Okay, I Saw It (No Spoilers)

Okay, I saw it. Snapshot:

Not my Panther. An interesting take and nice performance by Boseman, but missing the fundamental element of the Black Panther (and upcoming PriestStroke): that he’s smarter than everybody else in the room. Black Panther’s super-power is his intellect, and this guy spent most of the movie pursuing an errant assumption.

T’Chaka was wasted. Could have gotten so very much more mileage out of that character.

Not my Ross. Martin Freeman is hilarious, this character was not. Ross was not brought on-stage properly and is ultimately forgettable. Also, I had no idea they’d have “Thunderbolt” Ross (whom I enjoyed) in the film, thus confusing the characters. I suppose it’d be fine if my Ross was somehow related, but the thought had never crossed my mind.

The overall plot was pretty thin– we’re going to fight because some of us signed some stupid pledge. Okay.

Spider-Man stole the movie. My goodness, well done. Thank you, Marvel for finally getting him right. A close second: Ant-Man.

Falcon and War Machine (thank God they dumped the “Iron Patriot” nonsense) finally got some dimension to their characters. Still not enough. The black characters need to be more than just wallpaper.

Falcon’s wings really suck. I expressed that to the exec producer– the costume doesn’t work. This is a nice rendering for a promo poster– have no idea why they don;t look this good in the film. Robo-Redwing doesn’t work, use a real (well, real CGI) animal. Falcon (and Batman) way too techy now.

Scarlet Witch still too undefined.

Whuhoppen to Jarvis Voice? Did Tony just dump Jarvis because of Ultron? If so, would have been better to mention that somewhere than to pull me out of the film every time IM’s suit reported to him.

Overall a huge improvement over Ultron (snooze, hard to follow). Kudos to Downey for at least attempting to make this a “real” movie by doing some actual acting here and there. Would have appreciated more dramatic scenes at the expense of the fights which, face it, got kind of repetitive after while. My mind started wandering back to Deathstroke (deadlines, deadlines).

A very good, if flawed, film, but Marvel really needs to start shaking up the formula because I really do feel like I’ve seen this movie three or four times now.


  1. Ralf Haring says:

    JARVIS became AI along with Ultron and ultimately got turned into the Vision. Tony has a new female voice in the suit at the end of Avengers 2.

  2. Dave Van Domelen says:

    I’d argue that he isn’t your Black Panther YET. This is part of his education, part of learning why he has to be the smartest man in the room, and can’t afford to be dancing on someone else’s strings.

  3. D.Conquist says:

    The point you bring up about Panther in this movie kind of reminds me of a debacle a certain Gene Roddenberry had with the writers of TNG, which ultimately lead to his effective departure from the show.

    In “The Bonding”, a young child is forced to accept the death of his mother in a shuttlecraft accident. The writers crafted a story about him attempting to reconcile with the death of a loved one, and at times stumbling on the way. Roddenberry objected, putting forward that kids in the future will have full control over their despair and be able to cope with death without any emotional compromise.

    Which is just absurd.

    T’Challa was compromised by the death of his father. He has to be allowed to react irrationally, or else he just isn’t believable. In the future I fully expect he will be the Panther you envision, but… you can’t just start at 100%, y’know?

    I do agree that T’Chaka’s death was wasted, though. It was humiliating that they relegated a 45 second sequence to a defining event for T’Challa.

  4. JD DeMotte says:

    Everett Ross was my biggest disappointment. He just seemed wasted. They could have easily had Thunderbolt Ross doing the same things in Everett Ross’ place and it would have changed literally nothing in terms of plot.

    The T’Challa stuff you mention? I can forgive that because we KNOW he’s getting his own film in a couple years. It’s casting as we speak. So I expect much, if not all, of your concerns there to be addressed as this version of T’Challa grows into the role. We might even get more T’Chaka through flashbacks, though that’s speculation on my part. But I don’t know if Everett Ross (and I agree, having to type his name out because there is another Ross is annoying) is going to be in the Black Panther film. I hope he is, because I think Martin Freeman is great and I can see the potential of him being hilarious close to the way the character is in the comics, but without knowing if he’s being setup for future stuff or not, I just feel like he was one character too many.

