Avengers: Infinity War was an absurdly audacious crossover event, the kind of movie that required having seen a dozen or so movies to completely “get,” with tons of moving pieces that all worked surprisingly well together. It was ambitious, but Infinity War hero Black Panther’s next crossover is a bit less so. As reported by Variety, Marvel has teamed up with the Tupac Shakur estate and Foot Locker to launch the “Tupac X Black Panther” collection, a new clothing line that combines Tupac and Black Panther in the most direct way possible. How direct? Well, the one shirt currently available has the Black Panther helmet on the front and “Tupac” written on the sleeve, and… that’s it.
More items will be available in the future, but Variety has some apparent teases of the other offerings with one that says “Tupac” on the front and “Black Panther” on the sleeve and a hoodie that says “Wakanda Forever” and the name of Tupac’s posthumous Until The End Of Time—as if Tupac didn’t die decades before Black Panther came out and the movie is somehow related to his album. It would be one thing if he were still alive, and Tupac just said “Hey, I’m putting my name on this Black Panther stuff because I like Black Panther,” but he’s not, so it just seems like a cheap and easy way to capitalize on the fact that both Black Panther and Tupac are popular.
We’re not saying Tupac would have a problem with this or that this is some affront to his legacy, because we certainly don’t know him better than his estate does, we’re just saying they could’ve tried a little harder. Also, how about the fact that Tupac’s parents were actual Black Panthers in the ‘60s and ‘70s? Doesn’t that make this kind of weird?