Black Panther Movie

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:33 am

Holy crap, that was pretty cool. LOVED how utterly unique it was- like sticking a sci-fi world into the "real world", but keeping it grounded enough (more like one high-tech lab and some spaceships) that it didn't feel too "out there". All of the crazy costumes were EXCELLENT, as if it was some kind of celebration of a Pan-African concept (usually, that's something people COMPLAIN about, but I guess here it was BY black people, so it's cool :)). Dish-Lip Guy was my favorite :).

Shuri was AMAZING, and far better than the "ambitious younger sister" in the comics, who is frankly rather annoying. Here, she was adorable, petulant and funny, but also basically "Cute, Black M" from James Bond. I wholeheartedly approve, especially of her battle costume.

The Dora Milaje were pretty bad-ass. A Priest element that was more or less unchanged (though I dunno of the Milaje were allowed to have boyfriends in the comics, given they were "Ceremonial Wives"). GREAT "Good Guy Mooks", and the bad-ass one was pretty awesome.

I liked Killmonger- a Villain With Purpose, where you could kind of understand why he turned out that way. He was Chaotic Evil in a way that didn't make him a slavering, slobbering psychopath- he was more of a cold, calculating monster, willing to pay back all the wrongs done to him (being left in a poor part of the world, and seeing the evils men can wreak on each other), and basically burn everything down because of it. He basically was like Magneto, in that he allowed what happened to him (and, broadly, his people) to justify unspeakable actions which actually MIMIC the oppressors. The "Dark Shadow of Imperialism" was strong with him. "The Sun Will Never Set on the Wakandan Empire", indeed.

I liked how Wakanda was this Utopia, but made out to be rather selfish and "non-perfect". Hiding and hoarding their gifts was treated as a complex issue- not black or white. And the debate over what the wealthy/powerful "owe" their brothers was done in an interesting way, with no clear answers. And it certainly didn't excuse Wakanda's isolationist policy.

T'Challa himself was okay, but one of the characters I was least-interested in. His buddy who sides with Killmonger, Killmonger himself, Nakia, Okoye & Shuri were all really more well-rounded characters who I ended up liking a lot more.

A nation of black guys who worship gorillas and make gorilla noises? Yeah, good thing it was mostly black people involved in the making of this movie :).

A little too much "Mirror Image Fight" and "Blur Vision" with the battles of the Panthers.

Too bad we'll never have a proper "Masters of Evil" from all the villains in these movies, though :).

And of course DC's gotta be annoyed at Marvel basically going "okay, Wonder Woman was great; now watch THIS" and making a definitive "Black Movie" to rival WW's "Woman's Movie", and getting a similarly-huge reaction for it. Especially since Justice League was a disappointment.

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Ares » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:31 am

I still haven't seen Black Panther yet, so I can't really comment on the film itself. I have heard some reviews of it from folks like Aydin Paladin, Sargon of Akkad, and Micah Curtis, each of whom touches on various aspects of the film and the politics around it. Micah liked the film, Sargon felt the film wasn't for him (I skipped to the end to avoid spoilers) and Aydin is not watching it presently. I myself am going to be watching it sometime next week. The politics in and about the film are simultaneously worthy of discussion, but at the same time have the potential to cause a lot of ugliness.

Which is why now is as good a time as any to revisit the guidelines for Echoes. When I set this place up, I decided against having restrictions on topics such as politics or religion since I figured we were a bunch of quasi-well adjusted folks, with the only restriction that we treat the topics and the people on this board discussing them with respect and courtesy.

And I want to be clear that no one in this thread has broken any rules, but the film and some of the topics surrounding it create the right kind of climate for things to get ugly. So I just want to reiterate how I prefer we handle things here, and remind everyone that every thread starter has the right to request certain things be kept out of threads, up to and including a lack of political discussion. I do not want to shut down those kinds of discussions, but the Debate Forum exists specifically for back and forth debates and discussions about all aspects of life.

