Last weekend, I dusted off my sweatpants and trekked to the movies to see the latest Marvel Cinematic Adventure. It was a good comic book movie. Great even. I normally have a hard time sitting in a dark room for over two hours without taking at least one solid nap but I am proud to say that this ragtag group of superheroes had my rapt attention while I was enjoy a $5 Popeyes box.*
I’m not here to spoil plot points. I fully understand that not everyone has seen it yet. (Although I’d like to note that I am firmly #TeamBuckyBeTRIPPINGDawg.) That said, I don’t think I’m ruining anything by pointing out that there are not one, not two, but three Black men who take prominent rolls on the silver screen. To have three fully fleshed out Black characters on the a movie that serve more of a role than “Black guy who only exists when White people need things without any discussed internal motivations” is kind of a big deal and we should all give it its just due.
One thing they didn’t highlight, however, is their personal lives. At minimum we know that one of the three Superheroes dates Black women; what would it be like if they all did?** What kind of men are they outside of their Superhero shenanigans? And how would they mirror the men I meet in line at Popeyes?
1. Sam Wilson/Falcon
Former athlete that can’t let go of his glory days, so he’s the most insufferable person in every work intramural league. Could have been in “the league” if his knee didn’t blow out his junior year of high school. Refers to current athletes that he may have ran into once during Pop Warner/AAU with the familiarity of someone who’s actual friends with them. Signs up for Spartan Runs year round. Wants to find the love of his life in a Crossfit box. Drops and does 10 push-ups before every photo.
2. War Machine
Dude that talks a big game but ultimately is middle management. Takes a lot of photos at big fancy galas with people who are way more important than him. Falls inline with whatever’s on the TPS report but pretends he’s thought it over and it’s the most reasonable decision to make. Says stuff like “you don’t understand until you been through it” and rattles off memorized statements about the significance of history and legacy and service when all you asked was why there were still grown men strolling at Happy Hour. Has a “nonstandard” MLK quote as a signature to all of his emails. Thinks J. Cole is underrated. Wants someone to go to “Nerd Prom” with.
3. T’Challa/Black Panther
First generation dude with wealthy parents and went to elite international private schools with far better resources than their American counterparts. Talks a lot of shit with the credentials to back it up. Consistently presumes himself to be the smartest person in the room. Expresses befuddlement as to why “you Americans” do things a certain way approximately once a week. Insists his country makes the best Jollof. Relaxes in the back of Afrobeats party with Johnnie Walker. His way or the highway at all times. Eternal question marks around his actual relationship status. Rumor is he has a girl in the Victoria Island section of Lagos (pronounced Lay-gos, not Lah-gos like in the movie), but you’ll never ask and he’ll never tell. Requires a woman with multiple degrees who will still make pounded yam and bear his children. Manchester City fan.
Which door would you pick? 1,2, or 3? Important note: while all of these men have their own very unique personalities and quirks they all share one thing in common (besides consistently coming together to save the Earth from pending extinction that is): a highly questionable relationship with their barbers.
*Don’t judge - the movie ticket was TWENTY TWO AMERICAN DOLLARS - I was entitled to a spicy two-piece and a biscuit.
**Listen, I don’t read comics, nor do I plan to — so maybe they all got girlfriends named Toya; I wouldn’t know either way. Work with me here.