As gratifying as it is to see Black Panther obliterating the myth that films with a predominately black cast can’t find mainstream success, perhaps its greatest achievement is the strong reaction among black girls and boys. If this 7-year old kid taking up the M’Baku challenge doesn’t melt your heart, then it’s probably made out of vibranium!
To say that Black Panther is a watershed moment for superhero films and representation is an understatement. Less than a week after Black Panther smashed box office records on opening weekend in February, cartoonist Tom Beland (True Story, Swear to God) drew this poignant piece. Despite taking Beland less than 15 minutes to draw, to his amazement it was shared over 10K times on social media!
Sometimes the simplest things convey the biggest messages. In one image, Beland depicts the powerful sense of validation for black kids seeing themselves reflected in the media as heroes not only through the titular protagonist but the other supporting characters who happen to be strong women as well.
The right people at Marvel obviously saw it and took notice because the piece will be used as a variant cover for the upcoming Black Panther “Fresh Start” relaunch in May. If that weren’t enough, the variant will not only be available in black and white but also a new colorized version by Eisner award winning colorist Jordie Bellaire. PREVIEWSworld has a listing and you can take a gander of what the finalized covers look like below-
Taimur Dar is the Digital Media Producer and Marketing Expert for the Beat. He has earned a master’s degree in marketing intelligence from Fordham University and has provided branding strategies for various companies and organizations. His name is pronounced like the first two syllables of “tomorrow” in case you were wondering.