And I'll be the first to admit, I have my own issues and things I get . . . verbose about. And maybe I don't get called on it because I'm the site owner and that makes folks feel the need to walk on eggshells around me. I can't always promise I'll be objective when it comes to every discussion, but I will promise to be fair with everyone. So if I'm doing something stupid, I hope to be called out on it.

So yeah, everyone just remember the power your words have, where you are, and who you're with. At the end of the day, we're all some semi-functional nerds and goofballs here to have a good time. And please remind me of that when I get out of line.

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Ares » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:57 am

So I finally got to see the movie today, and I thought it was a pretty solid Marvel Movie. As I've said before, I tend to "tier" the Marvel movies rather than have a top to bottom "Best to worst" list. For me, it basically goes:

Above Average: Captain America's 1, 2 & 3, Avengers 1
Average: Everything else not listed
Below Average: Incredible Hulk
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The Only Bad Movies in the Franchise: Iron Man 3

And to me, Black Panther is solidly in the "Average Marvel Movie" camp, which still makes it a solid 7-8/10 compared to other films.

I liked a lot of the actors, I liked the look of Wakanda, the general feel of the various tribes, the amazonian honor guard were fantastic, and the film managed to make M'baku and Shuri into likeable characters (the former is kind of a one-dimensional villain in the comics, while the latter comes across as kind of insane at times). The car chase scene was pretty fun, I liked this take on the Panther suit, though the film makes a strong case for solid-state technology as opposed to nanites (such as sound waves not turning a solid-state suit off), I like that Agent Freeman was shown as a genuinely good guy, etc.

I also liked that, while Wakanda was set up as some kind of African paradise, the film does show that it's really only a paradise for the people at the top, and it's still very flawed. They're cultural isolationists that refuse people of all races entry, deny technology to the rest of the world, their kings have engaged in questionable acts in the past, it's a society where the people have no say in their rulers decisions, there's no chance for a woman to ascend the throne, and rulership of the most technologically advanced secret society can be handled via one-on-one combat. The film never has anyone say it, but it shows pretty much why that's such a rock stupid idea. Rather than being a utopia, Wakanda is a flawed land that T'Challa is going to change to be worthy of what it should have always been, which is the mark of a good leader and a hero.

I felt there were some issues with some of the fight scenes, especially the first one that was pretty much impossible to follow. There wasn't as much fun banter or dialogue that you get in other Marvel Films, and it feels like they had to cram a lot into less time than they had. This almost should have been two films to allow us to really get a feel for Wakanda, get to see T'Challa as a king, where instead all of his major actions as a king are basically fighting one-on-one duels to maintain the throne, as well one mission to capture a criminal. He never really got to do any real ruling until the very end of the film. In some way, T'Challa almost felt like a guest star in his own movie. I also wish they hadn't killed off Klaw, because it again means we'll never see any real supervillain team at this rate.

The ubiquitous of Vibranium in the film creates a couple of issues for me, foremost being Cap's shield. With it being 100% Vibranium here instead of a unique combination of Vibranium and an early proto-Adamantium, Cap's shield really isn't all that special unless they add in something about Howard doing something to make it unique. Like, there's no reason Wakanda couldn't mass-produce Cap's shield, which is just kind of weird.

Killmonger is presently getting touted as one of the MCU's greatest villain's and . . . I really just don't see it. The most unique thing about them is that he couches his justification for what he does in racial rhetoric, when really he's just someone out for revenge against the people that killed his dad, and wants to take over the world while simultaneously creating an ethno-state. In terms of revenge motivation there's nothing really separating him from Ivan Vanko, nor is his desire for world power any different from the Red Skull. He just used racism and oppression as his justifications for his actions, while turning around and basically wanting to be more racist and oppressive than anyone since Hitler. If anything, I have to give Marvel credit for allowing their first major black villain to be that vile and hypocritical. And I've got to say that the scene where he spoke to his father in the afterlife was VERY well done, one of the best scenes in the film. But at present, the best villains in the MCU to me are still Loki, Ego, Zemo and, of all people, the Vulture.

