to DC and all of a sudden they are doing away with their $2.99 books???!!! I smell trojan horse! 🙂

I was buying quite a few books from DC, and DC was beating Marvel in terms of interest, and suddenly Bendis arrives, and no more ‘holding the line at $2.99. Man, if this is Marvel’s idea of a trojan horse, to stop DC’s comic momentum, it certainly succeeded with me. I’ll be a trade waiter for this company as well, since they are also ruining Priest’s run on DEATHSTROKE by putting the character in Snyder’s JLA.

And further swimming against the tide, when it comes to DC,  I completely cannot stand any of what I’ve read of Tom King’s BATMAN. Loved his VISION. Really enjoyed his OMEGA MEN. Liked what i read of his MIRACLEMAN (waiting for it to be traded), absolutely do not like his take on BATMAN.

Now, Unlike the Coates haters I picked up the first four volumes of his Batman run, before coming to that decision. Tried it not for me. Some people love it, so not boycotting it, not hating it, not hoping it gets canceled, I’m just quietly not buying it. If you like it I’m happy for you. See, that’s how adults do it. 🙂 )

 

Okay, that was longer than i thought.

Hope you can make sense of all that, but long story short, stop subscribing to the haters. It is a sad indication of how poorly we relate to each other as a society, that the people who are sharing their hates, have larger subscriptions than the people who share their loves.

We are the things we obsess over, the things we devote time to.

Devote time to raising things up, and un-subscribe from those who wallow in tearing things down,

 

Here Endeth the Lesson!

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Currently Watching : 1976 Interview with Stan Lee interviewing Roy Thomas

Stan Lee and Roy Thomas, and their creations and stewardship of a small publishing house called MARVEL COMICS was very much a touchstone of my youth. So to see the two share this 1976 interview, on what is seemingly a local public access show, is just fantastic. And with current, sad talks of abuse against Stan, it is great to look back and see him in happier days. Also it is amazing how relevant the topics are and how prescient both men were of a future where comics sold outside of the monthly format, and instead in collected and hardcover formats.

A great way to spend about 28 minutes. And here is wishing improved fortune for Stan Lee, and continued great fortune for Roy Thomas.

Stan Lee and the Hollywood Reporter

‘Growing old is no way, to stop being young’

—anon

 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/stan-lee-needs-a-hero-elder-abuse-claims-a-battle-aging-marvel-creator-1101229

Stan Lee Needs a Hero: Elder Abuse Claims and a Battle Over the Aging Marvel Creator

We are all of us the culmination of the people and influences that shaped us.

Those moments brief and bright that taught us either to dream, or not to.

As an introverted kid, writers were always that gateway to that better world for me, what Lincoln called the better Angels of our nature.

There would be Baldwin and Bradbury and Asimov and Poe and Ellison, but the first writer that really lifted the ceiling of this world for me, who really said ‘here be marvels, join us’ was Stan Lee. Not so much as writer, because when I started in this four color hobby, the writers were Giffen and Kraft and and Moench and Claremont; however Stan Lee as Editor, and cheerleader, and Guide, he was very much an Affable, super excited Rod Serling, but rather than introducing you to the bizarre, he was introducing you to the wondrous.

A lot of people in an effort, I’ve said this before, to build up an artist who didn’t perhaps get as much accolades as he could, made a practice of trying to underplay and tear down Stan Lee.

Here’s the thing,  Stan Lee doesn’t get enough praise for what he did. He when NO ONE ELSE was championing the creators of these comics, when the publishers barely wanted you to know who created these books and wanted it to be a faceless assembly line process, Stan Lee was the man who championed, and nicknamed, and personalized these creators for us. In so doing he created a family, and invited all his readers to identify, and be excited by the work. Often the books which were okay or good, were made grand just by the share fervor and excitement that Stan imparted to you, the reader.

 

Growing up in the often unforgiving streets of a major city, it is easy to fall through the cracks, and go the wrong way. Two loving parents helped, a few good friends, crazy siblings, but a lot of what you become, a lot of your value, is defined in the private conversations that define your inner world.

