Hollywood movies

Marvel superhero movie ‘Black Panther’ is making history even before its release

The first black superhero in the Marvel cinematic universe, as well as the first to be helmed by an African American director.

We’re halfway through 2017, which means it’s time for Marvel and DC Comics to start teasing us with what they’ve got lined up for the next year. For Marvel Studios, this comes in the form of the teaser for what might be their most anticipated movie in years: Black Panther.

Not only does Black Panther boast an enviable list of talent (Chadwick Boseman, Angela Basset, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B Jordan), but it also tells the story of a black superhero, the first in the Marvel cinematic universe. Black Panther also happens to be helmed by Marvel’s first African American director, Ryan Coogler, whose previous credits include Fruitvale Station and the Rocky reboot Creed, both of which starred Jordan. The movie will be released on February 16, 2018.

Black Panther (2018).

Black Panther is set in the fictional kingdom of Wakanda, a mysterious realm where technology and tradition have merged to build a veritable paradise. In the spirit of Marvel’s much vaunted love of continuity, both the hero and his kingdom have been introduced to viewers in Captain America: Civil War (2016). The latter not only showed us a glimpse of Wakanda in the post-credits scene, but also provided a lengthy encounter with its king and defender, T’Challa, the alter ego of Black Panther. Played by Boseman, T’Challa’s gravitas and air of tragedy, coupled with his obvious martial skills, immediately earned him a legion of fans.

Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War (2016).

Black Panther takes place shortly after the events of Civil War. T’Challa, who lost his father to a terrorist attack in Civil War, is reluctantly learning the lessons of what it takes to be king. When he returns from his tragic trip to the US, he is confronted with every ruler’s nightmare: factions within Wakanda seek to challenge his power, at the same time that outside forces begin their aggressive probes into the country. Wakanda is rich in natural resources – the fictional metal Vibranium, which was used to make Captain America’s shield. Vibranium is the source of much of Wakanda’s wealth and technological development; it is also what makes it of such interest to international groups, not all of whom have good intentions.

The Black Panther comic.
The Black Panther comic.

T’Challa is the first black superhero in mainstream comics, making his debut in 1966. He stands apart from later creations Falcon and Luke Cage (both of whom have already made their screen debuts, the former in a Netflix series and the latter as part of Captain America’s team in Winter Soldier). T’Challa is not American. He represents, through his position as leader of an advanced African nation, the idea of what could have been, an Africa untouched by the horrors of conquest and colonialism, pillage and slavery.

Wakanda, despite being fictional, is a powerful metaphor for a better world and a cleaner history than the one we are familiar with. As a superhero, therefore, T’Challa is more than just his muscles and quick reflexes: he is a symbol of African, not just African American, pride, and brings to life a sense of glory and perfection that is rarely accorded to depictions of Africa even today.

Marvel’s well-considered decision to place T’Challa’s storyline in the hands of an African American director, therefore, is especially important. Coogler has commented in an interview that Black Panther is his “most personal movie” yet. The star cast, which reads like a who’s who of black actors in Hollywood, has also been vocal about the importance of the hero in a world where #BlackLivesMatter has come to the forefront of news cycles, and old divisions seem eager to rise again.

T’Challa’s political weight has been underlined constantly, recently by the Black Panther comics written by american journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates. Though the spin-off comic was cancelled after only two issues, the fact that Coates, a noted thinker and activist, would be asked to write a superhero shows not only the power of the comic as a vehicle of thought, but also the heft and importance of this particular character, one who’s long been seen as a symbol of black dignity and power.

With all this riding on Black Panther, it’s no wonder fans are eagerly waiting for 2018. The king of Wakanda has a huge weight on his shoulders, but odds are Boseman, Coogler, and the rest of the crew will not disappoint. If the trailer is any indication, they’re more than ready for the challenge.

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Top picks, best deals and all that you need to know for the Amazon Great Indian Festival

We’ve done the hard work so you can get right to what you want amongst the 40,000+ offers across 4 days.