Overall tho, I'd say Black Panther was a solid addition to the MCU and a film I enjoyed. It had some solid performances and decent world-building marred by leaning a little to heavy on the MCU formula (to the point of being predictable at times), the occasionally questionable fight scene, and poor T'Challa sometimes feeling like he didn't get to do enough in his own movie. Apart from that, I had a good time and was never bored.

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:48 am

Killmonger is presently getting touted as one of the MCU's greatest villain's and . . . I really just don't see it. The most unique thing about them is that he couches his justification for what he does in racial rhetoric, when really he's just someone out for revenge against the people that killed his dad, and wants to take over the world while simultaneously creating an ethno-state. In terms of revenge motivation there's nothing really separating him from Ivan Vanko, nor is his desire for world power any different from the Red Skull. He just used racism and oppression as his justifications for his actions, while turning around and basically wanting to be more racist and oppressive than anyone since Hitler. If anything, I have to give Marvel credit for allowing their first major black villain to be that vile and hypocritical. And I've got to say that the scene where he spoke to his father in the afterlife was VERY well done, one of the best scenes in the film. But at present, the best villains in the MCU to me are still Loki, Ego, Zemo and, of all people, the Vulture.
Well, kind of the point of the guy was that he was "Black Magneto", doing monstrous things because of the injustices he feels have been inflicted upon his people. He had a rough go of it in life, and allowed it to turn him into a monster who was basically the scary-intelligent kind of "Chaotic Evil". I mean, you called it pretty well- he's a hypocrite, but what separates him from many dumb bad guys is that his motivation was clear, and was based off of real pain and hate. Part of what separated him from some of the more forgettable villains was charisma, though I find him around the level of Vanko on that front (however, Vanko's motivation was weaker).

I mean, as far as MCU villains go, he's pretty high-tier just because so many of them have been somewhat forgettable or weak.

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Chris Brady » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:46 am

Honestly, I'm with BriarThorne for most of the underlying political tones.

However, I enjoyed the film. It was nice and brainless. The cityscapes were gorgeous, the casino fight was great. The scenery and tech were cool. Even if the Battle Rhinos were silly.

I agree it has some serious story flaws.

First off, Shuri is insufferable. Hands down, no argument.

Secondly, how is a highly advanced nation with a level of super science that rivals say, Tony Stark, and a supposedly good nation withholding all this advanced technology from it's obviously suffering neighbours. This is a heroic nation?

Also, how in the world did it not get discovered? I mean, Vibranium had been in use since 1940+, where did they get it, and why did no one try to invade Wakanda for it?

Then there's Killmonger, generic Racist wannabe Hitler with no concept of how the world works with massive daddy issues. As about generic as they come. People are calling him "Black Magneto', and I have to agree. He's nothing new, he's just a reskin of another villain who had been done much better. Given that Ulysses Klaw was everything he hated, why did he even work with the guy?

And why did they kill Klaw? He was the best part of the movie! Entertaining! The best villain in the movie!

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Ares » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:15 pm

Chris Brady wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:46 am
Secondly, how is a highly advanced nation with a level of super science that rivals say, Tony Stark, and a supposedly good nation withholding all this advanced technology from it's obviously suffering neighbours. This is a heroic nation?
Well, that was something I thought was actually well done, and which the people looking to Wakanda as some kind of African Paradise that they wish they could live in are missing: Wakanda is not a heroic nation.

Wakanda is an isolationist monarchy whose rule can only be disputed by Trial by Combat between men. Women have no capacity to advance in this society, and even the Queen holds little true power. The citizens have no capacity to influence their rulers. No one not native born to the nation is allowed within its borders.They keep advanced medical technology to themselves, not even selling it to other nations. They offer no humanitarian aid to other nations, they do nothing to help their neighbors, they don't interfere in genocides happening within Africa, etc.

