Black panther ta nehisi coates cover
Black panther ta nehisi coates cover

Ta-Nehisi Coates Will Author A New 'Black Panther' Comic For Marvel

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Writer and cultural critic Ta-Nehisi Coates will venture into the realm of comic book writing with a new Black Panther, which will be published by Marvel. Widely known for his writing in The Atlantic on racial justice, American history and the black Americans constant struggle for equality not just under the law but in real, lived experience, Coates has also written numerous books and won wide acclaim for his prose, which marries deep emotion and immersive research. To put it plainly, Coates is one of the finest, most vital writers in current times; he's also an obsessed comic book fan.

Coates's revamped Black Panther series will debut in Spring of 2016 and is, in the author's own words, the realization of a childhood dream. “The Atlantic is a pretty diverse place in terms of interest, but there are no comics nerds," he told the New York Times, who broke the story Tuesday. Black Panther was created by Marvel in 1966 and is cited as the first black comic book superhero. In his own universe, the character hails from the fictional African nation of Wakanda.

The revitalization will carry over into Marvel's hugely successful film ventures as well. Black Panther will be amongst the roles in next year's Captain America: Civil War, and a solo film dedicated to him will be rolled out in 2018. Whether or not Coates will play a role in cinematic writing for Black Panther has yet to be determined, but speaking with the Times, he commented on how the process of crafting narratives can be cathartic. “I don’t experience the stuff I write about as weighty...I feel a strong need to express something. The writing usually lifts the weight. I expect to be doing the same thing for Marvel.”

Given that hip-hop and Marvel have been colliding so very often recently in the form of special edition album art covers, you can be sure we'll keep you updated on these new superhuman developments. And if you've yet to pick up Coates's excellent new book Between The World and Me, do so. Right now.