The Hot List 2017: The People and Trends We're Talking About the Most

From Cardi B to future A-list actors to the thinkers and creators who could save the world, here's who and what made Rolling Stone's annual list

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Hot Anticipation: Black Panther
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Marvel20/27

Hot Anticipation: Black Panther

"Don't freeze," a member of an African special forces unit advises her king, T'Challa, as he prepares to leap from a speeding jet
 into battle. With regal calm, he replies, "I never freeze." (You can't freeze if you're subzero-cool.) He dons a black mask and drops from the sky as a car explodes beneath him. Screen time: 10 seconds. Time spent waiting to see that moment become a reality? A generation.

Much as this year belonged to Wonder Woman, next spring should belong to T'Challa. When Ryan Coogler's Black Panther opens, a superhero (played by Chadwick Boseman) with unapologetic black swagger will finally have the cultural spotlight, 50 years after the character debuted in a Marvel comic. "I feel
 an incredible opportunity, and a responsibility," says Coogler. That feeling is familiar to Coogler, who directed 2015's Rocky spinoff, Creed, which also remade expectations in a genre dominated by white-male archetypes. "The question I'm trying to answer is, 'What does it truly mean to be African?'􏰀" Coogler says. "The Marvel Universe has set itself in the real world 
as much as possible. What does it mean for T'Challa to move as a black man in a movie reality that tries to be a real world?" T.J.

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