Black Panther
2018
***½
Director: Ryan Coogler
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis

To the outside world, Wakanda seems like another poor African country. In reality, however, it has been a technologically advanced nation for centuries thanks to its vast resources of vibranium. Now the country’s secret prosperity is at risk when a mysterious outsider challenges T’Challa, the newly crowned king and Black Panther, a superhero powered by the heart-shaped herb. Following the death of his father, Black Panther made a brief appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and now he gets his own moment in the sun. He is one of the more intriguing and unusual characters in the Marvel roster, and Ryan Coogler’s movie is slick and assuredly entertaining. However, Marvel should introduce some new ideas to their origin stories. We’ve seen Iron Man, Hulk, and Ant-Man fight evil versions of themselves in their first outings, and now it’s inevitably Black Panther’s turn. An Academy Award winner for costume design, production design, and score. The character returns in Avengers: Infinity War.