 

That was defined by quite a few influences of film, music, comedy, writing, but if I am honest, one of the bigger influences is the childish four star values of comics, of right and wrong, and True Believers. The Alliterative, fun, bombastic, no-limits language and vivacity of Stan Lee, leapt off the page and helped by fits and starts to make me a kid who dreamed and smiled and knew no limits.

Decades removed from that kid, the man I am, the good in that man, the poetic and hopeful, owes a debt to quite a few people, and Stan Lee is one of those people.

I consider him a hero. Deserving here in his twilight years of all the fame and adoration and joy, earned in a career bringing joy, first to kids through comics, and then spending his later years pursuing getting these modern myths taken seriously and embraced by cinema and the larger world.

He has done that. Not easily and not alone, but with a lion-share of the work as spokesman for comics, on his shoulder, he has done it.

He has fought the long road culminating in Billion Dollar Marvel movies, and new Disney Superhero Themed Amusement parks, he had a dream, long before anyone believed in it, and he through many setbacks, has manifested that dream.

Here in 2018, should be the happiest of his years, a reward of a singular life, and faith confirmed.

So the Hollywood Reporter article comes as a blow.

My God, that you should go through life, and give, and love, and hope, and endure, only in the final hour, to have it all ripped from you, by the greedy, and the venal, to have it all besmirched. And that the horror should come from those who should ease your days, is an injustice too great to bear. That a man who recently lost the love of his live, should now, if the Hollywood Reporter article is correct, have to endure abuse and the loss of his liberty is evil beyond anything even comics has written about.

I don’t know how this can be made right.

Especially if tales of a Stan Lee that has been systematically isolated from any potential defenders, is true,

It is a horrible article.  But too important of an article not too be read:

 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/stan-lee-needs-a-hero-elder-abuse-claims-a-battle-aging-marvel-creator-1101229

 

Stan Lee believed in dreams, not too much removed from the ‘Idea Space’ of Moore or Morrison, a place where good thoughts could make good lives. I’ll ask you, wherever you are reading this, to spare a minute in offering Stan Lee, your best thoughts.

My thought, if thoughts may manifest, would be for the man who believed that ‘with great Power comes Great Responsibility’, and instilled that mantra in generations of kids, is protected by the power of the State of California.  That these allegations of abuse and coercion be looked into, and if found true Stan be immediately removed from the suspect situation, or the negative elements removed, and Stan appointed medical and legal and security protection to assist him in seeing after his needs without duress.

For a man who gave so many of us great victories, and helped us believe in heroes, there must be a way to get him his victory, and maybe for once be the hero to the hero-maker.

 

If you have any thoughts to add, please do.

 

 

 

 

 

Rating the FILMS! The best and worst Superboy/Superman Movies!

 

