Round 2: Metal Men

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Iron Man 2 vs Black Panther

By Christian Hollis, Editor-in-Chief

The case for “Iron Man 2”
There is much to like about Iron Man 2, and it is nice seeing Tony Stark develop. There are hints of him beginning the path toward Iron Man 3 where he just wants to be Iron Man rather than a businessman. It truly makes sense that he becomes so self-destructive because he thinks he’s getting metal poisoning. Metal poisoning is a real and scary thing, and Tony doesn’t think there is any way for him to fix this, so he is a huge jerk and always drunk. Tony also is only interested in his “hobby” of building the suits, and this is where he is building his huge collection, which gives Iron Man 3 more meaning. It is also confirmed that the little boy in the Iron Man mask Tony saves is in fact Peter Parker, and this is just a nice nod to the later continuity of the MCU.
The case for “Black Panther”
The African culture represented in Black Panther creates a very different feeling, which isn’t replicated in any other Marvel movie. The culture is really well-developed, so it brings the audience into this world where everything is different. Killmonger is a perfect gray villain. Viewers can really sympathize and understand what Eric is thinking and why he wants things to happen. He wants to inflict pain because he is thinking, “the world didn’t care about me, so why should I care in return.” The ending with Eric is poetic. The entire movie walks the line between being light-hearted and carrying a serious message about division, and Black Panther pulls this off very well.
T’Challa isn’t a typical superhero either. He is only a “superhero” because he has taken the mantle of Black Panther, a title, along with being King. T’Challa fails as well. He isn’t infallible like Captain America, Black Widow or even Thor.

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Winner: Black Panther
“Black Panther” has a much better villain than “Iron Man 2.” Black Panther fleshes out an entirely new cast well, and it makes the audience care about these new characters. Iron Man 2 built on the previous Iron Man well, but it felt more clunky as a whole rather than one smooth piece, especially considering Tony’s sudden breakthrough in alcoholism.