The world will officially meet Black Panther in next year’s Captain America: Civil War, but they’ll also get to read about him in a brand new series…written by none other than Ta-Nehisi Coates. Marvel has announced that the renowned writer and journalist will pen a new series about the Wakanda superhero, set to debut next spring. The news was first reported by The New York Times.
The year-long story will be titled “A Nation Under Our Feet” and set Black Panther in his hometown of Wakanda, dealing with an uprising from a terrorist group. Coates will be joined by an as-yet-unnamed artist, with Brian Stelfreeze illustrating the cover art. Stelfreeze also created the recent hip-hop variant cover based on Jay-Z’s “The Black Album.” “It’s going to be a story that repositions the Black Panther in the minds of readers,” Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso tells the Times. “It really moves him forward.”
According to the Times, the discussion to bring Coates into the comic world began earlier this year, when he interviewed Marvel’s Director of Content and Character Development Sana Amanat (creator of the acclaimed Ms. Marvel) for a diversity piece, which led to further discussions with Marvel editors. The series will launch as part of the All-New All-Different Marvel initiative, which promises to bring changes and shake-ups with numerous new titles, including an Sam Wilson as Captain America, Kamala Khan as an Avenger, and the recently announced Asian-American Hulk by Greg Pak and Frank Cho.
Known as one of the nation’s leading critical thinkers and authors on race and class, Coates plans to bring the same kind of passion to his comic writing. “I don’t experience the stuff I write about as weighty,” Coates, whose recent book Between the World and Me landed on the National Book award nonfiction shortlist, told the Times. “I feel a strong need to express something. The writing usually lifts the weight. I expect to be doing the same thing for Marvel.”