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Chadwick Boseman: Superhero On and Off the Screen

By Vishnu Suresh

Chadwick Boseman. Who was he? Chadwick Boseman was a symbol of hope and representation. He was a prominent and well-liked actor and a charitable man. However, on August 28th, 2020, Chadwick Boseman passed away from colon cancer.

Chadwick Boseman was an American actor, writer, producer, and director mostly known for his role as T’Challa, aka the Black Panther, in the Marvel movie franchise and André Davis in "21 Bridges." When the news of his passing broke, many people, actors, politicians, business owners, and citizens alike responded with their condolences to Boseman’s family. His tragic demise was unexpected to the world but his acting ability, career in the industry, and fans' love for him will never be forgotten.

“He was so popular and he was an actor that was loved by many. He died really young as well,” said eighth grader Madhav Shibu.

A majority of Boseman's supporters were Marvel staff and actors. They had just lost one of their closest friends and one of the best actors, and their hearts were torn.

Artwork by Shadia Zayer

One of Boseman's most well-known roles was Black Panther in the Marvel movie franchise.

“He was inspirational to me. I didn’t know anything about Black Panther before I saw the movie, but afterward, he became one of my favorite heroes, not only because he was a great actor but because of the impact he left on me. As the first African American superhero, I feel that he marked and paved a path for new diversity among predominantly white superhero males,” said senior Ethan Chung.

Because of this unforeseen event, Marvel’s project line for the future has been broken and many people are wondering about the next chapter in store for the Black Panther.

At the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, head of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige announced his “Phase Four” plan for Marvel’s future. This plan includes "Black Panther 2," "Doctor Strange 2," "Thor: Love and Thunder," and many more. Because of the death of Boseman, the studio will have to recast the role or have to find a way to eliminate the role in the later movies.

“They can’t get rid of Black Panther. Sure, they can recast the role to Shuri, T’Challa’s sister, but they can never get rid of the role because Black Panther is an original character created by Stan Lee,” said eighth grader Jared Ramnauth.

As the first African American superhero, I feel that he marked and paved a path for new diversity among predominantly white superhero males...

People are debating who should get the Black Panther role in the movies and why. Some suggest that Shuri should get the role of T’Challa. Their reasoning is that the movies should follow the comics since Shuri becomes the Black Panther after T’Challa dies. Others say Eric Killmonger, the antagonist from the first movie, should get the role. These people suggest this because T'Challa was the first person who defeated and killed Eric, so Eric should honor his memory. However, there is a conflict with this suggestion: Eric was killed By T’Challa, so Eric has to somehow be resurrected to make this idea work.

Chadwick Boseman was an extraordinary friend, actor, and husband. From his first great starring role as Jackie Robinson in "42" to the Black Panther of Wakanda, he came into everyone’s hearts. He was a beloved and iconic legend, and he shall never be forgotten.


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