Black Panther Won’t Bow To Female Stereotypes As Marvel Royalty Descends On Empire Magazine


Marvel royalty has descended upon the cover of Empire Magazine.

With Thor: Ragnarok now in everyone’s rearview mirror, Black Panther is beginning to establish itself as the must-see superhero movie of 2018 – alongside Infinity War, of course – and to honor that legacy, Empire has selected Ryan Coogler’s long-anticipated spinoff as its cover star. And what a cover it is.

Front and center is T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the regal king of Wakanda, for what is undoubtedly the most visually striking Empire cover in months – years, even. Hannah Beachler is the designer responsible for this majestic, multi-faceted piece (see below), who told Empire Magazine that a fair portion of Black Panther was made using practical effects.

We did a lot [of practical]. Understanding how Ryan works with actors, and for me as a designer, we needed to have as much of the environment there as we could. We were able to keep a lot of the blue screen to beyond the set. It was always about what we can’t actually create, you know?

That’s an impressive feat in and of itself, given Black Panther largely takes place in a fictional utopia (read: Wakanda). And though we’ve caught a glimpse of the film’s international sequences, Marvel’s latest solo movie is really more of a family drama – one that’s seemingly free of female stereotypes.

Instead, the leading ladies of Wakanda “hold their own space” and aren’t “pitted against each other.” That’s according to The Last Jedi‘s Lupita Nyong’o, and by that logic, Black Panther should have no trouble passing the Bechdel test, which is, sadly, not something that can be said about a lot of modern-day superhero flicks.

Via Teen Vogue:

Ryan made a point of avoiding the expected female-rival narrative. In this genre, where spandex is involved, oftentimes the women are pitted against each other. In our story, there are so many different women holding their own space. Women may be in competition with each other, sure, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an absence of love or respect.

Pitched as a “big, operatic family drama,” Marvel’s Black Panther will finally make its debut on February 16th, and with Empire poised to blow the lid off Wakanda, we can readily expect fresh story details to emerge in the new year.