Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther will prowl onto the scene in Captain America: Civil War as it hits theaters this week, before the superhero (whose real name is T’Challa) features in his own solo movie during the early half of 2018. While we still have some time to wait until that release, the highly-anticipated project appears to be advancing steadily through the pre-production stage with some side vehicles – such as a rebooted Black Panther comic book series and a whole bundle of related merchandise – serving to build momentum as we enter Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Whether you're a newcomer to the MCU or a veteran who is interested in absorbing any (and all) related material, the Marvel Comics' creative team is now inviting you to hit the ‘play’ button on a new spotlight video series, which endeavors to introduce the world to the latest comic book iteration of Black Panther.
The powerhouse publisher has collaborated with indie production house, Bow & Arrow, to present a deep-dive history of the iconic character by masterfully merging the animated comics with in-depth commentary and an elevated hip hop score. Each new episode in the Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet series will launch, monthly, alongside the latest issues of the superhero’s “all-new, all-different” self-titled comic book. The first video installment, Black Panther 101, explores the background of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and how its ruler is armed with both scientific genius and superhuman powers, narrated by Black Panther writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Along with the official announcement, Coates explained the opportune timing of the project, which undoubtedly aims to capitalise on the excitement around Black Panther’s cinematic debut:
“After decades of great work done on Black Panther -- everyone from Reginald Hudlin to Don McGregor to Christopher Priest -- it really is an honor to be writing King T'Challa. Add to that the masterful performance by Chadwick Boseman as the ruler of Wakanda and it really feels like this is Black Panther's time.”
Marvel Comics’ Editor-in-Chief, Axel Alonso, supported his colleague's comments and shared some further rationale behind the series:
“Black Panther #1 drove new fans into stores across the county, topping the sales charts and selling out in two days. This series of videos will direct even more eyes toward the most discussed comic book series – and character – of the year.”
Black Panther’s loyal fan base has substantially grown in the five decades since his landmark debut in Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966), and has been bolstered by the newly rebooted best-selling comic book series, which managed to rack up more than 330,000 sales in its opening week.
Comic books are a notoriously difficult medium for beginners to jump into, especially since they’re typically part of a long-running series that will (more than likely) have a pre-established history and invariably reference prior events. With an expansive marketing reach and vast digital distribution, there's an opportunity to attract and educate a whole new market via the Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet video series.
Black Panther #2 hits comic book stores on May 11, 2016.
Source: Marvel Comics