A Panther Among the Pigeons

Internet fandom is a morbidly obese child sprawled across a mountain of cushions, draped in French silk.

The walls echo with its screams for more cupcakes even as its mother and father frantically bake themselves into an early grave.

Its appetite for content is as rapacious as it is disdainful.  It will fleetingly cast its eyes downward at the lovingly prepared confection for a fraction of a second before waving its pudgy hand and dismissing it with a ‘meh’.

At least that’s the mental image conjured up in my head from the fan reaction to the leaked photos of Black Panther from the set of Captain America: Civil War.

On the set of Captain America, Chadwick Boseman plays the Black Panther Featuring: Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan Where: Berlin, Germany When: 12 Aug 2015
On the set of Captain America, Chadwick Boseman plays the Black Panther Featuring: Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan Where: Berlin, Germany When: 12 Aug 2015

On the set of Captain America, Chadwick Boseman plays the Black Panther Featuring: Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan Where: Berlin, Germany When: 12 Aug 2015

BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 12: A stuntman dressed as Captain America is seen during filming on the set of Captain America, Civil War on August 12, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Chad Buchanan/GC Images)

The images, which show actor Chadwick Boseman and his stunt double engaged in a dazzling areal confrontation with Cap(‘s stunt double) down the side of a building in Berlin’s justly famed Potsdamer Platz, give us our first look at the celebrated Marvel character in costume.

Needless to say a contingent of the fans have held up images of the (wonderful) Black Panther concept art and yelled “Where’s THIS?  I WANTED THIS!!?!”.

Such outbursts demonstrate a clear lack of understanding of the art of cinematography, and the radical difference that choices of lens, lighting, angle and distance can make to an image… or that long distance images taken on mobile phones are far from representative of the quality of the finished product…

For fuck’s sake.

I dare say that the majority of us are thanking their lucky stars that this fascinating character will get his shot at a cinematic exploration, under the care of an intelligent, dedicated and well respected actor.

My only gripe (and it is a small gripe) is that this already crowded superhero roster (which has now been confirmed to include Ant-Man and Hulk) may not be the ideal forum to introduce the Prince of Wakanda.

But if there’s one thing Marvel Studios and the Russo brothers have proven it’s that they know what they’re doing.

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