During the recent Comicon, TIME magazine’s Money blog, compiled a list of the top 5 richest superheroes. The results may be surprising to some. In first place as the richest superhero of all time is Africa’s own Prince T’Challa of Wakanda, otherwise know as Marvel’s Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman in the upcoming movie). Black Panther’s Net Worth is a staggering $90.7 Trillion! That’s right, Trillion! Makes the #1 on Forbes 50 Richest Africans list Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote’s $21.6 Billion look like chump change. Black Panther also leaves his closest superhero rivals trailing far behind with Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) at a Net Worth $12.4 Billion, and Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) at a Net Worth $9.2 Billion.
Thank you to Tambay A. Obenson for his recent Shadow and Act piece on the subject and for extending the pseudo rationale of the Time article into a realm that has real world (and Marvel Universe) relevance.
As a longtime Marvel reader (and now viewer), I also had my own thoughts on the subject. Africa, and by definition Africans, are indeed arguably wealthy beyond comparison. Let’s see if within the Wakandan world of the Black Panther (governed by Marvel) this immense wealth ($90.7 Trillion) is not only actualized, but also utilized in a manner that is in keeping with the cultural and RACIAL self-affirmation and nationalistic self-interest consistent with all the other forces within the Marvel Universe. Even Marvel private sector corporations, such as ‘Shield’ or ‘Stark Industries’ promote a dominant white, western, capitalist ideology that seems bent on utilizing technology primarily for war and suppression – throughout the universe. To date at least, the Marvel Universe seems to have given little consideration to its ethical deficit on true cultural equivalence, or social equity; choosing instead to shield behind the broadest forms of jingoistic “justice.”
Let’s see if indeed #blacklivesmatter and if, at least fictionally, Black Panther allows for Black self-empowerment within or beyond the borders of Wakanda. Or are we as the ticket buying audiences to be asked, once again, to embrace that very African concept of ‘Ubuntu’, otherwise known as ‘Forgiveness.’