Making his on-screen debut in Captain America: Civil War, T'Challa A.K.A. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) captivated audiences with his power, grace, and charm. The introduction set the scene for an upcoming Black Panther solo film and boosted the launch of a new Black Panther comic written by acclaimed author Ta-Nehisi Coates with art from Brian Stelfreeze.
After initial buzz around the first issue, it was reported that Black Panther #1 was already 2016's best selling comic book. The initial success took some by surprise, but for many Marvel fans, it proved that diverse books from diverse creators were actually a very lucrative market.
Coates' run with Black Panther proved so successful and the characters received such great fan response that Marvel announced (h/t io9) a spin-off titled Black Panther: World of Wakanda. This series will focus on the women of Wakanda and features arcs for supporting characters from the ongoing Black Panther title, like the Dora Milaje and the cryptic Zenzi.
Two of the stand out characters from this updated series were Aneka and Ayo, a lesbian couple and former members of Dora Milaje that broke away from Black Panther to pursue their own sort of vengeance as the Midnight Angels. While the entire series will be co-written by Coates, this arc in particular has landed Roxane Gay as a writer. She has garnered fame in her own right as a novelist and is the first African-American woman hired to write a Marvel title.
This arc is a prequel, of sorts, and begins its story before the events of Black Panther #1, showing readers the beginning of their relationship. In an interview with the New York Times, Gay was excited about jumping into the Marvel universe, saying, “The opportunity to write black women and queer black women into the Marvel universe, there’s no saying no to that.”
This announcement is another of several diverse additions that will be making their way onto the shelves of local comic shops, but this decision (hiring a black woman to write black female characters) seems more purposeful. Other talent attached to this Black Panther spin-off include artist Afua Richardson, writer Yona Harvey, and Stelfeeze.
Black Panther: World of Wakanda has no release date yet, but EW sources expect it to drop in November 2016.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.