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Entertainment Weekly

Books

Marvel cancels Ta-Nehisi Coates' police brutality comic

Marvel

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Marvel’s new world of Wakanda has just taken another hit. EW has confirmed that Black Panther and The Crew, a spinoff of award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates’ successful Black Panther comic, has been canceled by Marvel. Coates had teamed up with poet Yona Harvey to write the series, a revival of an earlier series by Christopher Priest. Coates told The Verge that the cancellation was due to poor sales after two issues.

Black Panther and the Crew starred the title character and a group of other prominent black Marvel superheroes (Storm, Luke Cage, Misty Knight, and Manifold) investigating the case of a Harlem activist who dies in police custody. The case has many parallels to real-life Americans who have died in police custody, such as Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland.

“This is in the air. It’s not like I looked at a Black Lives Matter protest and was like, ‘Hey, I want to write a comic about that,'” Coates told TIME in January. “But you’re confronted with it every day. So when I sat down to think about what is this story with four black protagonists about, and you start scribbling, that rises up. The events of the day are with me. It seemed like an opportunity to do something. It becomes clear in the first issue that the activist is not just an activist. There’s something more going on there.”

Black Panther and The Crew will end after six issues, giving the team time to wrap up their story. Priest’s original version of The Crew also dealt with social issues like gentrification in Harlem, and was canceled after seven issues.

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