Ta-Nehisi Coates to Write Black Panther Comic for Marvel

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ta-Nehisi Coates Is Genuinely the Best Possible Choice to Write Marvel’s New Black Panther.

In what’s easily the most groundbreaking comics news this year, the New York Times announced Tuesday that Marvel has tapped Ta-Nehisi Coates to write its new Black Panther series. Anyone who follows Ta-Nehisi Coates on Twitter knows two things about the Atlantic’s national correspondent: 1) he writes eloquently about culture and social issues in a way that offers new perspectives and challenges commonly held beliefs; and 2) he is a massive fan of Marvel comics. The move is part of Marvel’s “all new, all different” initiative—the same revamp that cast Miles Morales as the new Spider-Man and Amadeus Cho as the new Hulk. Coates, an avid comic book fan who often tweets about the subject, will write a series for Marvel, after being approached by the comics giant earlier this year. The author of “The Beautiful Struggle” and “Between the World and Me” will be shaping a character that’s had renewed interest of late, and not only because of the Marvel Studios movie starring Chadwick Boseman that is slated to be released in 2018.

According to the Times, discussions on the comic began shortly after Coates interviewed Marvel editor Sana Amanat for his magazine’s New York Ideas seminar. The Marvel series will be called A Nation Under Our Feet and will focus on a superhuman terrorist group, which sparks an uprising in the fictional home country of the character, Wakanda. 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. It follows on the heels of a recent Batman storyline which saw the Dark Knight tackle the shooting of an African American child by a police officer and debates around superheroes of colour triggered by the casting of Michael B Jordan in the Fantastic Four, Idris Elba’s role of Heimdall in Thor, and the introduction of black and Latino characters into comics such as Spiderman and Captain America. Outside of hip-hop, it was in comics that I most often found the aesthetics and wisdom of my world reflected.” A few months later, in an interview for New York magazine, he explained that, barring extreme issues in gender disparity, comics are an inclusive medium.

On Twitter, the writer announced the news with the tweet: “Victor Von, what’s good …”, a reference to Doctor Doom, who has appeared in the comic as Black Panther’s nemesis. When that universe dissolved, he was one of the few astute enough to save himself and others from succumbing to the current Secret Wars universe ruled by Victor Von Doom. You have heroes that look all sorts of ways,” he said. “When I was a kid, I knew that superheroes were not exclusively white and male … it costs comic books way less than movies to do diverse things. They ain’t got to worry about casting somebody who is going to bring in box office.” The character of Black Panther is also due to hit the big screen in next year’s Captain America: Civil War.

Selma director Ava DuVernay had been rumoured to be lined up for the project but distanced herself from it in July, while the lead role will be played by Chadwick Boseman, who impressed critics in the James Brown biopic Get On Up.

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