Ta-Nehisi Coates puts together a new Crew for latest Black Panther spinoff

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Jan 23, 2017

In a recent arc of Ta-Nehisi Coates' ongoing Black Panther series, King T'Challa was forced to call in some backup to help fight off the forces of Iron Man villain Ezekiel Stane. After successfully quashing the threat, the team went their separate ways, with Black Panther telling his comrades that he owed them one ... and one member in particular seemed pretty excited about the idea of having a favor from royalty in her back pocket.

 

Well, the bionic-armed detective Misty Knight won't have to wait long to cash in on that Wakandan goodwill, since the gang will be getting back together in the upcoming series Black Panther & The Crew. The team consists of X-Men mainstay and T’Challa's ex-wife Storm, the bulletproof hero-for-hire Luke Cage, the teleporting former Secret Warrior Manifold, the aforementioned Misty Knight, and, of course, Black Panther himself.

In the first arc, the Crew will be heading to Harlem, where they'll become involved in an investigation into an activist who died in police custody. Here's what National Book Award winner Coates told TIME about the story:

"This is in the air. It's not like I looked at a Black Lives Matter protest and was like, "Hey, I want to write a comic about that." But you're confronted with it every day. So when I sat down to think about what is this story with four black protagonists about, and you start scribbling, that rises up. The events of the day are with me. It seemed like an opportunity to do something. It becomes clear in the first issue that the activist is not just an activist. There’s something more going on there."

This is not the first Marvel team to bear the name "The Crew." The first version was published in 2003 and also featured a mostly African American line-up, including War Machine, Josiah X, White Tiger and Junta. It was written by Christopher Priest, who was Marvel's first African American editor and also had landmark runs on Power Man and Iron Fist and Black Panther, the latter of which Coates has cited as an influence on his current run.

 

Coates will be joined by poet Yona Harvey, whom he has already collaborated with on the first spinoff title, Black Panther: World of Wakanda, and the book will be drawn by artist veteran artist Butch Guice, who just last year collaborated with another famous author, William Gibson, on his debut comic book Archangel. TIME didn’t mention Guice's involvement in the announcement, but it was later confirmed on Twitter by editor Wil Moss. You can see his character sketches above, as well as the first issue's cover by John Cassady (Astonishing X-Men).

There was no mention yet of a release date for Black Panther & The Crew, but with comic book solicitations for April arriving soon, that would be a safe guess.

The Syfy Wire crew loves Coates' Black Panther and included it on our Best New Comics of 2016 list, but what do you think? Are you excited for this new series, or would you rather see the original Crew come back? Let us know in the comments below!