The series is called Black Panther but not related to the organization.
Award-winning journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of the leading voices on race in American society today, is adding a new entry to his resume: comic book writer. His second book, “Between The World And Me”, is now at the top of the aforementioned bestseller list and has been nominated for a National Book Award.
Coates’ brings his own literary superpowers to the Marvel mix, especially given the past year’s worth of news.
The comics publisher’s editor-in-chief, Axel Alonso, said in a statement that Coates will tell the story of “the world we have created, and the world we want to live in”, the AP reports. “It’s hard for me not to camp out at the comic book store right now”, he told me.
That has to provide one level of pleasure to Jonathan Gayles, professor of African-American Studies at Georgia State University and the director of the documentary “White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities In Comic Books.” “It was this attractive place that I felt pop culture should look like”. T’Challa knows the country must change to survive – the question is, will the Black Panther survive the change?
Having made a name for himself as an avenger of civil rights, it’s perhaps fitting that Ta-Nehisi Coates will soon spin the tale of Marvel’s Black Panther.
Coates is the national correspondent at the Atlantic, where he has covered the subject of race in America with tact and careful analysis.
The great news is the creative team: Ta-Nehisi Coates will write Black Panther with art by Brian Stelfreeze.
Black Panther #1 will arrive in the spring, presumably just in time for Chadwick Boseman’s cinematic debut as T’Challa. Coates says that as a young comics reader he took notice of Marvel’s early moves into diversity with black characters like the X-Men’s Storm, Monica Rambeau as Captain Marvel and James “Rhodey” Rhodes, who was eventually fitted for Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit. “Moon Boy” is now a Black teenage girl, Thor is a woman, the new Spiderman is African-American and Puerto Rican, and actor Michael B. Jordan played The Human Torch in the latest Fantastic Four film.
Over time, the Panther played crucial roles in some of Marvel’s comic book universe. As king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, the Black Panther has fought in tribal wars, political conflicts, back alleys, and as a member of the Avengers. He has always been a fan of comics and specifically of Marvel comics. It was the source of a rare metal which makes up Captain America’s shield.
“It’s going to be a story that repositions the Black Panther in the minds of readers”, said Axel Alonso, Marvel’s editor-in-chief, in an interview with The New York Times. He will be joined by legendary artist, Brian Stelfreeze, who will be providing interiors and covers. It comes from the 2003 book of the same title by Steven Hahn.
“I don’t experience the stuff I write about as weighty”, he told the New York Times.