    • Priest Priest says:

      I have no inside info, but I assume the only reason EK Ross was in CW (and the only reason Ulysses Klaue was in AV/Ultron) was to set up the BP movie.

    • Priest Priest says:

      T’Chaka was not fat. Or short. Wakandan security forces are *elite* and could take on the AV’s themselves. The Dora Milaje would both need to be dead–twice–before they allowed any harm to come to their king. This was a gross violation of the TChaka character (and by extension, BP). T’Chaka was incredibly wily and would *never* have been caught off-guard like this guy. Assassinating the Wakandan king would be considered an act of war–not even mentioned. An old fat guy got whacked. On to the next plot point.

      T’Challa should have–would have been compelled–to threaten massive retaliation–Nayimi war machines rising from beneath the oceans approaching U.S. coastline, frantic negotiations–they air drop EK Ross in to chill Panther out. The tension is ratcheted way up because we raise the stakes: if they don’t turn the Winter Soldier over to T’Challa, he’s going to hold ALL of America accountable.

      Monday morning quarterbacking, of course, but this is what I’m saying: the above would not have taken a lot of extra screen time but it would have been truer to this character–not *my* take on him, but the character.

      Very disappointed; it’s just not the character. T’Chaka was at *least* as good at his job as T’Challa is. They should have cast Denzel as T’Chaka and handled that whole thing better or, better yet, not use T’Chaka as a cliched plot device but show Ulysses Klaue killing him (to get his hands on the Vibranium) in the Panther film. Serious missed opportunity and worst blunder of this otherwise terrific film.

      At the very least, T’Chaka should have been 6’5″ and can bench press 300 lbs. Very unhappy about T’Chaka. They just blew off the character, which does not show much respect for the BP legend, to which the father–who was also The Black Panther–is the essential motivation: T’Challa handed a role he neither sought nor is particularly happy about performing.

      • Nick says:

        I agree with most of your complaints, but I took it as much more of a”wait and see” on T’Challa and Ross, at least; there’s nothing in the movie that contradicts T’Challa being the smartest guy in the room (though, to be fair, nothing that suggests it, either), and nothing to keep Ross from being Ross in the BP movie. I was disappointed in both, but not enough to be turned off the upcoming film, which will hopefully use the much greater available screen time to flesh them out properly.

        I can buy *young* T’Challa who’s been king all of ten minutes being initially more concerned with avenging his father than the wider political political implications, but there should have been *something*. That said, I think they’re going for something kinda like what they did on TV with both Daredevil and the Punisher, where this is kinda Proto-Panther, and we’ll see him grow into the T’Challa of the comics as the story unfolds. Or at least, I hope so.

        T’Chaka, you’re totally right about. Shoulda been dead in the backstory, deal with it in the BP movie. Not room to do him properly in this one, so don’t do him.

      • D.Conquist says:

        I was just watching Gladiator again and man, how cool would it have been to get Djimon Hounsou as T’Chaka?

        Oh well.

  5. Mario Di Giacomo says:

    Look at it this way… he IS your Ross, but he’s your KA-ZAR Ross:

    Really good at his job, and a master of taking charge of the situation.

    He hasn’t met T’Challa’s entourage at the airport yet. 🙂

  6. Priest Priest says:

    My KA-ZAR Ross was brought on stage by skateboarding into a court house, IIRC. Less funny than Panther Ross, but yu could clearly see the implication in his over-the-top hubris 🙂

  7. Priest Priest says:

    Oh, and the Dora Milaje never speak to anyone but T’Challa, and only speak in Hausa– a dialect not commonly spoken in Wakanda.

    • Nick says:

      That one’s not on the movie’s writers, sadly. Later Panther writers than you played real fast and loose with the rules of the Dora Milage (at one point there were a literal army of them).

  8. Ture says:

    Your observation were spot on. I could never reconcile with how T’Chaka was murdered even when you wrote it. I thought he would be one of the most difficult men in the world to kill. Your iteration of the Black Panther remains the most intelligent, militaristic and politically astute of those presented thus far.

    “Assassinating the Wakandan king would be considered an act of war–not even mentioned. An old fat guy got whacked. On to the next plot point.

    T’Challa should have–would have been compelled–to threaten massive retaliation–Nayimi war machines rising from beneath the oceans approaching U.S. coastline, frantic negotiations–they air drop EK Ross in to chill Panther out. The tension is ratcheted way up because we raise the stakes: if they don’t turn the Winter Soldier over to T’Challa, he’s going to hold ALL of America accountable.”