Wakanda only looks like a paradise to the ruling elite who have access to all of the power and technology they could want. And while the citizens looked content, we only get glimpses of them, and apart from them having nifty holographic iphones, they don't look any better or worse off than the people of any other nation. Except that these people have no influence over the politics of the nation. Again, if the wrong person wins a fight, things could change drastically for the country.

At best, Wakanda is no better or worse than any other nation on Earth, putting its own interests first.

There's something similar I wish would have been brought up to the Amazons in Wonder Woman at some point. The Amazons constantly complain about how evil Man's world is and how their island is perfect, but they really have no room to judge. They're immortal women who have zero population growth. They have perfect weather year round. Their island provides them with all of the food and water they need. They have no neighbors trying to encroach on their territories. They're specifically protected from disease, famines, natural disasters, or other hazards. It's real easy to build a stable society when your population doesn't expand, all of your needs are seen to, and you've got no one you need to share with.

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by BriarThrone » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:47 pm

Yeah, a society that's... not even post-scarcity, but NON-scarcity, with an entirely stable population, zero immigration, zero emmigration, no birth, no death, no food needs, no medical needs, basically ZERO needs, has no way to understand a world where economics is necessary to manage scarcity.

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Chris Brady » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:36 pm

Ares wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:15 pm
There's something similar I wish would have been brought up to the Amazons in Wonder Woman at some point. The Amazons constantly complain about how evil Man's world is and how their island is perfect, but they really have no room to judge. They're immortal women who have zero population growth. They have perfect weather year round. Their island provides them with all of the food and water they need. They have no neighbors trying to encroach on their territories. They're specifically protected from disease, famines, natural disasters, or other hazards. It's real easy to build a stable society when your population doesn't expand, all of your needs are seen to, and you've got no one you need to share with.
This must be a retcon. Because originally, they used to kidnap men to breed with them. No one ever mentioned what they did to the men AFTER the rocking sex, though... :shock:

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Ares » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:02 am

Chris Brady wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:36 pm
Ares wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:15 pm
There's something similar I wish would have been brought up to the Amazons in Wonder Woman at some point. The Amazons constantly complain about how evil Man's world is and how their island is perfect, but they really have no room to judge. They're immortal women who have zero population growth. They have perfect weather year round. Their island provides them with all of the food and water they need. They have no neighbors trying to encroach on their territories. They're specifically protected from disease, famines, natural disasters, or other hazards. It's real easy to build a stable society when your population doesn't expand, all of your needs are seen to, and you've got no one you need to share with.
This must be a retcon. Because originally, they used to kidnap men to breed with them. No one ever mentioned what they did to the men AFTER the rocking sex, though... :shock:
Well, in some myths the Amazons had men raise their kids while they handled the traditionally manly duties. The Amazons were just powerful mortal warriors, so they needed to reproduce their numbers naturally.

In the comics the Amazons were immortal women, and Diana was unique as the only child on the island in thousands of years. Their island was a literal paradise granted by the gods.

Then the Nu-52 made them into mortals again, and violent rapists who murdered the men when they were done.

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Chris Brady » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:20 pm

Sorry for the tangent, but before 1987's Crisis, Themiscyra was not populated by 'immortal' women, there were three generations of Amazons,Diana was the second. Actually, it wasn't even known as Themiscyra, it was Paradise Island. And they brought men to have sex with them, and according to what I found, segregated the men into domestic duties. Then Post-Crisis made them into men-hating immortals of various degrees of misandry.

