Ta-Nehisi Coates Will Write the New Black Panther Comics for Marvel

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Guess Who’s Writing the New Black Panther Series? Jay-Z Told America to Read His Book.

After months of speculation, Marvel Entertainment has finally officially announced the launch of a new Black Panther comic book series — with none other than Ta-Nehisi Coates onboard as the writer for the book’s first storyline.

Ta-Nehisi Coates can be identified in many ways: as a national correspondent for The Atlantic, as an author and, as of this month, as a nominee for the National Book Award’s nonfiction prize.Ta-Nehisi Coates is not just any ol’ journalist (we should know, he was the No. 1 honoree last year on an annual list we put out ranking the most influential African Americans). The new comic book launches as part of Marvel Comics “All-New All-Different Marvel” initiative, with new first issues across the entire line and books starting in October 2015.

A winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism, Coates is known as one of the leading American writers on race, with lauded pieces including Sept. 2012’s “Fear of a Black President” and June 2014’s “The Case for Reparations” (both for The Atlantic). His work has also appeared in The Washington Post and The New York Times, and he is currently working as the City University of New York’s journalist-in-residence, and developing a television project on the Civil Rights movement for HBO with David Simon. Marvel’s announcement follows concern from many fans over the lack of diversity in Marvel’s forthcoming All-New, All-Different Marvel publishing relaunch, in terms of both race and sexual diversity. Black Panther will become Marvel’s fourth solo title featuring a black lead, following Sam Wilson, Captain America, the Miles Morales Spider-Man and new Blade series.

Additionally, the Devil Dinosaur & Moon Girl series features an African-American co-lead, and the company’s new Totally Awesome Hulk is Korean-American. His passions intersected in May, during the magazine’s New York Ideas seminar, when he interviewed Sana Amanat, a Marvel editor, about diversity and inclusion in comic books. However in an interview with the Times, Coates touched on the idea that some people may find this new gig odd, since he normally writes about heavy social issues facing African Americans.

He says he expects his Marvel work to be similar to his other writing. “I don’t experience the stuff I write about as weight,” Coates told The Times. “I feel a strong need to express something. Update: Ava DuVernay, who was in talks with Marvel Studios to direct the Black Panther movie before deciding against the idea, shared her feelings on the news of Coates’ hiring via Twitter: Brian Stelfreeze is signed on as the cover artist, having provided both the main cover and the hip-hop variant for the first issue, based on Jay-Z’s “The Black Album.” Everybody is representing at Marvel, as Marvel’s new line-up includes a relaunch of Ms.

Created in 1966, he is the first black superhero and hails from Wakanda, a fictional African country. “He has the baddest costume in comics and is a dude who is smarter and better than everyone,” said Axel Alonso, the editor in chief of Marvel. The character not only adds to the diversity of Marvel’s comics; he will do it for their films too: Black Panther is set to make his big-screen debut next year in “Captain America: Civil War,” followed by a solo feature in 2018.

The “Will Joe Biden Run?” stories are popping up with greater frequency again after a weekend interview in which anonymous members of his staff suggested that he’s “more likely to run” than not. “More likely than not” usually isn’t enough to be convinced of anything (although that was enough to convict Tom Brady), but in the case of Biden, the press and some pockets of Washington, D.C., are so desperate for a Democratic-race shake-up that they’ll run with that line for at least another news cycle. Biden is not running for president unless he has not one, not two, but three or four different ways to both beat Clinton for the Democratic nomination and win the presidency. He will compete with her in Iowa and New Hampshire and will try to be competitive in South Carolina, but the primaries are months away, and no one wins a nomination in September. The Biden camp has to know that he can beat Clinton and Sanders among critical Democratic-coalition groups, like African Americans, millennial voters, working-class voters, Latinos, Catholics, Jews, union members and urban voters. Marvel was “an intimate part of my childhood and, at this point, part of my adulthood,” he said. “It was mostly through pop culture, through hip-hop, through Dungeons & Dragons and comic books that I acquired much of my vocabulary.” Mr.

Coates, 39, began reading comics in the mid-1980s and was introduced to three minority characters: Storm, the leader of the X-Men; Monica Rambeau, who had taken on the name Captain Marvel; and James Rhodes, who was Iron Man. “They were obviously black,” he recalled, but it was not made into a big deal. It was this beautiful place that I felt pop culture should look like.” Diversity — in characters and creators — is a drumbeat to which the comic book industry is increasingly trying to march.

Marvel recently announced the December start of “The Totally Awesome Hulk,” whose title character is Amadeus Cho, a genius Korean-American scientist who will find himself transforming into that emerald behemoth. Faith, about a black, gay cop in the not-so-inclusive Kingston, in Jamaica. “Showing different faces under the masks is very important for everyone,” Mr.

While President Obama’s approval numbers have been comparable to Ronald Reagan’s, his last term hasn’t been popular enough for Biden to run on a “more of the same” campaign platform. There is deep dissatisfaction with the gap between what was promised and what was delivered during the Obama years (some of which is based on unrealistic expectations set forth by Obama and embraced by voters), and a Biden campaign would need to be able to explain why he’s running and what he would do differently. It’s similar to the problem that Clinton will have in a general election matchup, but at least she can draw upon her 2008 primary fight and the 1990s to draw contrasts.

Another inspiration, he added, is the work of Jonathan Hickman on “Secret Wars” and “the depth he’s able to get from characters.” “You don’t come in off the board and come in at that level,” he said of Mr. Thanks to The Onion and various Daily Show sketches, to many Generation Xers and millennials he’s a buffalo-wing-eating, weed-smoking, older-dude bro who plays Paul Newman to Barack Obama’s Tom Cruise. Obviously, that persona didn’t win him the election, but it’s difficult to imagine that his current wacky-neighbor/goofy-uncle image will work, either. While this seems like the most basic reasoning behind a campaign run, you’d be amazed at how often people run for office because it’s what they’re “supposed to do” or because they have the chance, as opposed to because they really care for the job (for an example, just look at former Florida Gov. Obviously, Biden has run for president several times, and he’s been close—like the Seahawks-in-the-Super Bowl close—to the presidency by being Obama’s vice president.

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