Nationally Recognized Author Ta-Nehisi Coates To Write Black Panther Comic
Renown Black intellectual and national correspondent for The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates, is slated to write a new Black Panther series for Marvel Comics.
Via NY Times:
Ta-Nehisi Coates can be identified in many ways: as a national correspondent for The Atlantic, as an author and, as of this month, as a nominee for the National Book Award’s nonfiction prize. But Mr. Coates also has a not-so-secret identity, as evidenced by some of his Atlantic blog posts and his Twitter feed: Marvel Comics superfan.
So it seems only natural that Marvel has asked Mr. Coates to take on a new Black Panther series set to begin next spring. Writing for that comics publisher is a childhood dream that, despite the seeming incongruity, came about thanks to his day job. “The Atlantic is a pretty diverse place in terms of interest, but there are no comics nerds,” besides himself, Mr. Coates said in an interview.
His passions intersected in May, during the magazine’s New York Ideas seminar, when he interviewed Sana Amanat, a Marvel editor, about diversity and inclusion in comic books. Ms. Amanat led the creation of the new Ms. Marvel, a teenage Muslim girl living in Jersey City, based on some of her own childhood experiences.
“It was a fruitful discussion,” he recalled.
After that event, Marvel reached out, paired Mr. Coates with an editor, and discussions about the comic began. The renewed focus on Black Panther is no surprise. Created in 1966, he is the first black superhero and hails from Wakanda, a fictional African country.
Diversity — in characters and creators — is a drumbeat to which the comic book industry is increasingly trying to march. Marvel recently announced the December start of “The Totally Awesome Hulk,” whose title character is Amadeus Cho, a genius Korean-American scientist who will find himself transforming into that emerald behemoth. The book is written by Greg Pak and drawn by Frank Cho, both of whom are Korean-American. (“My wife is Korean, so I scored massive points,” Mr. Alonso said.)
Congrats to Mr. Coates! Will you be reading?