Marvel’s journey with Chadwick Boseman began with Captain America: Civil War (2016). That film was an endeavor to portray the fissure within the Earth’s mightiest before they could gel as a team and face their most significant threat to date. And one of the elements from that narrative that proved revolutionary was the introduction of the Black Panther.
But what if, T’Challa wasn’t the descendant of the Panther God, Bast, and instead roamed the galaxy as the Star-Lord of the Ravagers? Chadwick Boseman’s contribution to the MCU extended beyond his live-action movies and the voicing of T’Challa/Star-Lord in Marvel’s What If…? Season 1 Episode 2 marked his final appearance in the franchise.
Marvel’s Evolution From 2008 to 2021
It is needless to say how the superhero franchise evolved since the first decade of the 21st century. What began with the introduction of the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist soon started snowballing with prospects and stories until the franchise dove headfirst into the accepting arms of the fandom. A Black superhero wouldn’t have had the acceptance it did during Black Panther if the premiere was a decade earlier.
Marvel not only set the stage for making what was once considered ‘nerdy’ now the epitome of ‘cool’ but the CBM production studio also arrived at an era guided by a woke generation, socio-cultural revolution, inclusivity, and the re-invention of one’s self-identity. Phase Four is an edifice of that ideology taking shape. So, it begins to make sense why an internal revolution within that landscape of changes would attract more viewers into an endless realm of possibilities. What If…? sets the stage for that revolution and Boseman’s contribution was made manifold in his passing.
Chadwick Boseman Wins an Emmy For Marvel’s What If…?
When the Emmy was awarded to Chadwick Boseman this year for his voice performance in What If… T’Challa Became a Star-Lord? most were confused about their initial reaction to the news. What should have been a happy occasion and a celebration (much like the arrival of the first Black superhero) was instead overcast by the looming shadow of a question that enquired whether the award was deserving of talent or by death.
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) September 4, 2022
i mean this with no disrespect, he only won cause he passed.
— Dinky Scent (@DinkyScent) September 4, 2022
Well deserved 🖤 pic.twitter.com/nbi9UzNcwa
— ᱬTerellᱬ (@tee_is_xd) September 4, 2022
Honestly, Cumberbatch deserved it more tbh pic.twitter.com/e8IbhJkVAi
— Dino (@EthanielSerrano) September 4, 2022
Undeserving.. he won, cus he died pic.twitter.com/YQgsB3CiBH
— Drifting Lebawski (@aBu7253) September 4, 2022
As the internet clearly finds a side to pander to, Marvel Studios offers tribute to the actor who has already gained the status of a legend. The Phase Four closing movie, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will serve as a posthumous homage to Chadwick Boseman, his in-universe legacy, as well as the tremendous contribution he had made toward progressing the structure of the franchise into the future.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres on November 11, 2022.