The son of a Black Panther will be penning the debut of Marvel’s Black Panther when New York Times bestselling author Ta-Nehisi Coates helms the launch of the new comic book series in the spring of 2016. Black Panther is the first black character in mainstream American comics, and Marvel, as well as comic book fans alike are excited about next year’s launch, magnified by the addition of Coates.
Referred to as “one of the most thought-provoking and perceptive writers today” by Marvel, Coates is excited to tell the story of T’Challa from Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther. “Wakanda is really the light of the world, in the Marvel Universe. And yet it’s a system of governance that has not advanced beyond the idea of blood-rule,” says Coates. “It’s always seemed to me that T’Challa was aware of this discrepancy. Among the monarchs of Marvel –Namor and Doctor Doom for instance– T’Challa has always been distinguished to me by his discomfort on the throne, and with the problems of one-man rule. I am very much looking forward to exploring that tension.”
Will Moss, editor of the new Black Panther series, shared his excitement with the addition of Coates: “Ta-Nehisi writes brilliantly about everything from race to politics to fatherhood to modern culture, but he’s also a longtime Marvel reader. And combining his writing skills with his passion for and understanding of Marvel’s characters, paired with the captivating and engaging artwork of modern master Brian Stelfreeze, has led to a truly amazing story that we can’t wait for the world to read.”
Coates grew up listening to hip-hop and reading Marvel Comics, so this is a dream come true for him. The merging of his love of hip-hop and comics is expressed not only in the hip-hip variant for Black Panther #1, an homage to Jay-Z’s Black Album, but also in his words. “It was mostly through pop culture, through hip-hop, through Dungeons & Dragons and comic books that I acquired much of my vocabulary,” he told the New York Times in a recent interview. Fitting that this lover of hip-hop and comics and son of a Black Panther will be penning Marvel Comics’ Black Panther.