Marvel's "Black Panther" opened to audiences nationwide Friday.
Audiences everywhere have anticipated the release of the newest Marvel blockbuster, in part because of the message generations of fans have waited so long to see on the big screen.
"Black Panther" has all the thrills of a marvel superhero movie.
But it's also making history as the first big-budget, comic book story with a black superhero.
The story revolves around T'challa AKA "Black Panther" played by Chadwick Boseman who returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king.
The film has been praised for its positive portrayal of Africa as well as it’s portrayal of fierce, strong women.
Lupita Nyong’o plays Nakia, T’challa’ former lover who's also a spy.
“When you have images like this, Black Panther, you see people assuming positions of power that look like you,” Nyong’o said. “It becomes that much more possible.”
Redding resident John McMillian, has been reading "Black Panther" comics since he was a kid.
He said seeing a black superhero for the first time was empowering.
“It inspired me,” McMillian said. “It made me want to read more, or to read more comics and then it made me want to see more characters like "Black Panther" in the rest of the comic universe and then just comics in general.”
For McMillian, seeing his hero on the big screen was everything he hoped for and more.
“It was beautiful,” McMillian said. “Because as an African American, a lot of us don't know our true culture and we only scratch the surface. And it shows us the history, the culture and the way other cultures view or viewed African American culture.”
And even though the movie portrays a fictional society, he said it's message is still true to the spirit of African culture.
“It shows a side of African culture and shows us as African Americans what we can do...as far as the directors and screenwriters that we can get out there and be creative,” McMillian said. “We can create something that will fit into another universe and that we can create stuff that is just as good as anyone else.”