The Man. The Myth. The Legend… And GOAT
If you’re a comic book fan you frequently think of the amazing performance Chadwick Boseman did in 2018’s Black Panther. Realizing in hindsight that he was dealing with cancer while still entertaining millions as T’challa only hits us deeper. Aside from Black Panther he also played major roles such as Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson and even James Brown. His keen eye on knowing which roles to take and bringing them to life so uniquely will be revered and never forgotten. Marvel’s What If…? Series is no different so let’s jump into it already!
Even when you’re not you… You’re still you
Black Panther forever
A quote from Chazz Palminteri’s character (King) from 2001’s Down To Earth starring Chris Rock. This relates to this episode because no matter the reality, Universe or circumstance you are who you are at your core. For T’challa this means still inspiring people and filling them with hope.
This is proven throughout the show like when he is met with guards while trying to secure an artifact. The lead guard admires him so much for his selflessness of robbing the rich and giving to the poor. The only real reason he has any qualms with T’challa aka Starlord stealing the relic is because of his boss Ronan. He goes as far as to ask if he should be bowing or kneeling before T’challa. He then proceeds to ask if it’s alright for them to spar so it can look good when he inevitably escapes. The guard actually apologizes when he lands a hit on him so this is a prime example of the level of respect he has for The Ravager.
Family isn’t always blood
The course of T’challa’s life changed from Black Panther to Ravager when he ventures out of Wakanda’s force field. When that happened he was abducted by an alien craft commanded by Yondu. You might remember him as being the one who looked after the “real” Starlord which is Peter Quill in the Guardians Of The Galaxy movies. In this universe however Peter is never picked up thus an entirely new course of events takes place.
With Yondu as his father figure more or less who else is apart of the rag tag group of outlaws? Well believe it or not one of his friends is none other than Thanos… Yes you read that right. With the power of a good argument as T’challa puts it he swayed the Mad Titan’s path of destruction. What I enjoyed was how the writers poked fun at Thanos’ plan of genocide with conversations throughout the show. After a quick appearance from Drax we get introduced to T’challa’s next friend Nebula. The two of them have a slightly flirtatious dynamic which can be identified when Nebula refers to T’challa as “Cha Cha”.
Funny how some things stay the same
Starlord was always known to be intelligent enough to get out of any situation and outsmart his enemies. Regardless of who dawns the mantle of Starlord that seems to be the constant in the multiverse. This can be seen as you watch the show and see how everything that takes place is all apart of T’challa’s plan. When things go awry he acclimates easily while still freeing those imprisoned and capturing the Embers of Genesis. The embers of Genesis is a cosmic dust that has the ability to cure universal hunger which is all T’challa needs to hear to implement a plan to retrieve it.
It all works out in the end… right?
Watch as T’challa leads The Ravagers to victory from the tyrannical Taneleer Tivan aka The Collector. After stopping him and The Black Order (which consists of Corvis Glaive, Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight and Black Swan) all feels right within the galaxy until our guide Iwatu takes us back to earth. There we see Peter Quill working at Dairy Queen when he is visited by his very estranged father Ego. With the glowing of his eyes we hear Iwatu say that this visit could mean the end of the world. The overall theme here is nature over nurture which we can infer that with the lack of nurture from Yondu, Peter turns evil by following his father.
This episode highlighted the attributes that made us fall in love with Chadwick Boseman all over again. Hearing his voice was bitter sweet but his legacy will forever live on in the hearts and minds of all Marvel, Comic book and movie goers alike. RIP Chadwick Boseman aka T’challa bka Black Panther.