    ^^^ This right here. Nuff said.

  9. afowlerart says:

    I’m really curious to hear your take on the “Security Chief” (Dora Milaje) scene.

    I think the filmmakers may be trying to separate the role of Black Panther from being King of Wakanda simultaneously. Chadwick Boseman mentioned in an interview that T’Challa in this universe is *a* Black Panther, meaning he wore the Panther habit before becoming king. Long story short, T’Chaka may have been king, but he passed the role of Black Panther on to T’Challa before the events of Civil War.

    • Priest Priest says:

      Well, in that case, it’s WAY different– which is fine. I am certainly not the final word on BP 🙂 I mentioned the DM scene in my general review. In the Marvel mythology, “Black Panther” = king. There’s only one. The group that fulfills the role which may now be the film universe’s POV (the many Black Panthers) is the Hatute Zeraze, who wear white versions of the BP uniform.

  10. Nick says:


    In a perfect world, who would you want as the villain for the follow-up solo movie? Achebe? Klaw? Hunter? Erik?

    • Priest Priest says:

      Who would *I* want? I think I’d vote for Mephisto with a side helping of Achebe. I presume it will be Klaw (we say Ulysses Klaue in AV Ultron).

      • Nick says:

        That’s what I assumed, too, but they’ve since apparently cast Michael B Jordan as… “a villain.”

        I also don’t know how much Klaw matters as a Panther villain of he isn’t involved in the origin. Guess we’ll find out.

        Really curious to see what way they go. In my perfect world it’d be Achebe at the fore (with or without Memphisto) while setting up Hunter and/or Killmonger in the background for the sequel.

  11. Oscar Jiménez says:

    I like Freeman very much, but can’t picture him skating into anywhere but a ER room with a broken ankle. He’s too damn old.

    The Everett K. Ross who meets T’Challa for the first time is Michael J. Fox in his early thirties. There’s no other option in my head. No MJ? Clone him or sumtin’, dammit. With all the moolah Disneyrvel has in its infinite pockets they surely can. I mean, it’s been years since Dolly right? Right!?

    Someone go out there an clone MJ Fox already, dammit!

    How’re your deadlines?

    • Priest Priest says:

      Fox is easily as old as Freeman. Would have enjoyed Fox, even with the Parkinson’s he’s still hilarious. But so is Freeman. I think he was mainly there to set up the Panther film, where I’m fairly certain he’ll much more Ross-like.

  12. Oscar Jiménez says:

    That’s why I was insisting so much about a M.J.Fox in his thirties and the need to throw buckets of Dizny buck to the Dolly lamb mad science guys so they go and clone him XD.

    Let’s settle with Freeman, why not. I love the guy anyway.

    And Matthew Perry could play him in the made-for-TV movie…

    • Dave Van Domelen says:

      Nah, if Disney could successfully clone people, they’d have already gotten Walt’s head out of cryostorage and cloned him a new body.

  13. Michael says:

    Hey Priest, I’m just gonna dump this here, because this is the most recent Panther-related post, and I just arrived at some personal conclusions about your writing that I wanted to share.

    See, a few years ago, you wrote a post in which you went back through your run, maybe it was Sturm and Drang, or Enemy of the State II, and criticized it for being too compressed, for too many Marvel U references, to hanging too much on continuity.

    Recently I’ve been watching and reading Mad Max: Fury Road, the Perry Bible Fellowship, and various works of Grant Morrison, and what all three have in common is that they drop so many details and references to untold fictional histories that are completely irrelevant to the stories being told – and these suggest a much greater, richer, more complex world than what’s actually there on paper/screen.

    Your Panther run did this.

    I recently got ahold of the Don McGregor stories your run referenced, and they were thoroughly underwhelming (read in a 2016 perspective, of course). But your run turned them into near-myth in you references, suggesting a hundred-issue history of the Panther rather than just a couple dozen half-issues.

    Continuity and references are a hindrance if the story being told relies on a thorough understanding of the history, or if it’s some kind of retcon to suit the writer’s whims. But you, and Miller and Morrison et al, you use continuity to embellish.

    Never stop doing it.

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