The Cause of the Crew’s Cancellation

This weekend news broke that after two issues, Marvel’s Black Panther & the Crew has been canceled.

The series revolved around Black Panther, Storm, Luke Cage, Misty Knight and Manifold who band together to take on a dangerous wave of street-level threats in this new ongoing series by co-writers Ta-Nehisi Coates (New York Times best-selling author of Between the World and Me and Marvel’s Black Panther) and Yona Harvey (Black Panther: World of Wakanda) and legendary artist Butch Guice!

The death of a Harlem activist kicks off a mystery that will reveal surprising new secrets about the Marvel Universe’s past and set the stage for a big story in the Marvel Universe’s near future. Fear, hate and violence loom, but don’t worry, The Crew’s got this: “We are the streets.”

Anyone who thinks the cancellation has to do with “poor sales” and not the comics’ themes of racial justice and unapologetic blackness can line up and purchase some beachfront property I own in Wyoming.

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A Non Spoiler Review of Captain America: Civil War

If the first two Captain America films are any indication, I’ve learned not to watch them with any expectations good or bad.

Like most of the Marvel Phase One films, I found First Avenger to be a yawn and filler for the payoff that was the first Avengers movie.

Winter Soldier blindsided me and years later I’m still trying to process how amazing that film is.

As much as I love Winter Soldier (it along with Avengers and Age of Ultron rank as my favorite Marvel flicks), and even though I knew I would finally get the Black Panther in this film, I still watched with no expectation.

The verdict: By no mean is it the worst Marvel film by any stretch. It was brilliant in some parts and a mess in others. Better than First Avenger but a major letdown from Winter Soldier. I kept checking my watch so many times, one would’ve thought my name was William Tockman.

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Don’t Buy Black Panther Graphic Novels During Black History Month

“I’m always fascinated when white geeks go on and on about how accepting and wonderful geek culture is. I don’t question their experience, I just can’t personally relate. For me, I have to be cautious of what venues of fandom I venture in, because it’s not unlike walking through gen pop, where you constantly have to look over your shoulder to make sure an inmate or warden doesn’t attempt to shank you. Or a better analogy would be making sure that while you’re always outnumbered, that you’re never outgunned like my patronus Midnighter.”

-Dennis R. Upkins

The following happened a few years ago but this tale definitely warrants a post just the same.

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Who Are The Dora Milaje?

The second trailer of Avengers: Age of Ultron featured more than a few surprises. Most notably, a scene that featured a mysterious woman in the cave which had the internet abuzz.

Unfortunately the shot-callers at Disney decided to snatch defeat out of he jaws of victory. After pulling rank on director Joss Whedon with the cave scene,  Disney ultimately pulled a bait & switch in advertising the woman in the second trailer and then removing her from the film.

Based on what is known regarding the plans for Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the character was most likely either Shuri, princess of Wakanda and co-Black Panther, or the Dora Milaje: the elite personal bodyguards of the Black Panthers.

woman-in-the-cave-117844

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Character Study: Shuri

The Black Panther himself isn’t the only reason I’m eagerly awaiting the the live action film when it hits theaters in 2018.

Although T’Challa in action is more than reason enough.

The opportunity to see the mythical land of Wakanda, and the fiercely “Adored Ones,” the Dora Milaje, on the big screen is also well worth the price of admission alone.

But as the Captain America, Iron Man and Thor films have illustrated, the supporting players, (Falcon, Bucky Barnes, War Machine, and Lady Sif) will also get an opportunity to take center stage.

This is why I’m hoping T’Challa’s younger sister and fellow Black Panther, Shuri has a featured role in the film.

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You Come For The King, You Best Not Miss

How Wakandans Get Down

So after writing the piece, Why The Black Panther Is Marvel’s Answer To Batman, a racist troll decided to iceskate uphill on social media:

Racist White Fanboy: No Denny your article is wrong. Moon Knight is Marvel’s answer to Batman, not Black Panther.

Denny: We’ll have to agree to disagree.

Racist White Fanboy: You’re only claiming Black Panther because you’re both black.

Denny: And I guess you’re only claiming Moon Knight because you both wear white hoods?

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‪#‎YouComeForTheKingYouBestNotMiss‬

#‎GeekCultureIsForWhitePeople‬

‪#‎VibraniumShattersWhiteFrailMediocrity

‪#‎WakandanAndProud‬

Nubian Heroines: A Tribute

tumblr_lfjscxHS7l1qabus4o1_1280 Now I KNOW you all didn’t think I was done celebrating all things black geekery just because February is over. In this special post, I want to show some love and celebrate a very special group that is close to my heart: black women. It’s no secret that characters of color, well people of color in general (artists, authors, actors, etc.) are regularly on the receiving end of the worst kind of racist and misogynistic denigration. Anyone who has participated in fandom knows the type of disgusting hatred that the characters and the actresses who portray Tara from True Blood, Guinevere from Merlin and Dr. Martha Jones from Doctor Who regularly receives. And there’s a reason for that. Beautiful, sexy, intelligent, extraordinary, these goddesses are feared and despised because of the power they wield. Society constantly attacks black women because of the phenomenal light that they shine. So this post is not only a celebration of the nubian heroines who made me proud to call them my sisters but black women, period. This post is a tribute featuring a few of my favorite black female characters and actresses who brought the awesome back to fandom. This is also my way of saying thank you to all of the phenomenal nubian goddesses who have blessed and enriched my life over the years. To all of my black women, this one’s for you:

The Panther Is Here

February is a special month for me. In addition to it being the month of my birthday, it is also the month we celebrate Black History and in turn a very special part of American History.

