EVERYTHING Black Panther - Part 2

Discussion in 'Marvel Films' started by Thread Manager, Jul 3, 2012.

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  1. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

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    You're kind of dancing around the anti-white issue, talking about having a black perspective, or simply excluding white people, or making Panther cool, or the fact that some black people were bad too. I'm talking about in Hudlin's Panther white people were exclusively evil and white culture was entirely bad, so much so that withholding the cure for cancer (I think you're right) was a good thing. That level of villification doesn't have any comparison in modern media, or any justification other than being anti-white.

    Now keep in mind, I enjoyed every single second of it (Hudlin's BP) to the nth degree. But if my white friends don't, I'm not surprised, nor would I accuse them of not liking strong black characters, especially because I know how much they love Will Smith movies and were interested in BP in the first place. The book is clearly anti-white. It's not for them, and it restates that repeatedly.

    On Marvel's motivations, film execs know that less than 60% of the ticket buying audience is white. They're not just trying to get white people, or else they'll fail. Imagining they have some sort of controlling racial bias is just that, imagination. They're looking at how to make Wakanda work for people who don't have a, as you say, black power fantasy. That's a legitimate challenge.

    You do bring up a good point about BP not really having any Marvel flaws, but that doesn't change that that aspect of his character is a legitimate turn off to some.

    Racism happens, no doubt, certainly in Hollywood. I just don't think it happens to BP as often as some claim.
     
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  2. The Overlord

    The Overlord Well-Known Member

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    I think I problem I had with Hudlin's writing, is he would make characters racist or unsympathetic for no good reason.

    Hudlin wrote Doom as a racist and I think that is out of character for him. Dr. Doom is a egomaniac, he thinks all people are equally inferior to him. Dr. Doom also faced bigotry growing up a gypsy, I think he would be more likely to dislike the concept bigotry and think it irrational. Writing Doom as a racist seems out of character.

    Also Hudlin seemed completely ignore the friendship Black Panther and Everett Ross, who was one of the most fun supporting cast members BP ever had.

    Also I think the Wakandians not sharing a cure for cancer made them seem extremely unsympathetic.
     
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  3. chamber-music

    chamber-music Infinity Ammo

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    Doom hates the Red Skull and has hit on Storm a few times in the comics. As Oelod said Victor sees everyone as beneath him. Making Doom a racist was silly.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  4. RockSP

    RockSP MYTH SMITH ∞!!!

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    It's been a while since I read Hudlin's Panther run, but if I remember correctly they withheld the cancer cure from America, not from "white people".

    I'm sure some white heroes showed up in the book, Cap comes to mind. Was he portrayed as evil?
     
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  5. terry78

    terry78 I'm gonna need more rope

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    Basically America IS white people. We all know it.
     
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  6. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

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    Exactly. Everyone's against us, therefore, we must get them back by not only being utterly supreme in every way(money, tech, magic, science, social advancement, attitude, martial skill, tactics), but ALSO constantly calling them on the carpet and highlighting how against us they all are and how wrong they are. Typical us against them. Doesn't work. Always leads to some flavor of Doomwar. Even when we win, we lose. [Insert additional cheesy platitudes here]

    Here's my theory: If BP's race was handled as more of a feature and less of a social issue, I think he'd have more fans of all races, and thus, be in demand at all times. The BP writer who makes a BP that will still be contiunued when that writer leaves will do that.

    BP would still represent everything great about being black, inherent badarseness and style, superior physicality with a brilliant inventive scientific mind and a strong spiritual foundation. But then, you take his problems, remove his ability to solve them instantly/painlessly, and you analogize them to things we all experience, so that anyone with those problems will like him. Perhaps the crown is heavy, weighted with responsibility and guilt and temptation to use power. Or maybe he's misunderstood because he's a shadowy manipulative 'scary' "black" figure. Or he's blamed for something heinous that T'Chaka, Shuri did. Now you have an allegory for racism that everyone can understand and empathize with. *That's* crafty. Having white friends isn't crafty. It just makes sense.

