Today, as many of you have probably seen, this weeks’ cover of “Entertainment Weekly” features Captain America: Civil War characters Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) Captain America (Chris Evans), and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). On the right hand side of the cover is the caption citing that Black Panther is “tall, powerful, with claws that a Real Housewife would envy”
This is how “Entertainment Weekly” (a publication which has been around for quite some time and is seen as a leader in its coverage of the industry in the age of flagging print media) sees fit to present Black Panther?
Let’s address the issues with the cover before getting to the article. Both Evans and Downey are unmasked while Boseman is not. Why is that? Is EW concerned that people won’t recognize Boseman alongside his co-stars? I don’t see how that could be considering Boseman starred as Jackie Robinson in the film 42, released in 2013, which was one of the years most critically acclaimed films. They also placed a ‘meow’ dialogue bubble above his head, while Evans and Downey stand in front looking very serious. The picture that EW is painting here is that Cap and Iron are to be taken seriously while Black Panther is not. It is safe to say while EW has a fairly large circulation, not everyone is going to take the time to read the article and will see the funny cat man standing behind them and dismiss Black Panther as a sidekick type. Hardly what the character and the actor portraying him, who will be featuring in his own solo film in February of 2018, seems to deserve.
So in two strokes, “Entertainment Weekly” has told everyone who may see their magazine that not only is Black Panther not worthy of showing his face along his co-stars, but that he is “less than” with derision that while attempting to be clever, comes off as outright derision.
Now the article is informative and fairly complimentary of T’Challa and his origins, but the first impression is what sticks with people and if the impression, before they even get to the article, is that this is a character that is not on the level of Captain America and Iron Man, that is poor form on the part of whoever put together this cover.
Contrary to what that cover may have you think, yes Black Panther does have claws, but know that they are claws that have never touched a pumpkin spice latte or a North Face vest.
Captain America: Civil War releases May 6 2016