In the days since the death of Chadwick Boseman, we've seen a lot of different tributes to the man who brought Black Panther to life. Those that knew him have written wonderful words about the man himself and the importance of the work that he did. The newest tribute, however, has no words. A new mural has been unveiled at Disneyland Resort's Downtown Disney that may sum up everything that Chadwick Boseman meant to the world in a single image.
The work is called "King Chad" and it's by artist, and former Walt Disney Imagineer, Nikkolas Smith. It depicts Chadwick Boseman with a small child wearing a Black Panther mask as they both have their arms crossed in the "Wakanda Forever" salute. Check out images of the mural, including a video of the grand reveal, from Smith's Instagram post below.
In the mural we see that the child in the mask is wearing a hospital gown and has lost their hair, indicating this child is fighting cancer. We know that Chadwick Boseman visited several children's hospitals during his time as the MCU's Black Panther, something which became all the more resonates when we all learned that Boseman spent four years fighting cancer himself.
Nikkolas Smith mentions that he was part of the team at Walt Disney Imagineering, that worked on both the upcoming Avengers Campus land at Disney California Adventure, as well as the project announced in 2018 that saw Imagineering working with children's hospitals around the world to make hospital stays easier for both the children in need of care and their families.
The mural is located in the one part of the Disneyland Resort that is currently open, Downtown Disney. It replaces a previous mural, celebrating Disneyland's 65th anniversary, found near where the ESPN Zone was once located.
There aren't quite words to describe just how beautiful this mage is. It wasn't that long ago that Black Panther was released and instantly became a cultural touchstone. The importance of the film to Black children was especially touching. Organizations and individuals all over the country raised money to purchase tickets so that kids could look at the big screen and see a hero that looked like them. Since then we've seen images of children holding mock funerals for Black Panther with action figures. It's as beautiful as it is heartbreaking.
Black Panther has been a walk-around character at Disney California Adventure in the past and he's expected to be a part of Avengers Campus. The land is expected to include a live show that takes place around the land and Black Panther is set to be one of the heroes in the show. We also know that the forthcoming Phase 2 attraction will include sequences in Wakanda. Maybe this mural can find a semipermanent home, either in or around Avengers Campus.