Ryan Coogler’s long-awaited Black Panther film will finally arrive in theaters next month, with Chadwick Boseman playing T’Challa — the king of fictional African country Wakanda who doubles as a panther-suited superhero. Boseman’s portrayal has recently gained steam thanks to high-profile appearances in Captain America: Civil War and the recent Avengers: Infinity War trailer, but the average Marvel fan would be forgiven for not knowing everything there is to know about Black Panther. Such fans are in luck, because later this month Marvel is publishing a free sampler comic of various Black Panther stories over the years.
Helpfully named Black Panther — Start Here, the issue will contain excerpts from multiple Black Panther comics in the Marvel canon. So readers will get a taste of best-selling author Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recent run on the character, as well as the two recent spin-offs from the main Black Panther comic: Black Panther and The Crew, a miniseries about T’Challa and his allies battling police violence and systemic racism also written by Coates, and World of Wakanda, a series written by Roxane Gay and Yona Harvey that highlights Wakanda’s powerful female characters. But there will also be samplings of older stories, such as Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr.’s mid-2000s Black Panther run. For further reading, interested fans would do well to check out Coates’ full-length Black Panther collections as a next step, since they often contain older T’Challa stories from the ’70s from creators including Don McGregor.
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Black Panther – Start Here will be available to retailers on Jan. 31 in local comic shops, giving fans time to brush up on their history before the film hits theaters Feb. 16. Check out the cover below.