The long-awaited movie adaptation of Black Panther, one of the only black superheroes in the Marvel comic book universe, represents a moment of some significance.

Until now, fans have rarely seen a black superhero on the page, let alone the big screen. There was Mark A.Z. Dippe’s 1997 adaptation of Spawn – the first movie to feature an African American actor playing a major comic book hero – but that was something of a mixed bag.

Perhaps the more significant release was to come a year later, in 1998, when director Stephen Norrington teamed up with Wesley Snipes for Blade. The movie remains an important milestone in not only ...

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