Ta-Nehisi Coates explores monarchy, terrorism themes in Black Panther

Black Panther is set to take center stage in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with his pivotal role in Captain America Civil War just in time for his new comic set to arrive in comic shops and digitally April 6.

Black_Panther_1_Coipel_VariantBlack Panther has always been one of my favorite characters and under the direction of Christopher Priest in his long stint on the book [check that out here] and Kurt Busiek’s take in Avengers [pretty much required reading for Avengers fans], he leaped to my Top 10.

I dig Marvel’s move to really get some momentum behind Black Panther before his big screen appearance so folks can presumably check out two issues of the comic after seeing Civil War.

Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me) and Brian Stelfreeze are teaming up for A Nation Under Our Feet, a story about dramatic upheaval in Wakanda and the Black Panther’s struggle to do right by his people as their ruler.

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 have 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?

Exclusively revealing with The Atlantic, Coates proposes a simple question that fueled his script, ‘Can a good man be a king, and would an advanced society tolerate a monarch? Research is crucial in both cases. The Black Panther I offer pulls from the archives of Marvel and the character’s own long history. But it also pulls from the very real history of society—from the pre-colonial era of Africa, the peasant rebellions that wracked Europe toward the end of the Middle Ages, the American Civil War, the Arab Spring, and the rise of ISIS.’

‘For centuries, Wakanda has been sending would-be conquerors home in body bags.  Now, it is about to face its biggest threat — and it comes from within,’ says Marvel Comics Editor In Chief, Axel Alonso.  ‘Under Ta-Nehisi’s unflinching gaze, the Black Panther will grapple with a threat that can’t simply be beaten into submission, one that raises questions about life, liberty and honor that are especially relevant today.’

For now check out these preview pages and variant covers.