MOVIES -from best to worst-

      1. SUPERMAN- One of my favorite films. Solid A+. And yes he does that at the end, and I’m completely good with. I’ve read more Superman comics, than most of you will ever read, and I’m cool with the changes. You know why, because its a fantastic film.
      2. SUPERMAN II -I’ve seen both versions,I prefer the theatrical version to the Director’s cut. Though there are peices of the Director’s cut that would be nice added to the Theatrical version. But yeah if you are someone hung up becauise of the expanding shield, and other nifty heretofore unknow SuperPowers, you do know this is a movie right. Let the creator’s take some artistic license, and sit back and enjoy! A solid B+. http://amzn.to/2HAzQxZ
      3. Extra Large Movie Poster Image for Superman Returns (#3 of 9)SUPERMAN RETURNS – People give this movie and Director Bryan Singer a lot of hate, and I frankly love this movie. There are several amazing set sequences in this film, Brandon Routh is great, and so is Kevin Spacey and it works very much as a followup to the original Christopher Reeve SUPERMAN. People having a problem with the messiah imagery and the stalking/creepiness factor of a guy who sees and hears all, than don’t effing go see a movie called Superman, about a God like being who can hear from across the world, if you call his name. And yes the movie has Luthor, and yes it is a land deal, and yes I don’t have a problem with either of those. I think they put enough of their own twists into the story, to make it fun. And worth the price of admission for the plane and machine gun sequences by themselves. A solid B+. http://amzn.to/2DqL0mA
      4. BATMAN V SUPERMAN- Some people complain about this movie, the theatrical version especially. But I think that’s because we have become a tail wags dog society, where people live to complain, and look to complain, rather than going in looking to enjoy. Don’t get me wrong there are some valid issues with the movie, they try and do too much in the movie, adding easter eggs that aren’t earned, and just confuses and slows the movie they are trying to tell. The flash appearance is horrendous, because the person doesn’t look like any character we have ever seen. So it is just a WTF moment that confuses even comic heads, much less those unfamiliar. The third act villain of (spoiler alert) Doomsday, is the very definition of bad cgi. But everything else I think the film knocks out of the park. The reason the heroes come into conflict worked, and the reason they cease fighting, also works for me. All in all I liked the theatrical version quite a bit. And I even liked the longer version even better. Grade: B/B+.  http://amzn.to/2Ds57Rl
      5. MAN OF STEEL – This Syder film suffered from the lack of a moral center, it was all bombast and fire with no thought of the human impact, so the whole film was more an orgy of video game violence to the point of absurdity. The failure of MAN OF STEEL would however benefit BATMAN V SUPERMAN that had the heart that MOS was missing, Grade: D.

Dishonorable mentions:

SUPERMAN 3- What an odd choice to add Richard Pryor to a Superman movie. D-.

SUPERMAN 4 – unwatchable

Honorable Mention:

ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL SERIAL(1941) – Not a Superman movie, however this great serial decades before the Christopher Reeve movie, sported impressive flying scenes, and surprisingly brutal action sequences. Lives up to its billing as one of the greatest serials of all time!

http://amzn.to/2pdbtyO

 

Why Marvel Studios is Successful and Marvel Comics is Suffering! The Last word on Diversity!

Marvel Studios under the brilliant leadership of Kevin Feige has become an unparalleled success because of amazing producers, writers, directors, casting agents, and actors, who take material made often for a juvenile audience and made it work for an adult and non-comics audience, while also satisfying comic die-hards like myself.

And as movies from the 1st film (IRON MAN) to the 18th film (BLACK PANTHER) show, the reason for this is Kevin Feige’s willingness to embrace Diversity. Diversity is not just the makeup of America, contrary to the Trumpian and XM hate radio mob  who who would preach dissension. and hate, it is the makeup of the world. And when you stop running and hiding and sticking your head in the sand, trying to wind back the clock to a Jim Crow America, you realize it is also the makeup to success.

Marvel Comics however has floundered for decades now and continues to flounder with diminishing sales. And while the vocal minority of morons and closet Nazis and talk show radio supporters would blame diversity.

The truth, that common sense and reason would tell you is, appealing only to existing readership has led to a diminishing readership, that can barely get a hundred thousand people, to buy even their most popular book. The people who grew up in the news-stand and comicshop and subscription model of comics,, is an aging and diminishing audience. We are picking up new readers, in large part due to the diversity initiatives and book store and libraries, MS MARVEL and MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR being some of Marvel’s biggest books in collected format. Doing HUGE in Libraries. However while we are picking up new readers in book format, the periodical format continues to lose across the board, for all comics Marvel is producing, whether they put a White, Black, Asian or other character in the comics, and I would argue Marvel is making quality comics across the board, what they suffer from is pricing.

They have in an age of growing options for entertainment dollars, with options of tv, streaming, video games, virtual, and regular books and magazines, priced themselves out of the market. $4 retail for a 20 page comic, that typically is filled with ads and does not give you a full story… it is for most of us an insupportable expense.

Even Die-hards like me have to pick and choose, and generally speaking, the choice is to not support Marvel in the monthly format, not at their $4 and up retail price point. I have not bought a Marvel Comics in years, only their recent diversity push, a good thing rather than the curse word Rush Limbaugh morons would make it, when they finally had Black writers and artists on staff, got me to buy their monthly books again.