    It might have been different in the comic. In the cartoon, he withholds it from the Bildeberg group, which is basically, all the big white countries like the USA and the European Union. It is a room entirely full of white people, and they are all entirely evil, utterly useless and the book maintains that giving them the cure for cancer would cause more problems that it would solve. America is not painted as evil, but the white men that run it are.

    But you're right, some of the white superheroes did show up. They were not entirely evil and useless as I claimed, you're right. They served as useful wedding guests, Steve and Tony's almost ruining it aside, and, in Cap's case, back in the day, was he willing to relent from his ignorance and assumptions of superiority after BP roughed him up a bit.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  7. chamber-music

    chamber-music Infinity Ammo

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    See here Hudlin thinks his probably making some sort of black power stance and sticking it to the western white man but it just comes across as Wakandans being petty egotistical *****ebags
     
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  8. RockSP

    RockSP MYTH SMITH ∞!!!

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    They weren't sharing it with the rest of Africa or the world either.

    Sounds like you're projecting to me. T'chaka was a king of a technologically advanced isolationist society. Do Namor or Thor ever come across as egotistical? Yep. So why shouldn't T'chaka?
     
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  9. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

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    To jump in: Because the writers make absolutely sure that no one ever asks Namor or Thor (or Reed Richards for that matter) for help on real life issues... and if for some reason they do, the writers come up with some namby-pamby reason why Namor/Thor/Reed simply *can't* help. They never put anything to the tune of 'you're not worthy' in those characters' mouths, because they know how unsympathetic that sounds.
     
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  10. metaphysician

    metaphysician Not a Side-Kick

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    Also, the writers have explored, at times, the issue of what these characters could do to reshape the world. Thor had the whole Reigning story arc, and it was an ongoing theme throughout the Hickman run of the Fantastic Four. The answer is typically neither "you aren't worthy" nor "it can't be done" so much as "the cost would be too high."
     
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  11. DarKush

    DarKush Well-Known Member

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    My responses are in bold. My apologies but I don't know how to that separate reply thing.

     
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  12. DarKush

    DarKush Well-Known Member

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    I think RockSP made a good point that is often overlooked in these critiques of Hudlin. Wakandan isolationism extended to other black people and people of color as well, not solely to whites.

    The idea that white equates with America is very telling though and I can see how some white fans would see any criticism of America or the West as criticism of whites alone. This totally ignores that there are a lot of non-white people living in the West and have contributed immeasurably to Western culture.
     
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  13. DarKush

    DarKush Well-Known Member

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    I never said having white friends for T'Challa was 'crafty'. I said that Priest's usage of Ross was crafty in being a way to allay supposed white trepidation about buying a Panther book. I think Priest thought that white readers could more easily self-identify with a white character like Ross than with T'Challa himself, right off the bat at least.

    Having an African king who has his own mind and might be skeptical of the West also makes sense from a character standpoint, and that's what Hudlin did. It's not about not having white friends, but perhaps about not making white characters the center of a book about an African king.

    Many of the things you described sound cool about a Panther series, but to some extent you've had that depiction of Panther before and the fans were averse. Still reading McGregor so I can't comment on his run yet, but from what I read of Kirby's tenure, it was more about cosmic adventure with some white supporting characters and Priest's Panther was more mysterious and manipulative, and also had a prominent white supporting character with Ross.

    Under Hudlin Panther had his most successful run and generated a heat that no other Panther writer had before. It seemed like some fans were so mad at Hudlin that they started lionizing Priest, which would've been great if all these said Priest fans had actually supported Priest's run.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  14. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

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    DarkKush,

    You're right about Cap, but seeing that Captain America is the *only* one who's not useless and evil (wedding guest cameos aside) doesn't really counter the idea that the book portrayed white people as bad. So it's not exclusive? There's still one good white guy, and he is so because he denounces and fights other white people, and he's useless during his first two appearances too, btw. You're still dancing, saying the book didn't *say* white people were evil, as though explicit communication is what we were talking about. You're justifying Hudlin's statements, but not acknowledging the affect of only making anti-white statements, as though them being true changes them from being anti-white. Similarly, sales do not change something from being anti-white either. Are you saying it's okay to be anti-white as long as what you say is true and you make money? Because if not, you're still dancing around the issue that you're responding to.

