Ta-Nehisi Coates, the polarizing New York Times best-selling author of Between the World and Me, a scathing treatise on the rampant state of racism and deteriorating civil rights in America, has been aptly tapped to write Marvel's upcoming Black Panther comic-book series.
An outspoken advocate against an ongoing pattern of injustice to African-Americans despite advances in cultural awareness, Coates is also a staff writer and national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine and should bring a strong measure of controversial politics and topical issues into his telling of the world's first black superhero, created back in 1966 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He'll be paired with African -American artist Brian Stelfreeze in this new ongoing Black Panther comic, due out sometime in early 2016, which concerns an uprising of superhuman terrorists in Wakanda called The People.
Recently nominated for the National Book Award for nonfiction, Coates is wildly enthusiastic about his new assignment.
Marvel was “an intimate part of my childhood and, at this point, part of my adulthood,” Coates said in a New York Times interview. “It was mostly through pop culture, through hip-hop, through Dungeons & Dragons and comic books that I acquired much of my vocabulary. I don’t experience the stuff I write about as weighty. I feel a strong need to express something. The writing usually lifts the weight. I expect to be doing the same thing for Marvel.”
Black Panther is poised to make his big-screen debut in next year's Captain America: Civil War, followed by a solo feature striking in 2018.
Take a look at Stelfreeze's awesome cover art for Black Panther #1 and let us know if you dig Marvel's creative team decision. What do you think of Coates taking control of T'Challa, and will you be picking this series up when it hits comic shops next year?