I’m speaking of BLACK PANTHER and the short lived POWER MAN AND IRON FIST which was a relatively self-contained title, by dream creative team of David Walker and Sanford Greene. But I stopped getting it when Marvel decided to try to screw with the success of that book by making it into three books. Trying to over-milk their audience. With BLACK PANTHER they quickly started additional titles and crossovers that you had to get to get the whole story. Better and cheaper to just get the collected edition. And when Power Man and Ironfist ended, so did my buying Marvel Comics.

So Marvel’s floundering sales, is a relatively steady study in decline, and has notching to do with diversity. That they have not floundered more is due to their talented and diverse creators and characters. If someone on Youtube or a blog or the media is blaming diversity, you are dealing with an idiot and a bigot and a liar. And you should unsubscribe from their channel and or feed, because stupid people are a waste of time.

Diversity is not Marvel Comics problem. Their problem #1 is pricing. $4 they charge per issue, or $3.99 as they like to call it, you have gone past the threshold the market will bear, or that even your die-hard already converted audience. Particularly when in comparison to other publishers who give you more for that same $4. Other publishers give you less obtrusive ads, letters pages, back matter. And some like CHAPTER HOUSE comics and even DC COMICS (prior to Bendis, hopefully Bendis doesn’t support the same price hike that he supported at Marvel) realize that $2.99 retail is the breaking point for comic book adoption and growth.

Marvel Comics is also big enough that they can support a price of $2.99 retail for their comics. That would take care of their major problem. their second problem,relying on Diamond totally for their periodical distribution. Marvel used to offer mail order subscriptions at a nice discount, that’s how I got some of my books, you would use the ad in the magazine and subscribe to get your comics in the mail. I loved this model as a kid. I used it in addition to the comic book stores.  I think it is a great model unfamiliar with dealing with the Diamond pre-order model. And the third and most important thing, if a title is successful as a single, standalone title, don’t break it by being greedy and stupid. See previous comment on POWERMAN AND IRON FIST.

All those three points come down to Marvel Comics being better managed and better run, if not, no amount of crossovers or character changes or fabricate storyline outrage, will correct Marvel Comics dwindling sales.

 

Here endeth the Diversity Discussion.

:).

 

Marvel Studios BLACK PANTHER in 3D – The Verdict?

I just came from a sold out upscale theater showing of Ryan Coogler’s BLACK PANTHER for Marvel Studios.

I’m going to try to be brief. As someone who went into this having avoided all trailers, and spoilers, and special feature exposes (that in my experience is like pre-chewing your food before sitting down to eat, making it impossible for fan or reviewer to truly be surprised by a film) I was… blown away.

 

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMTg1MTY2MjYzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTc4NTMwNDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_.jpg

In terms of look, performance, direction, pathos, and humor, and rock solid action, it is without argument one of the best of the EIGHTEEN Marvel Studio Films released to date. I saw it in 3D and it is worth seeing in 3D. You don’t get the things flying into the audience effect, but the sense of looking down, and into chasms and waterfalls, plays up to 3Ds strengths. So I recommend seeing it at least once in 3D. I say once because like the original AVENGERS film, this is a film that deserves to be seen more than once.

I plan to see it in 2D when I go back next time.

This BLACK PANTHER film, released during Black History month, in my humble opinion is in a three way tie for the #1 Marvel Movie of all time; tied with the original AVENGERS by Josh Whedon and CAPTAIN AMERICA WINTER SOLDIER by the Russo Brothers. Those three movies share one shining exquisite truth; they are not just great comic-book movies, they are great films… FULL STOP.

Okay that should be all you need, go see the film now.

Okay still here, the following contains minor spoilers.

Black Panther Movie Poster

BLACK PANTHER is a great film from first frame to last. It is masterfully done; weaving effortlessly between drama, pomp, circumstance, humor, horror, tragedy, and heroism and hope. Chadwick Boseman is astonishing as the titular character, playing him with understated grace and elegance, that carries effortlessly the weight of the film. He is the rock upon which our tale is moored.

