Yes, I know most of you are screaming at me right now, and no, I’m not choosing this because I am black. Hear me out…
The reason this post has an asterisk beside it is for the simple fact that Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War are clearly masterpieces that live in their own realm. With that being said, two movies were in consideration when making this post, Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy. Let’s compare.
Both movies explore worlds we had yet to see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I think what we saw in Black Panther was much more intriguing than what we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy. Wakanda was a country where everyone involved had to work to create an entirely new world with all new traditions, people, places and things. I hear you. You could argue the same thing with space, however, space has been done so many times and there are some rules to space. There were no rules to Wakanda and adding too much or not enough could have ruined the entire film. Also, Wakanda, like it or not, is a central place in the MCU. Think about it. If we don’t have Wakanda, we don’t have vibranium, Vision, Cap’s shield, Tony or many of the scientific advancements made in this film for the heroes. Yes, I hear you. The meteor came from space. Came from space and landed where? Who kept it safe? Wakandians!
Let’s talk about the lead character of each film. We like them both for different reasons but I would argue that we care more about the side characters like Gamora, Rocket, Groot and Dax than we do about Star Lord. The only times I can remember that someone cared about what Star Lord did or his character at all was when he dance battled Ronan and when he destroyed a well thought out plan in Infinity War. Even though we had Shuri, M’Baku, Okoye and Nakia, who were all fabulous characters, I would argue that none of them outshined T’Challa. Did they have good moments, yes, but did they make it so you cared nothing about the King at all, no.
What Guardians does have over Black Panther is it’s cast. Their cast is slightly better than that of Black Panther so one twelve points for Guardians, but what about their villains and their storyline? I’m glad you asked. Erik Killmonger is a WAY better villain than Ronan. There is no argument there. Thanos, Loki and Killmonger are the best villains that Marvel has to offer, and no, we don’t know that Wanda is a villain yet. Killmonger had backstory, a point, a plan and a much stronger will than Ronan. I don’t have anything else to say here because no one can make a better argument here.
Storyline. Both movies have the advantage of being mentioned in other films and what I mean by that is there have been hints about space, Wakanda and it’s vibranium in various films before the release of these films. Here’s where it no longer becomes fair. Black Panther has far more complexities in its story than Guardians. The best storyline in Guardians is exploring the dynamics between Gamora and Nebula. That, dare I say it, is an even better dynamic than Thor and Loki. Guardians is also were we get the explanation of the origins of the precious Infinity Stones that Thanos wants so bad.
Now, you could argue that comparing these two films is like comparing DC movies to Marvel movies (I took the dig) because one could be considered a drama while the other is clearly a comedy, but they’re still both in the MCU and each was handled in, for lack of real knowledge, in kind of the same manner. Is Guardians funnier than Black Panther? Yes. Is Black Panther’s setting much more compelling than Guardians? I think so. Can we compare the directors? Ehhh. I won’t here because each have different visions and purposes for their films, but tell me, what is your favorite Marvel film?
I’m getting to the point where I’m willing to rate every MCU film based on the villain. The quality of the heroes, visual effects, plot, etc. is excellent in every film. The only real difference at this point is the quality of the villain.
Killmonger is one of the best villains in the entire MCU, and that’s a big reason why Black Panther is so good. Ego was a better villain than Ronan, so Guardians 2 has a strong case for being better that Guardians 1. Thor 2 has the weakest villain in the entire MCU, and it’s easily a bottom 3 MCU film.
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I love Loki but his villainous ways manifested more with the Avengers. Ego was alright. Definitely better than Ronan. Ultron was great!
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