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THE B-LIST: Saluting the superheroes who are bold, brave and black

After months of eager anticipation, Marvel's "Black Panther" has finally arrived!

To say I'm brimming with excitement would be an understatement. As friends will confirm, I've literally screamed every time a trailer for the film has rolled.

And I'm clearly not the only one: "Black Panther" has already broken pre-sale records at the box office, currently has a 100 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is the first Marvel film to nab the cover of Time magazine.

Yeah, this movie is a big deal. It's a superhero film with an immense budget — and an almost entirely black cast. Its setting — the fictional country of Wakanda — is a part of Africa that was never colonized nor enslaved, a place where an African royal family has always held sway.

That's huge.

1. BLADE. It all comes full circle: "Blade" was the first Marvel adaptation, long before there was a Marvel Studios, and heralded the beginning of a darker, more serious era of superhero movies. The dhampir — half-vampire, half-human — hero was brought to the big screen by Wesley Snipes and starred in three films, including one helmed by my favorite auteur, Guillermo del Toro. While "Black Panther" probably won't be nearly as bloody, it owes a great debt of gratitude to "Blade."

• ANGIE BARRY is a page designer and columnist for The Times. To suggest future topics for The B-List, which covers pop culture, history and literature, contact her at

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