Unless you’ve been hiding underground for the past four months (and even then, you must have seen the subway ads), you’ve likely heard tell about the newest Marvel superhero movie, Black Panther. Based on the character penned by foundational comic architects Jack Kirby and Stan Lee back in 1966, T’Challa, the alter ego of Black Panther, is the king of a fictional, technologically advanced African nation who moonlights as a member of the Avengers. Though originally created by a pair of white Jews, Black Panther has since provided a vehicle for numerous comic creators of color, most notably Christopher Priest, MacArthur Fellow Ta-Nehisi Coates, and author Roxane Gay. The highly anticipated film adaptation, though overdue, expands the cinematic Marvel universe into Africa with an all-star and overwhelmingly black cast that includes Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, and Chadwick Boseman as the Panther.
In celebration of Black Panther‘s premiere, BAMcinématek is hosting a two-week mini festival of black superhero movies, Fight the Power, that includes comic book–character films such as Halle Berry’s Catwoman on February 17, Wesley Snipes’s Blade I and II on February 9, and Robert Townsend’s The Meteor Man on February 11. For a more thoughtful look at what makes an exceptional black hero, try Jimmy Cliff’s phenomenal reggae musical, The Harder They Come, on February 12, John Sayles’s acclaimed sci-fi flick, The Brother From Another Planet, on February 16, or John Boyega’s star-making turn in Attack the Block on February 18.
For those who prefer their characters to stay on the page, BAM is joining forces with the Black Comics Collective for a one-day Black Comix Expo on Sunday, February 11, that will include children’s art workshops, panel discussions, cosplay showcases and competitions, and multiple small press and collector exhibitions.
Why You Should Go: What better excuse for your whole family to dust off the capes and tights than this superhero festival celebrating strong men and women of color?
BAM’s Black Comix Expo
BAM Rose Cinemas and BAMcafé
Peter Jay Sharp Building
30 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene
Sunday, February 11
11:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Fight the Power: Black Superheroes on Film – Film Series
Through Sunday, February 18
Check website for films and showtimes