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Ta-Nehisi Coates Reveals T'Challa's Top MC + More On 'Black Panther'

Ta-Nehisi Coates Reveals T'Challa's Top MC + More On 'Black Panther'

Ta-Nehisi Coates Reveals T'Challa's Top MC, More On 'Black Panther'
A cover from Marvel’s new Black Panther series, illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze.

Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ iteration of the Black Panther comic is four issues in as of this week, and the author/journalist used his Twitter account to answer questions.

Issue #4 marks a close to the first arc (similar to the first act in a play, for the uninitiated) of the new series. Coates answered questions on Saturday about his work process, his hopes for the rest of the series, and specific questions about the mindset and characteristics of his version of T’Challa, the protagonist monarch and warrior of the Marvel comic.

When a Twitter user asked which rappers were in T’Challa’s top five, Coates only revealed one: Big Daddy Kane.

“He’s a huge Kane fan. “I reign superior, always takin care a ya…” he responded. Coates added that he listens to a lot of Jay Z when writing Black Panther, slyly twisting a quote from “Dead Presidents II.”

Coates also repeated that he won’t be involved with the upcoming Black Panther film, which is directed by Ryan Coogler and will star Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’O, Michael B. Jordan and Danai Gurira. “Coogler’s a genius. (Did you see Creed?) I would only eff his isht up,” he said. He also revealed that he hopes to write 60 issues of the comic.

“I know how it ends. I hope I get to tell it,” he tweeted.

He also said that he would like to include the supervillain Dr. Doom in his version of Black Panther, but that he “[hasn’t] figured out how” yet.

Coates also encouraged Twitter users to read more comic books as a whole, not just his. “Go in the comic bookstore and get lost. Take reccs. Grab covers you like. Lose yourself. Don’t make it homework,” he wrote. “Don’t just buy mine. Buy a grip.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a lifelong comic book reader, but this round at Black Panther is his first time writing a comic. Marvel asked him based on his brilliant work as a journalist and an author. As a national correspondent for The Atlantic, Coates has become the media’s most prominent voice on race; he is perhaps most known for pieces like “Fear of a Black President” and “The Case for Reparations.” Last year he released his second book, Between The World And Me, which won the 2015 National Book Award For Nonfiction. He received the MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius Grant” the same year.


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