Wakanda is ours now. We do with it as we please.’ That’s not a line from Black Panther, Ryan Coogler’s fab new Marvel flick – perhaps uttered by the film’s villain, Killmonger (Michael B Jordan), the Malcolm X-esque exile from the fictional Afrofuturist nation of Wakanda, who seeks to retake it from its more pragmatic king, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman). It’s from the New York Times, America’s newspaper of record, in an article in which the author, rhapsodising about the comic-book adaptation, completely blurs the line between fiction and reality.
He’s not the only one. The discussion of Black Panther has been ecstatic to the point of being a bit odd.