At this point, there's no way to deny it: Black Panther is a hit. Ryan Coogler's film has taken the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a brand new direction, and audiences seem to appreciate all of its bold swings. With that said, there's one thing that we can't help but notice about Black Panther: it's insanely similar to Thor: Ragnarok.
Those are the similarities that we intend to focus on with this article. Despite the film's unprecedented box office success for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the movie also echoes many beats and story elements from its direct MCU predecessor. On that note, let's dive in and talk about how both Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok handle fatherly relationships.
The Hero Dealing With The Death Of His Father
In fairness, parental relationships often seem to play prominent roles in superhero movies on both sides of the aisle; after all, look at the Martha scene from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Having said that, the comparison between Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok is striking. Both involve elder sons of an advanced kingdoms dealing with the passing of their respective fathers in very similar ways. For T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), he must return home to Wakanda and deal with the fallout of his father's murder in Captain America: Civil War. Similarly, the bulk of Thor: Ragnarok's story follows Thor Odinson (Chris Hemsworth) as he copes with the death of Odin (Anthony Hopkins) on the side of a cliff before the arrival of Hela (Cate Blanchett), and the implication that he must finally ascend to Asgard's throne.
Both Feature A Gladiator Fight
In the world of superhero-themed action movies, there are few better ways to show how badass your hero is than to have him or her engage in a gladiator fight. Luckily for Marvel fans, both Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok feature scenes in which the hero is stripped of his defining power and thrust into combat for a crowd of cheering onlookers. In Black Panther, this happens (multiple times) at the waterfall when T'Challa has his herb-induced powers removed prior to a battle to reassert his status as king. On the other hand, in Thor: Ragnarok, we saw a loose adaptation of Planet Hulk in which Thor faces off against The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) after being captured upon his arrival on Sakaar. Black Panther's gladiator fight is played considerably straighter than Ragnarok's more comedic scene, but they're both arena-based melees nonetheless.