Ta-Nehisi Coates says his Black Panther explores tension of one-man rule

One of the best strategies Marvel Comics adopted since its Cinematic Universe really started dominating Hollywood is by putting added emphasis on the movie characters in the comics.

With the further expansion of the movies we now have two Guardians of the Galaxy titles, Hawkeye starring in his own solo series and Iron Man appearing in pretty much everything.

Next up for the well-deserved spotlight treatment is Black Panther, who in addition to starring in “Captain America: Civil War,” will be headlining his own comic next spring courtesy of award-winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Coates, a former Howard University student (go Bison!) has a unique connection with the character as his father, William Paul Coates, was actually a real life Black Panther. William Paul Coates also led a publishing company that largely featured black authors.

Ta-Nehisi CoatesTa-Nehisi Coates has written on politics, institutional racism and culture, making him one of the more intriguing hires on a Marvel Comic in awhile.

Not that every black character has to have a black writer — Jason Aaron’s quick arc on The Secret Invasion storyline http://amzn.to/1iwCckI served as a reminder that a great writer can write any character — but I’m really excited to see what a lifelong Marvel fan who willingly tackles issues we’re often afraid to discuss honestly will bring to the story of comics’ first black superhero.

The indomitable will of Wakanda — the famed African nation known for its vast wealth, advanced technology and warrior traditions — has long been reflected in the will of its monarchs, the Black Panthers. But now, the current Black Panther, T’Challa, finds that will tested by a superhuman terrorist group called The People that has sparked a violent uprising among the citizens of Wakanda.  T’Challa knows the country must change to survive — the question is, will the Black Panther survive the change?

“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.”

Black_Panther_Cover_Stelfreeze“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,” says Wil Moss, editor of the new BLACK PANTHER series. “Look for some fun and unexpected Marvel villains to show up in this story, as well as an appearance or two by T’Challa’s new teammates, The Ultimates.”