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Ares » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:09 am

Chris Brady wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:20 pm
Sorry for the tangent, but before 1987's Crisis, Themiscyra was not populated by 'immortal' women, there were three generations of Amazons,Diana was the second. Actually, it wasn't even known as Themiscyra, it was Paradise Island. And they brought men to have sex with them, and according to what I found, segregated the men into domestic duties. Then Post-Crisis made them into men-hating immortals of various degrees of misandry.
Pretty sure they were immortals since the golden age. I remember a few Pre-Crisis stories about how if a man stepped foot on Paradise Island the Amazons would lose their immortality. When Beast Boy was brought to the island to be treated for an injury, he had to remain on a specially designed slab for his stay there. Poor guy remarked that he was surrounded by beautiful, immortal women who hadn't seen a man in ages, but he had to stay confined to his little slab.

It was the whole reason why Diana needed to be sculpted from clay and given life by Aphrodite. There wasn't any way for her mom to have a child the old fashioned way.

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Chris Brady » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:08 am

The Wikipedia article, which is all I could find on it:

"Pre-Crisis (1941–1987)

When Wonder Woman's homeland is first introduced in 1941, it is referred to as Paradise Island, a secret and hidden island on Earth inhabited by the Amazons of myth. The Amazons were given a break from the hostilities and temptations of Man's World, and so were decreed to start a new life improving themselves by sequestering themselves to this island away from ancient Greece, after being enslaved by Hercules. With the island blessed by the Olympian Gods, no man was allowed to physically set foot on it. When United States Army intelligence officer Steve Trevor's plane crashes there during World War II, he is nursed back to health just outside of the capital city by Princess Diana, daughter of the island's Queen Hippolyta. Diana later competes against other Amazons to become Wonder Woman, the emissary from Paradise Island who will accompany Steve back to "Man's World" and aid in the fight against the Axis powers. It was established that all Amazons are adept at a discipline called "bullets and bracelets" in which they are able to deflect bullets fired at them using the chain bands on their wrists.

It was originally implied, but not yet fully confirmed, that Paradise Island was located somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Then in the 1970s television incarnation (as portrayed by Lynda Carter), Paradise Island's location was set in the Bermuda Triangle. And the 2009 animated movie version had set it in the Aegean Sea.

Originally, there were three generations of Amazons living on the island, with Princess Diana being from the second.

This basic back-story remains intact throughout the Golden Age and Silver Age of Comic Books, until the 1985–1986 Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline. Upon the conclusion of this limited series, most characters in the DC Comics universe underwent some revamp or retcon in their storyline history, and Wonder Woman was one of several characters whose entire continuity was rebooted."

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Ares » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:34 am

I don't want to dwell on this too long, since we're getting off track from the Black Panther film, but all I can tell you is that this contradicts other wikipedia articles, as well as Pre-Crisis continuity as established in the actual comics.

Take this bit about The Golden Age Hippolyta
The character Hippolyta (initially spelled "Hippolyte") first appeared in All Star Comics #8 (December 1941) in the same story that introduced her daughter, Princess Diana, known as Wonder Woman. Created by writer William Moulton Marston and artist Harry G. Peter, this original version of the character is a brunette like Diana.

In the story, Hippolyte and the Amazons once resided in "Amazonia" in the days of ancient Greece, until they were beguiled and bested by the demi-god Hercules, who had been inspired by the God of War Mars, to go after her. She was able to beat him thanks to the magic girdle, but he seduced her, and tricked her into removing the girdle, allowing him to steal it. This caused the Amazons to lose their super strength and the favor of their patron goddess, Aphrodite. Eventually she and the other Amazons were forgiven, but had to wear bracelets to remind them of the folly of submitting to men. To regain their status, the Amazons were decreed to leave the mortal world and relocate to Paradise Island. There they established their own society, free from the evils of man's world. So long as they remained there and Hippolyte retained possession of her magic girdle, the Amazons would be immortal. Much of this history was adapted, varied, and expanded upon in the modern version of the Wonder Woman comics.

