In January of last year, The Ringer’s Micah Peter wrote a piece called “Black Panther Is Going to Be a Really Good Movie”—a whole 13 months before the film’s upcoming February release date. He cited things like the stacked cast of predominantly black actors—which includes Chadwick Boseman (as T'Challa/Black Panther), Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright and Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya—and the juicy official synopsis as reasons for his early optimism.

Then, the thrilling first trailer hit. And Kendrick Lamar jumped on board. The ticket presale numbers were huge. All signs pointed to something wholly unique. But putting that kind of a burden on a film a year out from its release date seemed unfair.

In fact, it’s hard to overstate just how much pressure director Ryan Coogler and Co. faced as they descended on L.A.’s Dolby Theater for Monday night’s world premiere of Black Panther. Expectations for Marvel’s first black superhero were at a fever pitch, and had the film been met with anything less than pure and unbridled euphoria, it could have spelled disaster for everyone involved.

While full-length reviews for the film will be under embargo until early February, those who were lucky enough to attend either Monday’s premiere or the handful of early press screenings, flooded social media with their reactions. The consensus is in: Black Panther is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Not all early reactions are a harbinger of things to come. The preliminary Twitter buzz for Batman v Superman was effusive, and, well, we all know how that turned out. But this feels different. The people calling Black Panther “the best Marvel movie ever” and a surefire “cultural phenomenon” are a healthy mix of celebrities, reporters and critics—the type of people who help drive and define the pop-culture conversation.

One of the most prevalent compliments among those who saw the film cited its positive representation of black identity and black women in particular. “If you don’t understand the power of representation, imagine growing up never seeing a superhero who looks like you,” wrote The Grio’s Natasha Alford. “When American Girl dolls came out, I always picked Addy, who had to escape slavery. But now kids have #BlackPanther’s Nakia, Shuri and Okoye. Dope on many levels.”

Jen Yamato from the Los Angeles Times called Black Panther “a superhero movie about why representation & identity matters, and how tragic it is when those things are denied to people. The 1st MCU movie about something real,” she wrote. Yamato’s co-worker, Tre’vell Anderson, called the film "a love letter about blackness to a world that often ghettoizes it without realizing that it is on black backs that this planet revolves.”

Michael B. Jordan, who plays the film’s central villain Erik Killmonger, also received effusive praise across the board. Collider’s Steven Weintraub called him the best Marvel villain since Loki, while Business Insider’s Jason Guerrasio wrote that the film “elevates” whenever Jordan’s Killmonger shows up. “Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger had me weeping, and he’s the VILLAIN,” added Yamato.

That Jordan was given more to work with than the usual rote bad-guy template should come as no surprise. Coogler has gotten so much out of Jordan in his first two features, Fruitvale Station and Creed, and it sounds like Black Panther is a worthy continuation of Hollywood’s most exciting partnerships.

Speaking of Coogler, it appears that Marvel boss Kevin Fiege knew exactly what he was doing when he reportedly spent months wooing the young director. The story goes that Coogler wanted the film to have his own distinct footprint, which meant eschewing Marvel’s in-house creative team in favor of his own people. The result, according to those who’ve seen it, is a superhero movie unlike any we’ve experienced before.

Though we caught a brief glimpse of Wakanda at the end of Captain America: Civil War, Cooger’s fully realized version of the hidden African Kingdom will reportedly leave you breathless. Peter Sciretta of Slashfilm called the world “amazingly realized,” adding that Black Panther “looks, feels and sounds unlike any Marvel film to date. A visual feast.” Umberto Gonzalez of The Wrap agrees, writing that he was “overwhelmed at the imagery” and “the majesty” of a film he says “elevates the superhero genre to new heights.”

While Black Panther doesn’t hit theaters until Feb. 16, it seems poised to usher in a new era of superhero movies. Get excited.