Black Panther was THE movie of 2018 and it made its mark on the world as Marvel’s first standalone black superhero movie. Nominated for 7 Oscars, and winning 3, it’s evident that Blank Panther was incredibly successful. It has grossed over 1.3 billion dollars making it the 12th highest-grossing movie of all time. It surpassed all predictions and took some significant risks that definitely paid off. So, what is it that made Black Panther so successful?

The first of its kind

Black Panther is a ground-breaking film that gave representation to those who are often overlooked in the superhero genre: women and people of color. Black Panther as a superhero is exceptionally significant, as many people of all ages look to superheroes for inspiration. Children are especially influenced and inspired by superheroes in movies, and African American children finally have a superhero of their own.

The cultural footprint of Black Panther is undeniable as it dives into what it means to be black in the world, and African American director Ryan Coogler tackles it head-on. Research from CashLady breaks down the countries where Black Panther is the favorite of all the superhero movies.

Beyond that, most superhero movies are either dramatic and action-packed or spoof-style comedies. Black Panther combines the two perfectly, tackling the hard issues while also incorporating fantastic comedic elements.

The strong female leads

While the movie focuses on the Black Panther, who is male, almost all the other leads are strong females. Wakanda is heavily female-influenced, and the women in this movie are incredibly powerful. Okoye is the king’s right-hand woman and oversees the royal guardswomen, who serve and protect Wakanda.

T’Challas sister, Shuri, is an intellectual genius, and the brains behind the kingdom of Wakanda. She is the master of tech and creates all the Black Panthers suits with highly advanced features.

According to VOX, she is one of Marvel’s most promising characters. His mother also guides him in the film, and his love interest, Nakia, is anything but a damsel in distress. She is opinionated and independent and does not let anyone control her. She sticks up for what is right, and battles Killmonger, the primary villain, alongside Shuri at the end of the film. You don’t often see woman matched against men in fights, so it’s an inspiring and refreshing change.

Not heavily tied to the MCU

One of the reasons that Black Panther became so successful is because it isn’t heavily tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is technically part of the MCU, so all the fans of the franchise highly anticipated it. Black Panther first appeared in Captain America: Civil War, in 2016, and fans were eagerly awaiting his standalone film. Black Panther then appears as an integral part of Avengers: Infinity War, as well as making an appearance in Avengers: End Game.

While it’s no question that MCU fans loved Black Panther, it was also loved by those who weren’t interested in Marvel. You can watch Black Panther as a standalone film without needing any back story or having to view all the movies that came before it. Many of the MCU films require you to watch the prequels to gain context on what is happening, but not Black Panther. That would have meant opening the movie up to an even wider audience of people, not limited to MCU fans.