Black Panther writer says new comic run is about 'the organization of power'

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Apr 5, 2016, 1:07 PM EDT

In an effort to finally turn Black Panther into the A-lister he deserves to be, Marvel is turning to acclaimed political writer Ta-Nehisi Coates to tell one of the most ambitious T’Challa stories ever conceived.

With the first issue of the eagerly anticipated new Black Panther comic set to hit comic shops today, The Verge caught up with Coates to talk about his layered approach to the character. Will it have superheroes punching the crap out of stuff? Sure, it’s a comic book, after all. But, Coates said he’s truly interested in trying to answer real questions about how society works, and how the fictional nation of Wakanda really would function in the modern day.

Check out an excerpt from his comments below and let us know what you think:

"It really isn't enough to have people punching each other and being awesome. I’m trying to tackle really basic things, even as I have all the ass-kicking awesomeness that superhero comics are known for. This story we're telling in the first year is very much about the organization of power...What, then, is the country if it is as vulnerable as all others? And what happens to a state when its absolute monarch can no longer fulfill the base requirement of any government—securing the safety of their people? I tend to think war.

Great art generally moves from the specific to the universal. The X-Men isn't just about some narrow, mythical ‘mutant experience.’ It uses that experience to say something about the larger human experience of being a societal pariah. It's no different when you are talking about the black world. You pull from the specifics of that world, and oddly enough if you love the specific beauty of that world enough, you end up saying something profoundly human and universal."

The first issue of Coates’ Black Panther is available today.

Do you think this will finally be the time, along with Black Panther’s pending big-screen debut, that the character reaches the same cultural levels as Captain America or Iron Man?

](Via The Verge)