Writer/Director Ryan Coogler in three films has catapulted himself as one of the defining directors of our age, and BLACK PANTHER is that talent writ large. This is the tale of the death of kings, of fathers and sons, and things lost in the fire, this is about nothing less than the fate of the world, and about nothing more than the grief of boys for their fathers, a beautifully developed thread in all of Coogler’s films, but never done so well as here.

Coogler takes the admonishment of Hamlet ‘The common theme of life, is death of fathers’ and uses it like a lover and a lance, to both caress and break your heart. And he takes King Henry’s complaint in THE LION OF WINTER ‘I could have conquered Europe all of it, but I had women in my life.’ and here makes of it the saving grace of the protagonist, the film, and the world.

It is the women in this film who save the world, who save the men from their self extinguishing thirst for conquest and vengeance. And taking that line from LION OF WINTER, to also mean parental and familial influence, the difference between T’Challa and Killmonger then ultimately is in their relations to their fathers, even to the structure of their afterlives, one is defined by the inspiration of his father, and one by the lack of his father, and both of them have become completely extraordinary men in staggeringly different ways because of these relations.

It makes for a film of unexpected emotional intensity and depth. Coogler as a filmmaker has my number, as tears unbidden came to my eyes in places in this film. But I would argue he has everyone’s number, if you have the heart to feel, be you Irish or Korean or Ethiopian or American, Coogler will find those places that bind us all,… and squeeze. And then he’ll hit you with the action, then the humor, and sometime when you are laughing, he will squeeze again, and the tears will rise and you will know this is a filmmaker.

And it is wonderful when a director finds his muse, and an actor finds the director that gets him, brings out his best. Coogler and Michael B. Jordan are that combination.

They join legendary director/star pairings such as:

  • Ford and Wayne
  • Hawks and Wayne
  • Kurosawa and Mifune
  • Hitchcock  and Grant
  • Lee and Washington
  • Scorsese and Dinero
  • Scott and Washington
  • Woo and Yun-Fat
  • Ayer and Smith
  • Fuqua and Washington (It is not lost on me that Denzel Washington’s name appears with three different directors. It just shows the kind of fantastic actor he is, the longevity of his career, and that he can embody for many directors, the perfect actor).

Black Panther Movie Poster

Those pairings when they happen are the source of cinematic gold. And it happens in BLACK PANTHER with Coogler and Jordan, two of the respective best of their generation.

Simply a masterful film, with a stunning cast, and great performances. And Kudos to Kevin Feige who with 18 films under his belt, is not just producing films that transcend the source material, he has proved himself the most successful and influential film producer, in the history of the medium.Supplanting such names as Zanuck or Lewton.

It is a success richly earned.

That said, a lot of fans and reviewers care about the numbers, how much a movie makes. I do not. I could not care less if BLACK PANTHER made $1 or 1 Billion Dollars. In this day where studios own the films and the theaters; that is money that is being taken out of local economies. It is good the movie is successful in that we get more such movies from that director, that producer, those actors, but as far as making Disney richer, that does not concern me.

Now should we go back to the days of local and community owned theaters, then that matters, that we should support, because those dollars are staying in the community.

So I’m happy for the movie not because it does this much business, or that much business, I’m happy for the movie, because such visions raise us all, and the success allows such visionaries to keep telling stories.

Grade: An unqualified A+.

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for Black Panther (#18 of 23)

If you like this movie I recommend the following:

The following movies are too good, to trust in the ‘cloud’ or ‘streaming’ to always have them available, or always have them available in unchanged, unedited, or unaltered versions. The below movies deserve to be owned in physical form, in the age of digital.

Chadwick Boseman in Message from the King (2016)

Chadwick Boseman’s excellent A MESSAGE FROM THE KING
LION IN WINTER
http://amzn.to/2CtUltq
HAMLET
http://amzn.to/2C6aEk6
AVENGERS
http://amzn.to/2C5Lx0W
CAPTAIN AMERICA : WINTER SOLDIER
http://amzn.to/2C3M97v
CAPTAIN AMERICA : CIVIL WAR
http://amzn.to/2szGli8