Even though DC is ruling the box office after this weekend, Marvel begins to rev up marketing campaigns for their upcoming heroes, but calls for the focus on a usually underrepresented character.
Hoping to correct previous mistakes, Marvel previously announced the beginning stages of the marketing campaign for the Black Panther. King of Wakanda, the Black Panther, also known as T’Challa, will be first introduced to audiences in Captain America: Civil War. After the release of the highly anticipated trailer, fans finally got a look at two of the new heroes to look forward to in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one being the rebooted Spiderman and the other being the Wakandan king. But admist all the excitement many noticed that the Black Panther barely uttered one word in the trailer and was soon being drowned out of conversations compared to the look at the new Spiderman. Despite the fact that the Black Panther will be a completely new hero and begins the third phase of the growth of the MCU, the lack of representation is clear and has caused fans to question Marvel on their usual tendencies of underrepresenting some heroes. However the company has come out to say that is not the case at all and hope to soon begin the campaign for the Black Panther.
The campaign is compromised of the usual merchandising push, which means the public will soon see shelves filled with the epic face of the hero. Soon the public will be able to purchase items like clothing, action figures, Funko POP! figures, backpacks, and much more, there is even talk of home goods being made with the image of the hero front and center. This comes with the news of the launch of a new Black Panther comic series, which will debut April 6th. It is common for Marvel and other companies to create large merchandising movements based around upcoming movies in hopes to garner attention, but the large scale of this push comes from the importance of the character to the MCU. The Black Panther is Marvel’s first black superhero and the first to have his own standalone movie, which will be coming out after the Civil War release. Disney and Marvel have been under fire with the public in terms of the lack of representation of characters that are major to storylines but also minorities. Learning from the backlash that resulted in the social media movements of “#WheresBlackWidow” and “#WheresRey” both companies have catered the entire marketing push around the Panther’s 50th anniversary in the comic world. Though the movie is set to release in 2018, Disney and Marvel aim to spread the recognition of Black Panther to build up the public’s excitement and love for the Universe continuation. For many the Black Panther may seem like a completely new member of the Avengers, but the decades old comic book hero is finally in the spotlight and hopefully will continue to be.