I've got to say that "Black Panther" did a superb job of elevating Everett Ross from his negligible presence in "Civil War". I don't think that I even had time to realise that Martin Freeman was doing an American accent in that fim. But here he felt far closer to the "Spin City" kind of guy he was originally under the pen of Christopher Priest. Michael J. Fox didn't play him, but that's just another one of those missed opportunities that's largely down to timing. Like Vincent Price and Doctor Strange. And that still worked out decently.
And seeing warriors on top of chasing cars in busy nighttime streets brought me right back to classic Priest pages too. That's always been the Panther stuff that's gotten to me. I can appreciate the objective worth of other takes on the character, but Priest just has a way of hitting me from the right angle. Right now, he's making Deathstroke's comic into one of my favourite books from DC, which came as a surprise to me. Deathstroke and Panther are on similar levels to me because their tones generally tend towards the serious, and a bit of levity is an ingredient I prefer to have in my comics. But Priest always manages to find a way of balancing things in whatever he writes.
The other surprise in his Deathstroke run was the inclusion of a dude who's basically an immoral Black Panther. "Red Lion" or something. I do enjoy the consistency of Priest's tastes. He's still doing that whole "Frasier" thing of white-on-black cue cards for scene changes too. Even when Deathstroke's feeling pretty grim, that boosts the mood.
Beyond the bits of Priest flavouring, the Kirby influence on Wakanda's structure and ambience struck me too.
The influence of Jordan's anime appreciation on Killmonger's first costume was a good touch, and modeling it after Vegeta makes decent sense analogically. But the fact that he eventually turned into a golden version of Black Panther was what cinched it for me. Shininess and feline styling! Two of my favourite things!
Overall, it was easily the most solemn of the Marvel movies, which isn't to my tastes, but it probably ranks among the more stylish episodes, and that wins some points right back.
A case could probably be made for its supremacy in sheer elegance.
One last thing about Martin Freeman. His outfit in the climax really made me think that he'd be a great Moff or something in Star Wars. He really hit that aesthetic hard there. It was probably unintentional, but it did coincide with his piloting of a futuristic laser ship. So.
"Black Panther" versus "Thor: Ragnarok"!
Best mystic patriarchal conversation against a greenscreen homeland!
T'Challa's talks with his father were pretty poignant and evocative enough of "The Lion King", but I preferred the jauntiness of Odin's cavalier farewell to his bickering sons in some random Scandinavian field.