To celebrate both Black History and my birthday, this year I wanted to do something a little different and fun. For this month (and possibly beyond), I’m going to making posts related to being a black geek. I’ll post (and repost) some of my favorite books, movies, comics, etc. that feature black protagonists and discuss the challenges of being a person of color in fandom and in the speculative fiction industry.

So today I will be discussing one of my all time favorite DVDs, The Black Panther.



Deep in the heart of Africa lies Wakanda, an advanced and unconquerable civilization. A family of warrior-kings possessing superior speed, strength and agility has governed this mysterious nation as long as time itself. The latest in this famed line is young King T’Challa, the great hero known worldwide as the Black Panther.

Now outsiders once again threaten to invade and plunder Wakanda. Leading this brutal assault is Klaw, a deadly assassin with the blood of T’Challa’s murdered father on his hands, who brings with him a strong army of superpowered mercenaries. Even with Wakanda’s might and his own superhuman skills, can the Black Panther prevail against this deadly invading force?
How this film rocked, let me count the ways.

Before I go any further, I should state that apologies are in order. Years ago, there was a trailer for this series and I was less than impressed to put it mildly. It was a motion comic that was being pushed as an animated film and I was outraged that the film featuring the black superhero got the short end of the stick.

What I didn’t know was that the trailer was actually originally done by one animator who presented it to film executive producer Reginald Hudlin who penned the series and the film is based on his story arc. Hudlin presented it to Marvel and they greenlit it.

But you wouldn’t know that though the way Marvel threw this film/six part animated minseries under the bus. While lesser films such as Ultimate Avengers, Iron Man and Doctor Strange were pushed and heavily promoted, Black Panther was on iTunes and then removed and the DVD has to be ordered through Amazon and its primary advertising has been through word of mouth.

The most twisted part, this was some of Marvel’s finest work.

First and foremost, the star power alone should’ve made this a fully funded feature film in theaters or at the very least on DVD: We’re talking Djimon Hounsou as the titular protagonist, Alfre Woodard, Kerry Washington, Jill Scott, and Stan Lee.

The lack of support this film has gotten is proof how the Black Panther is one of the most overlooked superheroes ever. A gifted prodigy, a world class warrior whose skills are second to none, T’Challa is arguably Marvel’s answer to Batman as Bruce Wayne and T’Challa share more than a few parallels.

The film also reminded me why I sorely miss Hudlin’s writing on the Black Panther series. He has the perfect blend of escapism, social commentary, political intrigue, satire, and fantasy escapism that is second to none. This is a story that has political intrigue, explores the bonds of family, is part revenge saga, and is action packed with more than a few laughs. Not surprising considering this is the man that gave us Birth of A Nation along with Aaron McGruder. Hudlin’s writing of the Black Panther came under fire. The primary reason, in his world, black folks don’t play second string to white characters. They are just as accomplished as their caucasian peers and for a lot of white comic book fans, that’s far more far-fetched than super-powered beings. But for those of us who have been waiting for a film that features a black superhero with RESPECT, this film has been long overdue.

While the film sticks pretty faithfully to the graphic novel, Who Is The Black Panther, there are a few changes and in my opinion for the better. Most notably, a cameo from the X-Men and Storm is brought in as a major player. While I wasn’t a fan of the execution of the Storm/T’Challa relationship, I’m always happy to see the Goddess in any series. After all, she is the First Lady of Marvel as far as I’m concerned. Mad props to Jill Scott who flawlessly delivers a beautiful African accent in her portrayal of Storm.


And if you’re not a comic book person, that’s totally okay too. This film is very self-contained and you’ll get the full story without feeling lost.

What I was really happy to hear is that the film has done immensely well. Last I heard, the Black Panther has outsold comparable X-Men and Iron Man films, both of which have had the backings of live-action films.

Of course I’m left with only one question to Marvel: WHAT THE FRAK IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHY AREN’T YOU PUSHING MORE FILMS LIKE THIS? DON’T YOU WANNA MAKE MONEY? I LIKES TO MAKE MONEY. I WANNA HELP YOU MAKE MONEY!!!!!!

Minority superheroes when handled with respect do equal financial success: Cassandra Cain run on Batgirl, Kevin Keller, Batwoman, this film here.

I implore you to check out Counting Colored Cash for further proof.

In the meantime, I’ll be Waiting For Wakanda.

And if this video here doesn’t get you hyped enough to go buy the DVD off of Amazon or get the episodes off of Youtube, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. I really don’t.

Black Panther is available now on Youtube, Amazon and wherever DVDs of AWESOME are sold.

