With the release of Coming to America 2 by Prime Video, it is time to clash the two live-action giants of the Dark Continent – Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America 1988 film vs Marvel’s Black Panther.
Despite belonging to two very different genres (romantic comedy and a superhero film, respectively), the two premises share many thematic similarities and parallel elements.
In this Faceoff battle report, we match up everything from the characters to their nations and customs to find out which has the best characters, facilities, scenes, cameos, and whatnot.
So let’s take a journey to the land where the lion sleeps tonight and face off these celebrated movies.
Black Panther vs Coming To America: The Princes Personality
Akeem vs T’Challa
Akeem (Eddie Murphy) is the crown prince from the wealthy African kingdom of Zamunda coming to America to find a bride. With his best friend, Semmi (Arsenio Hall) he ends up in a shabby apartment in the neighborhood of Long Island City and starts working at a local fast-food restaurant. He soon falls in love with Lisa, (Shari Headley) the daughter of the restaurant owner. She possesses all the qualities he is looking for in a woman.
Akeem was spoiled from infancy to adulthood, but he is trying to improve himself. He has a lot of love in his heart, but it is hard to be selfless when you were raised with one hundred servants doting on your every whim.
In our opinion, the fact Akeem is trying to change for the better tells a lot about him.
T’Challa (Chadwick Aaron Boseman) was born in Wakanda to the reigning monarch T’Chaka and his wife Ramonda (Angela Bassett). Training all of his life to take his father’s place as the next monarch and Black Panther, the protector of Wakanda, T’Challa grew into a man with a highly active mind.
After becoming the Black Panther T’Challa sets off to protect not only the safety of his own nation but makes a controversial decision to also reach out beyond Wakanda to protect the world from harm.
T’Challa is polite, respectful, and very caring for the people he is around and who he considers his friends. He is shown to have high respect towards other people, especially towards his father, T’Chaka. He honors the tradition and principles of Wakanda and is willing to take action whenever it is necessary.
Both princes are highly trained in martial arts.
T’Challa is an extremely skilled master martial artist, having been trained vigorously from childhood to one day take up the mantle of the Black Panther. His unique Wakandan fighting style is very acrobatic and heavily attack-oriented. His unique style is also very powerful sweeping kicks, aerial takedowns, and slashing attacks with hooked and clawed fists, reminiscent of the manner in which a panther strikes.
Akeem is also a capable spear warrior who can flip and jump and punch hard. While T’Challa can fight waves of enemies at a time, Akeem can fight a Samuel L. Jackson character with nothing but a mop handle. That’s awesome in our opinion.
King Jaffe Joffer vs King T’Chaka
Although the two countries share some resemblances, there are quite a few differences. For example, while Wakanda is more of a warrior society of royalty, Zamunda is depicted simply as a lavish royal society. Also, while Wakanda is a secret nation hidden and isolated from the rest of the world, Zamunda seems to be a part of the world.
Another difference is that in Wakanda women are warriors, scientists, and leaders, while Zamunda features women who will toss rose petals before their feet, bathe you, and even hop on one foot, barking like dogs if asked.
And last, if to believe what Akeem himself said: Wakanda is a fictional nation, while Zamunda is a very real nation.
Zamunda vs Wakanda
For 30 years, Zamunda was the most famous African fake country in movies. Ever since Coming to America introduced the fictional kingdom in 1988. Only when the Black Panther movie came out in 2018, did the Kingdom of Wakanda receive the attention it deserves. Before, it had only existed in comic books.
The Royal Rose Bearers vs The Dora Milaje
The Royal Rose Bearer’s job is… well, to toss rose petals before the crown prince’s feet, so he would walk only on petals of roses. They are led by the Rose Bearer Priestess.
The Dora Milaje are an all-female super team of bodyguards and Wakandan special forces. They are led by General Okoye.
Black Panther vs Coming To America: Cameo Appearances
Samuel L. Jackson as an armed robber vs Stan Lee, as a gambler in a casino
One of Samuel L. Jackson’s most famous early roles was an appearance in Coming To America, where he played the role of a shotgun-wielding robber holding up McDowell’s fast-food restaurant and gets stopped by Akeem.
In the Black Panther 2018 movie, Stan Lee, the unrivaled legend of the comics world, appears as a patron of a casino in Busan, South Korea, and quietly takes T’Challa’s won but unclaimed casino tokens.