Kicking off Marvel-mania in the cinemas officially from 15 February 2018 next week is Marvel's Black Panther. Our titular superhero first appeared almost two years prior in Captain America: Civil War. In his debut, Black Panther was pursuing the Winter Soldier / Bucky Barnes who was wanted for the murder of Wakanda's King T'Chaka in a terrorist bombing of a United Nations conference. When Barnes was apprehended together with Captain America / Steve Rogers, it was revealed that Black Panther is Prince T'Challa of Wakanda, vowing revenge for the death of his father and King.
|Black Panther as part of Team Iron Man in the awesome airport battle showdown against Team Captain America.|
Subsequently, Black Panther secretly followed Stark to a Siberian Hydra base and learned the real culprit of the bombing was Helmut Zemo, a Sokovian seeking to fracture the Avengers who he blames for the death of his family during the incident with Ultron. Black Panther apprehended Zemo and ultimately provided sanctuary for Rogers and Barnes in his homeland of Wakanda.
|First appearance of Black Panther in the pages of Fantastic Four #52.|
Read more about Black Panther's comic book background from Star2.com.
|Black Panther's vibranium costume provides immunity to bullets and explosions.|
Marvel's Black Panther is directed by Ryan Coogler with Chadwick Boseman reprising his role as Black Panther / T'Challa. Joining him is Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, Daniel Kaluuya as W'Kabi, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Angela Bassett as Ramonda & Forest Whitaker as Zuri. Opposing our hero are Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Winston Duke as M'Baku, and Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue.
Despite the fantastical worlds showcased in comic books, Marvel often created superheroes with very grounded human origins, many of which are credited to the legendary Stan Lee. Instead of aliens or gods (except for Thor and his entourage), many of Marvel's heroes are indeed regular humans that us mere mortals can relate to: the tech billionaire growing a conscience, the teenage kid rushing to grow up, a former felon who can't get a job, the arrogant doctor, etc.
However unlike most Marvel comic book superheroes, Black Panther does not originate from a particular locale in the United States based on our real world, but instead from a fictional African nation of Wakanda. Moreover, he holds the mantle of King and has to balance duty to his people against duty as a superhero. This forthcoming movie looks to be T'Challa's journey as the new King of Wakanda and his challenges from both internal and external discord.
|Black Panther's costume showcased during San Diego Comic-con.|
Wakanda in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) looks to be intricately fleshed out from the trailers, its people mixing cutting edge high-technology with age old tribal rituals. An ensemble cast reflects the Wakandans featuring Golden Glode award winner Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Queen Mother, and Letitia Wright as Shuri, T'Challa's younger sister and Princess of Wakanda.
|Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther / T'Challa fulfilling his father's legacy.|
The royal family is protected by the Dora Milaje, an elite special forces of warrior women led by "Wakanda forever" Okoye (Danai Gurira). T'Challa's love interest Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) is also a member of the Dora Milaje.
Also supporting T'Challa is W'Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya), his best friend and head of security. Academy award winner Forest Whitaker dons Wakandan robes as Zuri, an elder statesman and religious figure.
Unsettling the peaceful nation and opposing King T'Challa's rule are M'Baku (Winston Duke), a powerful warrior of a Wakanda tribe, and Erik Killmonger played by Michael B. Jordan. Killmonger in particular is seen to challenge T'Challa directly for the throne and looks legitimately bad@$$ enough to go toe-to-toe with the Black Panther when he morphs into his own presumably vibranium suit. Allied with them is arms-dealer and smuggler Ulysses Klaue played by Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) reprising his role from Avengers Age of Ultron albeit less an arm.
|Face-off between rivals T'Challa (left) and Killmonger in tribal combat.|
|Motion-capture master actor Andy Serkis returns as arms-dealer Ulysses Klaue, but NOT as a CG character.|
|Martin Freeman goes on another unexpected journey as Everett K. Ross.|
|Source: TGV Cinemas.|
|T'Challa returns for Avengers Infinity War together with Steve Rogers and friends to combat the forces of Thanos.|
|Purchase of any two (2) movie tickets will be given Black Panther angpow packets.|
Rewarding advance ticket purchases, a Black Panther keychain will be given away for four (4) tickets purchased from selected cinemas. Find out participating cineplexes and other terms & conditions from the official GSC website. Redemption begins from Tuesday 13 February, 6pm while stocks last.
For fans who can't wait, GSC is already making available concession combos offering a limited edition Black Panther collectible coin at selected cineplexes. The combos are priced at RM21 for West Malaysia comprising one large popcorn and 2 regular drinks plus the Black Panther coin. Again goto the official GSC website for list of the participating cineplexes and other terms & conditions.
Finally, an exclusive Limited Edition Black Panther tshirt is available from part of another concession combo priced at RM45 with one large popcorn and two regular drinks. As mentioned before, check out the official GSC website for participating cineplexes and other terms & conditions.
Over at MBO Cinemas, they are offering a Black Panther popcorn container which is sculpted like the titular heroes' head. Popcorn is included in the combos priced at RM30 for 1 drink, or RM33 for 2 drinks. The combos are already available so check with MBO Cinemas Facebook Page for cinemas offering them.
For the chance to win movie premiums, LFS Cinemas has posted a Facebook contest on their Page offering Black Panther tshirt, keychain, earphones, notebook and more. Act soon as this contest closes on 15 February 2018.
Premium-X Cinemas in OneCity USJ is also offering similar Movie Premiums via their online contest. Goto their Facebook Page for more details on how to participate and submit your entries by 25 February 2018.
Lastly Klips by Says.com has these same movie premiums available via their website contest taking submissions until 19 February 2018.
Marvel collectors will be happy to get their hands on toys from Hasbro now available at major toy retailers and hobby stores. Various role play toys like Black Panther mask and claws will delight kids together with action figures priced from RM49.90.
|Hasbro role-play toys with Black Panther masks, claws and gauntlet.|
|Kids action figures of major characters priced at RM49.90.|
|Characters in the Marvel Legends 6in Black Panther series.|
|T'Challa as the Black Panther in Marvel Legends 12in scale, although availability may be limited in Malaysia.|
|The Black Panther's ride is pretty cool.|
|Funko POP! vinyl figurine of Black Panther unmasked from the upcoming movie.|
That's a wrap for our special intel on Marvel's Black Panther covering what movie goers should know before entering the cinema, plus recon on where to find movie memorabilia at our local shores. Also follow Marvel Malaysia for latest updates on the MCU. Black Panther will be in cinemas nationwide 15 February 2018 as alternative fare to Chinese New Year movies.
Advance sneak previews begin Tuesday, 13 February from 7pm which offer an earlier option to catch the movie which may not be so appropriate for Valentine's Day consumption on Wednesday, 14 February.
Disclaimer: Black Panther and associated trademarks are copyright to Marvel Entertainment, referenced here for fan service purposes only without intent to infringe.