09th Mar2018

‘Black Panther: Official Movie Special’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Various | Published by Titan Comics


First up let me say, I’m not sure if any part of this review will touch on spoilers as such, but if worried go watch the film first. Don’t blame me if I spoil the bit when Wolverine arriv…er, well, don’t blame me. Not sure if any of you have heard of a small indie movie called Black Panther, it’s a little under the radar after all, but if you have then you may very well enjoy this rather impressive 100 page celebration of said movie.

The first thing to say about this movie special is that Titan have done a great job putting it together. It certainly looks as stylish as the King of Wakanda himself. It is very much though exclusively a tribute to the film, and the film versions of these characters and places. As, first and foremost a comic book guy, a little better introduction about his comic book origins and history would have been nice (he first appeared in Fantastic Four Issue 52, in 1966, if you really must know), rather than just a tiny sidebar. It has direct relevance in that the film has been portrayed as groundbreaking for having an almost totally black cast, and Stan Lee took a big risk, groundbreaking in its own way, in publishing a black superhero at that time. Props where they are due, right?

As you would expect with this type of publication, first and foremost are the cast interviews. These are pretty good, some nice personal anecdotes, behind the scenes stuff, though nothing groundbreaking. All the main cast are interviewed: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupito Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, and Winston Duke. With plentiful photos and illustrations those interviews fully take up half the magazine. Oddly enough, Forest Whittaker’s is the only profile without an interview, not sure why. What comes out overall though is that they certainly all bought into Ryan Coogler’s vision for this film, and all realised they were doing something pretty special in terms of cinema.

I’m a great lover of seeing the work that goes into films, all the concept art and design, and buy most of the Marvel cinematic ‘The Art Of…’ books, which are fantastic. One of the highlights of the film for me was definitely the set design for Wakanda, it was hugely impressive and definitely Oscar nomination worthy. A little disappointed them here to find just a few pages, and very small photos devoted to that aspect of the film. Wakanda deserved a lot more coverage, illustrations and photographs. A bit more coverage is devoted to weapons and costumes, again very nice to see what was there but I would have liked more.


The concept art used throughout is beautiful to look at, and is liberally sprinkled throughout and well chosen. Equally nice are all the cast photographs, though mostly in studio stock poses. In fact, the design and layout overall is superb, you feel like you are getting a very nice collectors souvenir. The last two interviews to round out the magazine are the vision guys…

Firstly, Kevin Feige, the architect of the cinematic Marvel Universe. If you like all of, or any of, the Marvel films, they all started life on his desk. This is a guy who fought to make Iron Man (Robert Downey not a big enough star), got Ant-Man made (who wants a film about a Marvel C-list superhero), and insisted a black cast could head a successful mainstream film. Let’s all be like Kevin. The last interview is with Director Ryan Coogler, who had a vision for this film and never deviated from it. He respected the comic book roots, but created a contemporary look and feel for the modern Black Panther that is almost groundbreaking. Personally, I would argue the film is not quite the masterpiece many are claiming, but it is very, very good.

A good movie special helps you relive the film, learn a few fun facts and hear the actors and director speak. All in here. Enjoy.

**** 4/5

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