Black Superhero Recs

This past February I celebrated Black History Month by re-reading some of my favorite graphic novels that feature black protagonists in some most excellent stories. I also used the month to boost the signal on some excellent titles that I think fans of all colors should check out.
Not surprising, more than a few people have asked me for recs on graphic novels. I’m only happy to oblige.
So the following is a list of some of my favorite graphic novels featuring black superheroes:

-Black Panther (the Reginald Hudlin run) One Bad Mutha, Bride, Back to Africa, The Deadliest of the Species

-Black Lightning: Year One

-Static Shock: Rebirth of the Cool, Trial By Fire

-Icon: Homecoming, The Mothership Connection

-Hardware: The Man In the Machine

-Serenity: A Shepherd’s Tale

-Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel

-Daughters of the Dragon: Samurai Bullets

-Boondocks

-Aaron McGruder and Reginald Hudlin’s Birth of a Nation

-Luke Cage: A Town Without Pity

-Luke Cage Noir

-Vixen: Return of the Lion

Enjoy!!!!!

Black Panther: Review

Deep in the heart of Africa lies Wakanda, an advanced and unconquerable civilization. A family of warrior-kings possessing superior speed, strength and agility has governed this mysterious nation as long as time itself. The latest in this famed line is young King T’Challa, the great hero known worldwide as the Black Panther.

Now outsiders once again threaten to invade and plunder Wakanda. Leading this brutal assault is Klaw, a deadly assassin with the blood of T’Challa’s murdered father on his hands, who brings with him a strong army of superpowered mercenaries. Even with Wakanda’s might and his own superhuman skills, can the Black Panther prevail against this deadly invading force?
How this film rocked, let me count the ways.

Before I go any further, I should state that apologies are in order. Years ago, there was a trailer for this series and I was less than impressed to put it mildly. It was a motion comic that was being pushed as an animated film and I was outraged that the film featuring the black superhero got the short end of the stick.

What I didn’t know was that the trailer was actually originally done by one animator who presented it to film executive producer Reginald Hudlin who penned the series and the film is based on his story arc. Hudlin presented it to Marvel and they greenlit it.

But you wouldn’t know that though the way Marvel threw this film/six part animated minseries under the bus. While lesser films such as Ultimate Avengers, Iron Man and Doctor Strange were pushed and heavily promoted, Black Panther was on iTunes and then removed and the DVD has to be ordered through Amazon and its primary advertising has been through word of mouth.

The most twisted part, this was some of Marvel’s finest work.

First and foremost, the star power alone should’ve made this a fully funded feature film in theaters or at the very least on DVD: We’re talking Djimon Hounsou as the titular protagonist, Alfre Woodard, Kerry Washington, Jill Scott, and Stan Lee.

The lack of support this film has gotten is proof how the Black Panther is one of the most overlooked superheroes ever. A gifted prodigy, a world class warrior whose skills are second to none, T’Challa is arguably Marvel’s answer to Batman as Bruce Wayne and T’Challa share more than a few parallels.

The film also reminded me why I sorely miss Hudlin’s writing on the Black Panther series. He has the perfect blend of escapism, social commentary, political intrigue, satire, and fantasy escapism that is second to none. This is a story that has political intrigue, explores the bonds of family, is part revenge saga, and is action packed with more than a few laughs. Not surprising considering this is the man that gave us Birth of A Nation along with Aaron McGruder. Hudlin’s writing of the Black Panther came under fire. The primary reason, in his world, black folks don’t play second string to white characters. They are just as accomplished as their caucasian peers and for a lot of white comic book fans, that’s far more far-fetched than super-powered beings. But for those of us who have been waiting for a film that features a black superhero with RESPECT, this film has been long overdue.

While the film sticks pretty faithfully to the graphic novel, Who Is The Black Panther, there are a few changes and in my opinion for the better. Most notably, a cameo from the X-Men and Storm is brought in as a major player. While I wasn’t a fan of the execution of the Storm/T’Challa relationship, I’m always happy to see the Goddess in any series. After all, she is the First Lady of Marvel as far as I’m concerned. Mad props to Jill Scott who flawlessly delivers a beautiful African accent in her portrayal of Storm.

And if you’re not a comic book person, that’s totally okay too. This film is very self-contained and you’ll get the full story without feeling lost.

What I was really happy to hear is that the film has done immensely well. Last I heard, the Black Panther has outsold comparable X-Men and Iron Man films, both of which have had the backings of live-action films.

Of course I’m left with only one question to Marvel: WHAT THE FRAK IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHY AREN’T YOU PUSHING MORE FILMS LIKE THIS? DON’T YOU WANNA MAKE MONEY? I LIKES TO MAKE MONEY. I WANNA HELP YOU MAKE MONEY!!!!!!

Minority superheroes when handled with respect do equal financial success: Cassandra Cain run on Batgirl, Kevin Keller, Batwoman, this film here.

I implore you to check out Counting Colored Cash for further proof.

In the meantime, I’ll be Waiting For Wakanda.

And if this video here doesn’t get you hyped enough to go buy the DVD off of Amazon or get the episodes off of Youtube, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. I really don’t.

Black Panther is available now on Youtube, Amazon and wherever DVDs of AWESOME are sold.