Black Panther will have his cinematic debut in next year’s Captain America: Civil War, where the character (a.k.a. T’Challa) will be portrayed by 42 and Get On Up‘s breakout star, Chadwick Boseman. 2016 will also be the Year of the Panther in the world of Marvel Comics, as the character will also be featured in a new storyline crafted by a critically-acclaimed writer.
Marvel Comics has now recruited author Ta-Nehisi Coates to pen a new comics storyline for the King of Wakanda himself, Black Panther. Earlier this year, Coates released his second book, “Between the World and Me”, about the black experience in the United States; the book has already been nominated for a 2015 National Book Award for Non-Fiction. The author is also a recipient of the George Polk award for commentary (having won in 2014), and holds a position as a National Correspondent for The Atlantic.
According to The New York Times, Coates’ comic book story will see Black Panther deal with a violent uprising lead by the superhuman terrorist organization, The People, in his home country of Wakanda. The editor in chief of Marvel, Axel Alonso, mentions how the new storyline will “be a story that repositions the Black Panther in the minds of readers” and that “It really moves him forward”. Joining Coates in the new Black Panther comic will be Brian Stelfreeze, who will provide the artwork for the comic and is known for his work for Shadow of the Bat comics and Marvel’s Domino mini-series.
While Coates is a newcomer to the comic book world, it’s a world he’s quite familiar with. Recently the author was interviewed for Vulture and talked about the social importance of comic books and his own background with comics. Coates mentioned how he began reading comic books in the 1980s, and “was immediately an Amazing Spider-Man fan”. Coates is strictly a Marvel man, as he mentions that he doesn’t read DC comic books and that he prefers the “weirdos and freaks” in X-Men to the characters of the DC universe (not that there’s any reason you can’t enjoy both, of course).
Today’s announcement goes hand-in-hand with other recent Marvel announcements for their first Native American superhero, Red Wolf, and a new Korean-American Hulk. New titles for diverse superheroes alongside with established heroes like Ms. Marvel, a Pakistani-American girl, show that Marvel Comics is establishing a pattern of creating new, exciting titles that happen to feature a more varied assortment of characters (see also the Avengers NOW! comics reboot).
It’s a change that is making comics more inclusive to all audiences – and could change the type of superheroes we see onscreen, too. That is something that will become all the bigger a discussion topic as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand – with characters like Black Panther and Captain Marvel joining during Phase 3 – even while actors like Chris Hemsworth (who plays Thor) and Chris Evans (who plays Steve Rogers) wind down their Marvel contracts, setting the stage for new players to take their place in the MCU after Phase 3 is done.
Captain America: Civil War opens on May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; and Inhumans – July 12, 2019.
Source: The New York Times