The Great Indian Festival (21st-24th September) by Amazon is back and it’s more tempting than ever. This edition will cater to everyone, with offers on a range of products from electronics, home appliances, apparel for men and women, personal care, toys, pet products, gourmet foods, gardening accessories and more. With such overwhelming choice of products and a dozen types of offers, it’s not the easiest to find the best deals in time to buy before your find gets sold out. You need a strategy to make sure you avail the best deals. Here’s your guide on how to make the most out of the Great Indian Festival:

Make use of the Amazon trio – Amazon Prime, Amazon Pay and Amazon app

Though the festival officially starts on 21st, Amazon Prime members will have early access starting at 12 noon on 20th September itself, enabling them to grab the best deals first. Sign up for an Amazon Prime account to not miss out on exclusive deals and products. Throughout the festival, Prime members will 30-minute early access to top deals before non-Prime members. At Rs 499/- a year, the Prime membership also brings unlimited Amazon Prime video streaming and quick delivery benefits.

Load your Amazon pay wallet; there’s assured 10% cashback (up to Rs 500). Amazon will also offer incremental cashbacks over and above bank cashbacks on select brands as a part of its Amazon Pay Offers. Shopping from the app would bring to you a whole world of benefits not available to non-app shoppers. App-only deals include flat Rs 1,250 off on hotels on shopping for more than Rs 500, and flat Rs 1,000 off on flights on a roundtrip booking of Rs 5,000 booking from Yatra. Ten lucky shoppers can also win one year of free travel worth Rs 1.5 lakhs.

Plan your shopping

The Great Indian Sale has a wide range of products, offers, flash sales and lightning deals. To make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals, or lose your mind, plan first. Make a list of things you really need or have been putting off buying. If you plan to buy electronics or appliances, do your research on the specs and shortlist the models or features you prefer. Even better, add them to your wishlist so you’re better able to track your preferred products.

Track the deals

There will be lightning deals and golden hour deals throughout the festival period. Keep track to avail the best of them. Golden-hour deals will be active on the Amazon app from 9.00pm-12.00am, while Prime users will have access to exclusive lightning deals. For example, Prime-only flash sales for Redmi 4 will start at 2.00pm and Redmi 4A at 6.00pm on 20th, while Nokia 6 will be available at Rs 1,000 off. There will be BOGO Offers (Buy One Get One free) and Bundle Offers (helping customers convert their TVs to Smart TVs at a fraction of the cost by using Fire TV Stick). Expect exclusive product launches from brands like Xiaomi (Mi Band 2 HRX 32 GB), HP (HP Sprocket Printer) and other launches from Samsung and Apple. The Half-Price Electronics Store (minimum 50% off) and stores offering minimum Rs 15,000 off will allow deal seekers to discover the top discounts.

Big discounts and top picks

The Great Indian Festival is especially a bonanza for those looking to buy electronics and home appliances. Consumers can enjoy a minimum of 25% off on washing machines, 20% off on refrigerators and 20% off on microwaves, besides deals on other appliances. Expect up to 40% off on TVs, along with No-Cost EMI and up to Rs 20,000 off on exchange.

Home Appliances

Our top picks for washing machines are Haier 5.8 Kg Fully Automatic Top Loading at 32% off, and Bosch Fully Automatic Front Loading 6 Kg and 7 Kg, both available at 27% discount. Morphy Richards 20 L Microwave Oven will be available at a discount of 38%.

Our favorite pick on refrigerators is the large-sized Samsung 545 L at 26% off so you can save Rs 22,710.

There are big savings to be made on UV water purifiers as well (up to 35% off), while several 5-star ACs from big brands will be available at greater than 30% discount. Our top pick is the Carrier 1.5 Ton 5-star split AC at 32% off.

Also those looking to upgrade their TV to a smart one can get Rs. 20,000 off by exchanging it for the Sony Bravia 108cm Android TV.

Personal Electronics

There’s good news for Apple fans. The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch Laptop 2017 will be available at Rs 55,990, while the iPad will be available at 20% off. Laptops from Lenovo, Dell and HP will be available in the discount range of 20% to 26%. Top deals are Lenovo Tab3 and Yoga Tab at 41% to 38% off. Apple fans wishing to upgrade to the latest in wearable technology can enjoy Rs 8,000 off on the Apple Watch series 2 smartwatch. For those of you just looking for a high quality fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge has Rs. 4500 off on 22nd September.

