Let's be honest, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was one of the main components in the effort to bring nerd/geek culture into the mainstream. Before the Avenger films began, all things related to nerd/geek culture were still relatively outside of the norm in terms of pop culture. Sitcoms still made jokes at the expense of its nerdier characters and even shows dedicated to the nerd audience, such as the early seasons of The Big Bang Theory made fun of the very demographic it was catering to. But the MCU changed that. And now nerd/geek culture is an integral part of modern pop culture. Comic books, fandom tattoos, and perfecting the art of cosplay have all become not only accepted activities but encouraged and admired. No longer are those who participate in them written off or belittled. Cosplay is a true art and it is wonderful that the world is recognizing that. And as a way of thanking the MCU for everything that it has done, let's explore some of the greatest Black Panther cosplays that the internet has to offer.
10 Take The Throne
Crafting armor is one of the more difficult aspects of creating the perfect cosplay. But that sheer level of difficulty is not enough to ward off all of those who sought to bring their favorite characters to life. Some people cosplay for fun. As an enjoyable hobby that they pursue during their leisure time. While others have committed to cosplaying full time as their choice of career. They travel to cons, in full cosplay, as featured guests and meet/interact with fans upon arrival. There is something so magical and wonderful about living in a world where people can dress up as their favorite characters professionally. The above cosplay (by Shawshank Props) is one of the most intricate cosplays from the series around. The attention to detail and the skill needed to craft such a wonderful suit is truly impressive.
9 Wakanda Forever
One of the best things about cosplay (Black Panther cosplay by Brokephi316 on Deviant Art) is how they bring together characters that may have, otherwise, never have met. And the men, women, and children of the MCU need to stick together. After all, when the going gets tough the tough team up and find a way to make things a bit easier for those around them. Not only is the Black Panther cosplay in the above photo absolutely amazing but the Yondu cosplay is also absolutely stunning. The attention to detail in both of the above cosplays is something worth noting. Look at the buckles on Yondu's suit. Look at the beads used to create that bracelet! The screen accuracy of these cosplays is something that warrants applause.
8 One With the Whole Gang
An ensemble cosplay (photo of unknown group at Comic Con) is one of the best kind of cosplays. Nothing is better than getting a large group of friends together and having them all dress up as their favorite characters. Each cosplayer will interpret the character in slightly different ways and no two people will create the same costume in the end.
Each cosplayer is going to bring an element of themselves to the cosplay; which makes their version of the character so fascinating to see. Even if there are a hundred Black Panthers walking around a convention, each and every single one of those characters will have slightly differing costumes, mannerisms, and will bring something new to their version of the character.
7 A Family Affair
You do not need to be pursuing cosplay professionally in order to dress up as their favorite characters. You only need a passion and some sort of costume. People of all skill levels, commitment, and walks of life are welcome in the community. Even those who only dress up for Halloween are valued. You do not need to dedicate your life to an art in order for their interest in it to be valid. The Black Panther film explores the idea of family, honor, and duty/loyalty. And what better way to honor those themes than to create a cosplay dedicated to a wonderful film that includes all members of one's family? This cosplay was created by singer Ciara and her family.
6 It is Shuri Time
Yes, the above cosplay (created and worn by cosplayer CutiePieSensei) is a wonderful screen accurate representation of one of the key characters from Black Panther. The effort that the cosplayer put in is immense and the evident skill shown by the final product is truly impressive.
However, the thing that takes this cosplay to the next level is the photoshoot that showcased the cosplay itself. The coloring, the tone, the pose, and the backdrop just add that extra layer of screen accuracy to the cosplay which brings it to the next level.
5 Action Shots
Though the character of the Black Panther was introduced to the MCU in the film Captain America: Civil War, his character was not truly explored in-depth until his own film. When the MCU finally traveled to Wakanda, audiences were able to understand not only the character of T'Challah himself but also the culture from which he came and the events that shaped him as well as his home to become the person/place that it is today. This context is truly important when building a character that the audience is supposed to empathize with, especially if they exist as a bit of an antagonist when originally introduced. The above cosplay (created and worn by Andrien Gbinigie) displays the powerful nature of the character that developed over the course of multiple films.
4 The True Black Panther
It is no secret that Black Panther was a successful movie. By the end of its theatrical release, the film had made approximately $1.3 billion internationally; making it the tenth highest grossing film of all time. Not only that, but the film also won several Acadamy Awards as well as multiple other awards from differing events and cooperations.
The sheer success of the film makes it a very appealing choice when it comes to selecting one's next cosplay, as the popularity of a character can prove profitable for those seeking to cosplay professionally. The above cosplayer (Xcoser on YouTube) executed their Black Panther costume with skill, finesse, and a clear dedication to the art.
3 The Royal Guard
When considering the success of Black Panther, one must also consider the social impact that the film had. Diversity and representation have been at the center of a big discussion in Hollywood in recent years. Simply put, people are tired of not only seeing the same seven stories and 12 actors on screen every year, they are also tired of not seeing anyone that looks like themselves nor the people they know. Movies are supposed to be relatable. Being able to relate to someone is how humans feel empathy and sympathy for their plight. If an audience does not care or cannot relate to a character, then they are not going to want to consume the media in which they are in. Cosplay in the above photo was created by the UsualRangers5.
2 A Well Crafted Pun
Cosplay need not be serious all of the time. Even when cosplaying a relatively serious character. There is always room for fun, silliness, and a well-crafted pun. The idea of taking the character of Black Panther and combining their image with the beloved Pink Panther is such a fun and creative idea.
This cosplay (originally posted to Imgur by user PuppermintJerryJr) was able to blend both characters together in a way that not only stayed true to each character's individual design but also made it clear which elements were taken from which character. Bravo to the above cosplayer for bringing a bit of fun to their cosplay.
1 Arriving At The Theatre In Style
People are passionate about comic book films. And since the Marvel Cinematic Universe is such a monolith, one is easily able to find a character that they identify with and can relate to. The diverse nature of the films of the MCU and the heroes within it allows every person watching to feel strong, represented, and powerful. That is the beauty of the MCU and the reason why it holds such a special place in all of our hearts. That is the reason why it has stayed a central piece in pop culture for the past decade. Most franchises tend to fizzle out as they approach their conclusion. And with the sheer number of films in the MCU, one might worry about fans getting bored. But those who have dedicated the past decade of their lives to the MCU are here to stay and love every minute of it. Group cosplay in the above photo was created by an unknown group of cosplayers at the premiere of the film in Nairobi.