For the most part, Hippolyte remained on Paradise Island during the Golden Age era, rarely interacting with the modern world to which her daughter had journeyed. Her role was that of the Amazon Queen and mentor to Wonder Woman. She was devoted to the Olympian goddesses, particularly the Amazons' patron Aphrodite, and was adamant that man never be allowed to set foot on Paradise Island.
Likewise, from Wonder Woman's own wiki page
She was able to heal faster than a normal human being due to her birthright consumption of water from Paradise Island's Fountain of Eternal Youth.

Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #105 revealed that Diana was formed from clay by the Queen of the Amazons, given life and power by four of the Greek and Roman gods (otherwise known as the Olympian deities) as gifts, corresponding to her renowned epithet: "Beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules", making her the strongest of the Amazons.
Wonder Woman #105 was written in 1959, long before Crisis on Infinite Earths.

So yeah, since at least the late 50's, the Amazons are immortal women. You can't really have a third generation of Amazons when Diana is the only second generation one (not counting Donna Troy and the little known Nubia) who had to be molded from clay and given life by the gods. The idea of the DC Comics Amazons being rapists only came about in 2011, and before that, they were women who had gone to that island and were immortal.

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Chris Brady » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:56 am

There are three generations though, Donna Troy has to count, she always has. But OK, I'm ending it. I'm not bring this up anymore, as pointed out, this has nothing to do with BP.

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Re: Black Panther Movie

Post by Ares » Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:45 pm

Donna Troy was an adopted Amazon. She was an orphan brought to the island by Diana and raised there until Crisis came along and the writers felt compelled to redo her origin over and over. If we count Donna, it would technically mean there were three generations of Amazons, its just that Diana is the sole second generation one, and Donna is the sole third generation one. And Diana was originally created through the intervention of a goddess, while Donna was born off of the island and brought there as a young girl.

The point being, what started this debate was when you said-
Chris Brady wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:36 pm
Ares wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:15 pm
There's something similar I wish would have been brought up to the Amazons in Wonder Woman at some point. The Amazons constantly complain about how evil Man's world is and how their island is perfect, but they really have no room to judge. They're immortal women who have zero population growth. They have perfect weather year round. Their island provides them with all of the food and water they need. They have no neighbors trying to encroach on their territories. They're specifically protected from disease, famines, natural disasters, or other hazards. It's real easy to build a stable society when your population doesn't expand, all of your needs are seen to, and you've got no one you need to share with.
This must be a retcon. Because originally, they used to kidnap men to breed with them. No one ever mentioned what they did to the men AFTER the rocking sex, though... :shock:
and
Chris Brady wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:20 pm
Sorry for the tangent, but before 1987's Crisis, Themiscyra was not populated by 'immortal' women, there were three generations of Amazons,Diana was the second. Actually, it wasn't even known as Themiscyra, it was Paradise Island. And they brought men to have sex with them, and according to what I found, segregated the men into domestic duties. Then Post-Crisis made them into men-hating immortals of various degrees of misandry.
-of which, the only accurate statements are "there were three generations of Amazons" (which is true only on a technicality) and "it was originally called Paradise Island" (which was something I never brought up or contested). The Amazons of DC Comics have been immortal (of the "doesn't age" variety) since the Golden Age, it wasn't the Crisis that made them immortals. Steve Trevor was the first man to step foot on the island, and he was only allowed on the beaches of the island, since any further in would have counted as the island proper and revoked the Amazon's immortality. There were no men on the island, they weren't kidnapped or segregated into domestic duties, and it wasn't until the 2011 reboot that the Amazons were turned murdering rapists.

But again, this is distracting from the main point. I brought up the Amazons as a comparison of Wakanda, and how the film Wakanda was at least shown to only appear to be a paradise, and was actually a deeply flawed land. This makes T'challa actually more genuinely heroic for going against centuries of tradition to make his home a better place, the first king to be shown to do so. The Amazons, by contrast, tend to get portrayed as being very down on humanity and the evils o mankind outside their island, but they rarely have anyone debate them and point out that their society can only exist because of literal magic making them immortal and seeing to their needs.

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