Though Black Panther didn’t manage to nab Best Picture at last night’s Academy Awards, Ryan Coogler’s Marvel megahit still found another way to make superhero movie history as the first of its genre to take home as many as three Oscars.
Beating the record previously shared by The Dark Knight and The Incredibles – both of which managed a total of two awards in their respective years – T’Challa’s solo debut prevailed in the categories of Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score. And since we’re discussing “firsts” here, this also makes Black Panther the first Marvel Studios flick to win any Oscars. The film had also received nods for Best Original Song, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing, as well as being the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture.
Black Panther wasn’t quite the only comic book movie to triumph on the night. Though Avengers: Infinity War lost out to First Man in the Best Visual Effects race, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won for Best Animated Feature Film. Nonetheless, the evening could still be considered one more testament to Black Panther’s success in earning the respect of certain cliques that usually wouldn’t give superhero cinema a second glance.
Regardless, Black Panther could’ve gone home empty-handed and its status as a cultural phenomenon would’ve still been indisputable, having already ended 2018 as the year’s highest-grossing film domestically and second-highest globally. In a Fandango poll of 3,000 frequent filmgoers published just last week, the movie was also voted the public’s favorite of the Best Picture nominees. Needless to say, Coogler will have some lofty expectations to live up to when he gets to work on Black Panther 2, but in the meantime, Marvel’s 2019 slate is about to get started with the release of Captain Marvel on March 8th.