Strip Talk #29: We have lost our beloved king and so we mourn

We lost him. Some­where in that unre­lat­able ethos of the beyond, Chad­wick Bose­man is form­ing that megawatt elec­tric grin. He’s look­ing down on his legacy and see­ing the mil­lions that mourn him. He’s see­ing the trib­utes and the out­pour­ing of grief.

And he is smiling.

Some­how, in a moment where his star shot bright­est and high­est, we lost him.

Our king has been stricken and lost. He has ascended to a higher throne, a throne we can­not com­pre­hend. But we dare to dream, that he — our erst­while mar­velous king — is in a bet­ter place. A place that we can­not imag­ine but one we know that he ascended to because that is what it is to know of a man so great and yet so plain in his demeanor and words. We just know that of him. We feel that of him when we men­tion his name.

Chad­wick Bose­man did not pass away because of can­cer; no, he tran­si­tioned in great­ness as a man pre­pos­sessed of a quiet nature and com­mand­ing pres­ence. Open­ing to the world as a myr­iad of char­ac­ters, Bose­man caught the eye and the heart of many through his mea­sured por­trayal of King T’Challa in the awe­some, inspir­ing bom­bas­tic Black Pan­ther. He was T’Challa, in por­trayal and vis­age. In spirit and in mercy. He invited us into Wakanda, where black peo­ple are tech­no­log­i­cally advanced and free. He made us feel as though we were his loyal sub­jects, at any moment just as pre­pared to throw up the Wakan­dian salute as die for his high­ness. That a man could inspire that in nearly three hours of screen time is a tes­ta­ment to his power.

But we lost him.

There will never be another T’Challa or Chad­wick Bose­man. As it should be. We do not deserve a star so bright, and we should not ever be so deserv­ing of the essence of him ever again.

Lo, we lost him, but he will reign forever.

Lyn­d­sey Hicks is editor-in-chief of Gam­ing Insur­rec­tion. She can be reached by email at lyndseyh[at]gaminginsurrection.com

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