Even in this era in which superheroes are absolutely everywhere in the culture, it’s fair to say it’s been a pretty big year for the Black Panther.
In January, Marvel Studios announced that one of the most highly regarded young filmmakers working today, Ryan Coogler (Creed and Fruitvale Station), would direct and co-write the first standalone Black Panther film, which is set for release in February 2018. April saw the debut of Black Panther #1, a new series for Marvel Comics written by the the award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates with art by Brian Stelfreeze, which debuted to positive reviews and has enjoyed strong sales. Then, this month, Chadwick Boseman made his first appearance as the character in Captain America: Civil War, and critics mostly praised the character’s introduction as one of the highlights of a very crowded movie.
Now, Marvel Comics has announced its latest Black Panther project: A monthly video series featuring an animated version of the comics, commentary from Coates and a score by the hip-hop group Run The Jewels. The first installment of the series is above; it had been hinted at last week.
According to Marvel’s press release, the video series is “designed to present the world of Black Panther to a whole new audience timed with his cinematic debut in Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” and will offer fans a monthly recap of the best-selling comic book series.”
“With the Black Panther capturing the hearts and minds of fans around the world, we are making an all-out press for their eyes and ears,” says Marvel Editor in Chief, Axel Alonso. “And who better to make our opening statement than the sonically groundbreaking duo, El-P and Killer Mike – A.K.A. Run the Jewels?”
The video series introduces T’Challa and his homeland of Wakanda, while also introducing viewers to the book’s look and feel. There’s also plenty of Coates, a lifelong comics fan who has become a National Book Award and MacArthur Genius Grant-winning writer about race and politics in America.
Judging by the dynamite box office of Civil War, it’s fair to say that a whole lot of people are going to see this film and others in the Marvel Cinematic Universe without a great deal of knowledge of the source material. And even among those who do know the comics, many likely read them years ago and haven’t kept up with books of more recent vintage. The video series represents a sensible attempt by Marvel to capitalize on the success of Civil War, while also getting new audiences excited about the Black Panther, in multiple media.
Black Panther #1 (“A Nation Under Our Feet”) is available now, as is the video series; Black Panther #2 hits comic book stores on May 11, 2016.
Source: Marvel Entertainment