Ta-Nehisi Coates is ready to confront the American Dream head-on. On Wednesday, the best-selling author announced that he would be taking over writing duties on Marvel’s flagship Captain America comic, starting this summer.
Coates made his name writing searing journalism for The Atlantic and award-winning books like Between the World and Me, in which Coates explained his experience with America’s racial oppression to his young son. His first comic relaunched Marvel’s Black Panther series in 2016 alongside artist Brian Stelfreeze. From there, Coates launched two related spin-offs: Black Panther and the Crew and Black Panther: World of Wakanda (the latter was written by Roxane Gay with Coates’ consultation, and focused on female characters). As announced earlier this month, Coates will continue to write Black Panther for the foreseeable future; his next arc launches T’Challa into space to confront the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda.
Now, Coates will also be writing Marvel’s most patriotic superhero. Captain America wears the iconography of the American Dream as a superhero costume. In his previous writings, Coates has interrogated the very notion of the American Dream and whether its mythic promise is reserved only for white citizens. “I tell you now that the question of how one should live within a black body, within a country lost in the Dream, is the question of my life,” he wrote in Between the World and Me.
“Captain America, the embodiment of a kind of Lincolnesque optimism, poses a direct question for me: Why would anyone believe in The Dream?” Coates wrote in a piece for The Atlantic announcing the new series. “What is exciting here is not some didactic act of putting my words in Captain America’s head, but attempting to put Captain America’s words in my head. What is exciting is the possibility of exploration, of avoiding the repetition of a voice I’ve tired of.”
Captain America will feature art from Leinil Yu and covers from Alex Ross. The first issue hits stores this Fourth of July. Check out the first Ross cover below.