    While racism affects Hollywood as a whole, we cannot certify that the execs of any particular studio are significantly controlled by it. Especially if their reasoning for not making it is couched in very real audience perception issues, which happen to be couched in the racism you seem to accuse them of.

    If having white friends isn't crafty for a real person, how is it crafty for a fictional character? It's the same action with the same effects in real life or otherwise. You keep talking about white characters at the center. Was Ross the center of Priest's BP?
     
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    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  15. Spider-Vader

    Spider-Vader Mercin' & Workin'

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    Yeah no. Smith isn't right for T'Challa & he has never been. He might have made a good Luke Cage if he buffed up a bit though.
     
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  16. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

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    Agreed. I think the only high profile actor I'd enjoy as T'Challa is Jamie Foxx. Everyone else is either too old or already involved with the MCU.
     
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  17. RockSP

    RockSP MYTH SMITH ∞!!!

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    If Will is too old, so is Jamie. Both are dudes in their 40's (not that I'd want either for BP).
     
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  18. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

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    Heh, they are the same age, huh? I wouldn't want Will Smith because he overshadows the character and doesn't seem particularly big on sequels.
     
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  19. zmystico

    zmystico Well-Known Member

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    I am FAR from an expert on BP, but I do find him totally awesome, and when they make his film, I hope they avoid the same fatal flaw that was done on an old TV-Movie-turned series... M.A.N.T.I.S.

    In the premier TV movie, the main character was a paralyzed African scientist that created a suit that allowed him to walk and fight crime...with the aid of his 2 young African assistants. However when it became a series, the 2 African assistants were replaced by an English scientist who I think was created more with the breakthrough in the technology to develop the suit...this greatly changed the dynamic and it turned me off to the show completely.

    It was a perfect opportunity to display Africans being intelligent but execs weren't comfortable with that and had to "diverse" the cast...it really took something away from it.

    I would HATE to see the same thing happen to Black Panther.
     
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  20. T"Challa

    T"Challa Well-Known Member

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    WIll Smith is not my 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice to play T"Challa, but if the man shows any interest in the role, i frankly don't see how you can pass him up. Dude practically guarantees a successful box office, and he can pull out an intense acting performance when he has to
     
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  21. DarKush

    DarKush Well-Known Member

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    Captain America is a singular character, but he also symbolizes American (and some probably feel mainly white American) values. So I do think that it is very telling that the supposed racist Hudlin doesn't tear down Captain America who symbolizes white America in many eyes. In fact he lionizes him.

    I think it's a matter of opinion to say that that Captain America was 'useless' in his appearances. From what I recall of his earlier appearances, his overconfidence allowed him to get bested by the Black Panther of that time. When you look how whites viewed blacks at that time, I had no problem with thinking that even an enlightened person like Steve Rogers might also underestimate 'primitive' or 'inferior' Africans, even on a subconscious level. Blacks' courage, intelligence, and physical prowess were all up for debate for some whites, not to mention their very humanity. I'm not saying that's what he did or how Rogers thought, but that is the kind of mental stew that a Steve Rogers would've been swimming in, born in the early part of the 20th century.

    Also Captain America isn't denouncing white people in the Captain America/Panther miniseries. He rejected racism and fought against Nazis. Now if you think that those things are synonymous with whites that's on you.

    I don't think Hudlin made anti-white statements when he was talking about Africa's history with Europe. He was pointing out the truth which some fans perceive is anti-white. Exploitation did happen, transatlantic slavery did happen, colonialism did happen, segregation/Jim Crow did happen, etc. To me Hudlin was drawing upon that history. He wasn't unfairly slamming whites so much as trying to put his take on Panther within a historical context.

    About Hollywood it's not an issue of being overtly 'controlled' by racism as having negative ideas about race being part of people's conscious and subconscious makeup. Also there is a history of networking (that has been based on race, among other things) that has worked to lock out people of color from power positions in Hollywood, and across corporate America. This doesn't mean that there is a "No Colored Allowed" sign hanging over any office door in America, it's more that it is now an issue of culture, custom, of 'the way things are' or 'it just happens to be that way' kind of deal.

