Marvel has only had a trailer out for its Black Panther film for one weekend and already the backlash has been severe.
The poster features Chadwick Boseman posing in costume as the titular Black Panther, the king of a fictional African nation, seated on his throne and looking powerful.
However, several critics compared it to a famous picture of Huey P. Newton, who was the co-founder of the Panther Party, a figure who in the 1960s was seen as extreme and “militant.” In the picture, Newton was holding a gun and spear, and while Boseman is not posing with any weapons, many are saying that the pose and even the chair are similar.
Critics blasted the poster for the comparisons, while others either heralded the choice to compare to Newton or expressed their belief that Marvel wasn’t even thinking of Newton when they created a poster for a strong African king.
Black Panther, which is set for a theatrical release on Feb. 16, 2018, follows the story of T’Challa, the prince of the fictional country of Wakanda, who ascends to the throne after the events of Captain America: Civil War left his father dead. However, T’Challa must deal with a problem that threatens not only his country and throne but the whole world.
Take a look at Black Twitter’s response to critics.
White critics: “Black Panther is too angry and militant!!!!”
— Mrs. Brown (@JoiedeVar) June 12, 2017
27) The Black Panther Party are known as a militant group who stood up to police brutality but did you know that they also fed the poor ? pic.twitter.com/jBYYWXxD31
— Jason Andrew Hale? (@EchoesFromAbove) February 9, 2017
When you finally see the new Black Panther trailer and there are no white people in Wakanda. pic.twitter.com/Vg05rzPCBN
— Black Aziz Ansari ? (@Freeyourmindkid) June 11, 2017
“Why does it have to be called ‘Black’ Panther?” “Why not ‘Human’ Panther or just Panther?”
*Sigh* Smh. pic.twitter.com/278vBg6grm
— Maps Maponyane (@MapsMaponyane) June 11, 2017
White people after they watch the Black Panther trailer pic.twitter.com/tL18W04d3a
— Blac Chynese (@sadgalamzz) June 10, 2017