Love, Legacy, and Creative Power: “The History of Marvel Comics: Black Panther” Podcast


REGINALD HUDLIN: It’s very easy, especially when you start talking about royalty and stuff like that… It’s like, “Well, it’s sexist and only men can take the title, or take the crown, or anything.” And I was like Nope we don’t really work that way. And obviously in Africa there is Queen Nzinga, you have Nefertari and Nefertiti. So there are all these examples of women leaders. So it’s not a thing, historically, there are a lot of examples of that. And the women warriors, I mean the women who are the true base of the Amazons and so on. Even the whole idea that Wakanda was ahead. Wakanda is like, “No, we were ahead and we’ve always been ahead. We’re so far ahead that you literally can’t even see us. You can’t catch up to us.

Nick Stone: When Shuri takes on Radioactive Man and finishes him off, that’s probably the most important part of Shuri’s role as Black Panther. This not only shows how she uses her newfound power, but also differs from how her brother handles the Black Panther Mantle.

REGINALD HUDLIN: If you watch Bruce Lee in Enter the dragon, he is the only action hero who felt empathy when he had to kill someone. You know, there’s an amazing scene when he fights O’Hara in the tournament. And then we cut to a tight close-up of Bruce Lee’s face, and we see this flood of emotion over him. Of course I did, but it’s horrible that I had to do that. Even for a guy as evil as that. So anyway, I just wanted to give Shuri that love of humanity. And see that transition point for her.


REGINALD HUDLIN: [Marvel editorial] and I talked about who T’Challa might marry. And Marvel said the name.

Nick Stone: Storm, you know the fame of the X-Men.

REGINALD HUDLIN: I’m like, we’re done. I can’t believe you’re gonna give it to me. She is an African queen. He is a king of Africa. It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?

JESSE J. HOLLAND: Oh wow. Well, first and foremost, Reginald got the story of T’Challa-Ororo right. First of all. And I’m still pissed that they’re not together. They are no longer together. I mean, it’s been almost 15 years now since they broke up – but that’s usually the first thing any Black Panther/Storm shipper will say if you ask them about it. It was THAT BIG.

Nick Stone: Now remember, it was on purpose, because Reggie knew what he was doing by adding more prominent black women to the mythos.

JESSE HOLLAND: Now, with the T’Challa-Storm relationship, in most fictional relationships, the man in the relationship is by far the stronger one, physically. T’Challa might be able to beat Ororo in a fistfight, though I wouldn’t put too much money on him in that. But at any moment, Ororo will change the weather conditions above his head. She is by far the power in this relationship. He is the spirit, she is the power. Ororo and T’Challa’s marriage eliminated any “main character’s wife or significant other needing to be saved”. Ororo didn’t need anyone to rescue her, as she was good enough to do it on her own. So, for me, that was a call to a lot of modern relationships.

Lisa M. Horner