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“Black Panther’s” Boseman Explains How the MCU Avoids “Magical Negro” Trope in “Civil War”

by  in Comic News, Movie News Comment
“Black Panther’s” Boseman Explains How the MCU Avoids “Magical Negro” Trope in “Civil War”

Coming off of this past weekend’s massive Marvel Studios presentation at Comic-Con International: San Diego, actor Chadwick Boseman discussed why, among so many other reasons, Black Panther is such a crucial addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Well, he’s there for his own purpose… usually what happens is ‘well, he did this in this scene and now he’s doing [something else contradictory] and that doesn’t even fit the character.’ That’s the Magical Negro thing,” Boseman told io9 of his introduction within “Captain America: Civil War,” referring to the common pop culture trope of using black actors as plot devices designed to help other, more central characters rather than independent, fully-formed individuals.

One of the most acclaimed and socially relevant characters in comic books, T’Challa represents a milestone for the MCU, and one that Boseman didn’t take lightly while portraying the King of Wakanda. After declining to go too in-depth into his analysis of the offensive trope — “I could go … talk about that forever,” he jokes — Boseman offered a bit more contextualization for Black Panther within “Civil War” and coming films.

“I think the main thing is just keeping it very clear that he has his own arc and his own things that he wants and desires. He only changes that when something strikes a chord at his core,” the actor said.

Fans have been eagerly awaiting a standalone “Black Panther” film ever since he finally made his big screen debut earlier this year in “Civil War.” Barring any unforeseen cameos, T’Challa loyalists will have to wait until July 6, 2018 for the solo film directed by Ryan Coogler (“Creed”), which also stars Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and more. Luckily, they can snag “Civil War” on digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on Sept. 2 and on Blu-ray on Sept. 13, along with the current “Black Panther” comic run by acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and veteran comic book artist Brian Stelfreeze, on sale monthly from Marvel Comics.

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