The newest in the Avengers franchise growls its way into theaters with fanfare and critical acclaim. Is Black Panther Marvel's greatest masterpiece?

Wakanda Forever. Like the Thor feature before it, Black Panther truly sets itself apart from the Marvel universe with this ambitious, standalone installment, despite being the film that will lead into the "final" Avengers flick. After the events of Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns home to the culturally advanced and technological mecca of Wakanda to take his place on the throne and continue as Black Panther. But as old and new foes return, T’Challa is faced with a challenge to his leadership and the fate of his beloved country. [caption id="attachment_6250" align="aligncenter" width="600"] (Photo Cred: ABC News)[/caption] Where to begin? With its use of colors, clothing, weaponry, and landscapes, Black Panther is a visual marvel in and of itself. Director Ryan Coogler did an amazing job of bringing this fictional world to light with elements that exist today. Along with that, the script is one of the best Marvel scripts to date. Serious moments become bigger messages outside of the film and in the real world, and, of course, Black Panther has all the expected funny moments that seem to have become a strong fixture in the past couple Marvel films. The action scenes are powerful, spell-bounding, and sometimes nerve-wracking, with the soundtrack by Kendrick Lamar empowering all these elements. Everything flows perfectly, and the film doesn’t drag for a second. [caption id="attachment_6253" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] (Photo Cred: Quartz)[/caption]
The cast is perfection -- from Boseman’s strong, charismatic performance as lead, to Michael B. Jordan’s take on a villain (or anti-hero) with swagger and confidence. Wilson Duke plays the entertaining M’Baku, which is an amazing break-out role. The female characters are captivating. Angela Bassett is the perfect motherly figure. Both Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o are the embodiment of fierce female empowerment; watching them in battle scenes and taking down aggressive figures is one of the highlights. But the standout is T’Challa’s sister Shuri, played by Letitia Wright. She is funny, witty, and powerful -- a great role model for young women everywhere. Expect to see Wright in many movies in the future! [caption id="attachment_6252" align="aligncenter" width="649"] (Photo Cred: The New Yorker)[/caption] A story of love, innovation, acceptance, and identity, Black Panther is more than just a superhero movie. **And don't forget to stay afterwards for the fantastic post-credit scenes! Have you seen Black Panther? What were your thoughts? Please leave a comment below!

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