Hot on the heels of the leaked Civil War images, Marvel unveiled some pretty exciting news, via the NY Times. Ta-Nehisi Coates, correspondent from the Atlantic, Black author and overall Marvel super-fan, will pen the new Black Panther series along with artist, Brian Stelfreeze.
- T’calla’s Getting Some Depth – Coates, though not of comic book origins, is a superb writer. Coates’ book, Between the World and Me is a passionate letter to his son on being black in America and has received critical acclaim. Book writing aside, Coates’ writes a plethora of articles on politics, culture and social issues have. Something we’ll be seeing fleshed out more in the world of Wakanda.
- Strife in Wakanda? – Coates hinted in his interview that Wakanda will experience some sort of political uprising. This comes as no surprise, since Ta-Nehisi’s expertise is in political and social commentary. Wakanda is a rather large opportunity to tell a different tale in the Black Panther mythos. The country for the most part has never experienced much hardship, as it’s alien in nature and practically unexposed to the dealings of the Marvel Universe. (With the exception of events in AvX) A civil war or any political uprising in Wakanda can test what the nation and it’s king are made of.
- Diversifying the Comic Pool – Marvel’s slowly but surely addressing the lack of diversity in their bullpen as well as comics. Ta-Nehisi’s arrival comes shortly after the public backlash by Marvel’s Hip Hop variant covers, which celebrated hip hop culture but lacked inclusion of Black artistry. With a character as paramount as Black Panther. (He’s the first black superhero, created in 1966 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby) Marvel’s taking extra precaution in developing a rich narrative with the help of Coates.
- A Preview of What’s to Come in the MCU? – The book, titled, “A Nation Under Our Feet”, could be a glimpse into present-day Wakanda in the MCU. Marvel has a pattern of keeping the MCU aligned with the books, as seen in the recent retcon of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch’s origin story. So there may be a few elements that carry over from the books to the big-screen. Keep your fanboy eyes peeled for easter eggs!
- Brian Stelfreeze Art is Perfection – He’s a touch of Norman Rockwell and a dash of Alex Ross. Brian’s artwork is majestic, and a bit dark, both elements needed to drive the narratives of Black Panther. Check out his Jay-Z inspired variant cover for BP.