While the character has been around since 1966, the current cultural footprint of Black Panther began in earnest in 2016. Ta-Nehisi Coats and Brian Stelfreze took over writing and art duties for the comics, and Chadwick Boseman kicks the doors in and announced his presence in Captain America: Civil War. The stage was set for 2018's Black Panther to be world-shiftingly awesome, and boy, was it. Black Panther ruled so hard the CIA took to Twitter to “de-bunk” it. Making a great superhero movie is a worthwhile goal in its own right, making the CIA sweat while you do it is [chef's kiss].
Then, of course, tragedy struck with Boseman's untimely death. How Black Panther moves on is a heartbreaking undertaking. We've argued that Nakia should take over the Black Panther mantle, just let Lupito Nyong'o be great. We'll find out soon enough where Marvel goes, but instead of looking forward, why don't we ingest the heart-shaped herb and visit the astral plane to give Blade some credit. Not just Blade, either, but Blade himself, Wesley Snipes, who was slated to play Black Panther in the 90s. Oh how differently our world would look with a Wesley Snipes Black Panther movie.