If you’re looking for mobile phones, our top deal pick is the LG V20 at Rs 24,999, more than Rs 5000 off from its pre-sale price.

Power banks always come in handy. Check out the Lenovo 13000 mAh power bank at 30% off.

Home printers are a good investment for frequent flyers and those with kids at home. The discounted prices of home printers at the festival means you will never worry about boarding passes and ID documents again. The HP Deskjet basic printer will be available for Rs 1,579 at 40% off and multi-function (printer/ scanner/ Wi-Fi enabled) printers from HP Deskjet and Canon will also available at 33% off.

The sale is a great time to buy Amazon’s native products. Kindle E-readers and Fire TV Stick will be on sale with offers worth Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.

The Amazon Fire Stick
The Amazon Fire Stick

For those of you who have a bottomless collection of movies, music and photos, there is up to 60% off on hard drives and other storage devices. Our top picks are Rs 15,000 and Rs 12,000 off on Seagate Slim 5TB and 4TB hard drives respectively, available from 8.00am to 4.00pm on 21st September.

The sale will see great discounts of up to 60% off on headphones and speakers from the top brands. The 40% off on Bose QC 25 Headphones is our favourite. Top deals are on Logitech speakers with Logitech Z506 Surround Sound 5.1 multimedia Speakers at 60% off and the super compact JBL Go Portable Speaker at 56% off!

Other noteworthy deals

Cameras (up to 55% off) and camera accessories such as tripods, flash lights etc. are available at a good discount. Home surveillance cameras too will be cheaper. These include bullet cameras, dome cameras, simulated cameras, spy cameras and trail and game cameras.

For home medical supplies and equipment, keep an eye on the grooming and personal care section. Weighing scales, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, body fat monitors etc. will be available at a cheaper price.

The sale is also a good time to invest in home and kitchen supplies. Mixer-grinders and juicers could see lightning deals. Don’t ignore essentials like floor mops with wheels, rotating mop replacements, utensils, crockery etc. Tupperware sets, for example, will be more affordable. There are attractive discounts on bags, especially laptop bags, backpacks, diaper bags and luggage carriers.

Interesting finds

While Amazon is extremely convenient for need-based shopping and daily essentials, it is also full of hidden treasures. During the festival, you can find deals on telescopes, polaroid cameras, smoothie makers, gym equipment, gaming consoles and more. So you’ll be able to allow yourself some indulgences!

Small shopping

If you have children, the festival is good time to stock up on gifts for Diwali, Christmas, return gifts etc. On offer are gaming gadgets such as Xbox, dough sets, Touching Tom Cat, Barbies, classic board games such as Life and more. There are also some products that you don’t really need, but kind of do too, such as smartphone and tablet holders, magnetic car mounts for smartphones and mobile charging station wall stands. If you’re looking for enhanced functionality in daily life, do take a look at the Amazon Basics page. On it you’ll find USB cables, kitchen shears, HDMI cables, notebooks, travel cases and other useful things you don’t realise you need.

Check-out process and payment options

Amazon is also offering an entire ecosystem to make shopping more convenient and hassle-free. For the festival duration, Amazon is offering No-Cost EMIs (zero interest EMIs) on consumer durables, appliances and smartphones, plus exchange schemes and easy installation services in 65 cities. HDFC card holders can avail additional 10% cashback on HDFC credit and debit cards. Customers will also get to “Buy Now and Pay in 2018” with HDFC Credit Cards, as the bank offers a 3 Month EMI Holiday during the days of the sale. Use Amazon Pay balance for fast and easy checkouts, quicker refunds and a secured shopping experience.

Sales are fun and with The Great Indian Festival offering big deals on big brands, it definitely calls for at least window shopping. There’s so much more than the above categories, like minimum 50% off on American Tourister luggage! To start the treasure hunt, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon.in and not by the Scroll editorial team.