As a whole, Black Panther has heavy topics including race and gender equality. Finally we get a blockbuster film that is not afraid to discuss these relevant subjects. The characters are deeply influenced by the world surrounding them and their relationships to each other. Pride versus morality is common to Marvel films, but the character developments in Black Panther are extremely realistic to American society. Each of the characters have a background that could easily be found in the real world.
The all-star cast that portrays these characters includes Chadwick Boseman (42), Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Jungle Book), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Sicario), Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Sterling K. Brown, Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Lee Daniels' The Butler, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Andy Serkis (War for the Planet of the Apes, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King), and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station, Creed, Fantastic Four). The names seemingly go on-and-on with a well-rounded and diverse cast. As T'Challa, Boseman captivates audiences in his struggle to transition from being a prince into becoming a king. His people depend on him and the power vacuum that is created from his father's death drives a large portion of the plot. While T'Challa develops as a character, the film's villain has an even deeper background to portray on the big screen. As Erik Killmonger, Jordan brings a rough upbringing into the forefront of the plot.
The storyline behind Killmonger's transformation is somewhat formulaic to other comic book films. In general, Black Panther often gives off the same plot lines as Wonder Woman. The difference is the real world relevance. Killmonger's upbringing is a story that audiences might have seen in the news before. An abandoned child grows up through the struggles of finding his place in the world. Overall, Killmonger and T'Challa are the perfect duo for a face-off that ends in a shocking resolve.
The Bottom Line: While Black Panther follows the formulaic approach of most Marvel films, it uses cultural relevance to connect with a broader audience.