    There was de jure segregation (by law) and de facto (by custom). De Jure Segregation has been struck down legally, but de facto continues. It's not as viciously enforced as it once was, but when you look at the continued problems of blacks in the job market, unequal policing, resegregation of schools, there is still a racial divide in this country. Many of the goals of the civil rights movement, and those before that, have yet to be met. Some have, and some things have gotten better, but others have not.

    I don't get why you keep going back to this crafty thing. I do think it was crafty for Priest to use Ross as a point of view character to make it easier for white fans to get into Black Panther, because I think he knew how hard it was for whites to accept and support black characters or other characters of color in solo books. And if you look at the dearth of solo led books with characters of color even today, I think it bolsters what I think Priest did. I didn't agree with his method, but I can't say it wasn't a valid way get white readers to support his book.

    I do think that Priest did make Ross the center of his Panther book early on to allay white trepidation about Panther. He was clear that in stating that he didn't want whites to feel that his book was going to bash them. And a way to do that was to make Ross the gateway character to introduce white readers into Panther's world. Now this method only lasted about an arc or so and Ross's role was scaled back significantly as the book went on. It was a skillful way of doing things that many films supposedly about blacks but invariably about white characters (The Last King of Scotland, The Help, Cry Freedom, Mississippi Burning, etc., etc.) fail to do.

    Regarding Hudlin and sales, I mentioned that to argue that his sales reflect that maybe his books weren't as anti-white and vile as you believe them to be. Also that his approach-my opinion of it-was to expand his readership and I think he was able to do that, which resulted in him having the most successful run. Hudlin didn't run away from some thorny racial issues- and was willing to take the flak and the unfounded accusations of reverse racism-and he got more support in response. Priest touched on some of those issues, though with a more humorous touch, while sliding around others. He had a pretty good run as well, but not quite as impactful as Hudlin's.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  22. DarKush

    DarKush Well-Known Member

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    I agree. How could they not accept Will Smith if he made a serious play to be T'Challa?
     
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  23. DrCosmic

    DrCosmic Professor of Power

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    Darth Kush,

    I'm well versed in racism and how it works, both academically and practically. When talking about the Marvel execs, we weren't talking about networking/de facto issues with creators, we're talking about prioritizing of projects. That is naturally, and they stated explicitly, based on how they thought the projects would be perceived, not on who they knew, right?

    Also, you're reading into my statements. Just because something is anti-white doesn't mean anything more than "against whites." It doesn't mean against all whites, it doesn't mean reverse racism, it doesn't mean unfairly anti-white, it doesn't mean untruthfully anti-white, it doesn't mean I didn't like it/thought it was vile, it doesn't mean it wasn't successful, it doesn't mean any of the points you're addressing. All your statements are factual, but the book is still consistently against whites, and you've said nothing to contradict that, only justify it. The justifications for it are no more comforting for them than they would be for us.

    I keep coming back to the crafty because inclusion is such a big part of my life now, the idea of characterizing it as some kind of skillful manipulation really is ludicrous to me. Agree to disagree, I guess.

    Edit:
    The reason this is an issue for me, why I keep derailing the thread with it, is because I think if Hudlin had a more inclusive Panther, with all of the other greatness of his run, he would still have a solo book today.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  24. chamber-music

    chamber-music Infinity Ammo

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    Some of the reasons I think David Oyelowo would be good in the role is because not only is he a good actor with a career on the up but he also can bring alot to the role from his own real life. Oyelowo is the son of a real Nigerian Prince. Oyelowo also played King Henry 6th for the Royal Shakespeare Company and like T'Challa went to Oxford.

     
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  25. tamron

    tamron Well-Known Member

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    Chirisa is still my #1, but I'd have no qualms with Oyelowo.

    With him having a supporting role in Jack Reacher, David is probably in the right place at the right time if Marvel is looking to cast T'Challa anytime in the near future; A bubbling talent, yet not completely new to general audiences that Marvel Studios can sign to a cost-controlled deal with multiple options.
     
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