Cultural Critic Ta-Nehisi Coates to Write Black Panther for Marvel!

Critically acclaimed author and cultural critic Ta-Nehisi Coates will be tackling a new medium next spring: he’ll write a new Black Panther series for Marvel! “A Nation Under Our Feet,” the yearlong story line written by Coates and drawn by Brian Stelfreeze, will see Black Panther tackling a violent uprising in Wakanda, and, we’re going to assume, will also provide commentary on tensions in current, non-Wakandan society. The title was inspired by Steve Hahn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning history A Nation under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration.

Coates, who is a correspondent for The Atlantic, and whose book of essays, Between the World and Me, is both a bestseller and a nominee for the National Book Award’s nonfiction prize, also happens to be a giant comics nerd. Speaking with The New York Times, Coates said that “It was mostly through pop culture, through hip-hop, through Dungeons & Dragons and comic books that I acquired much of my vocabulary.” When he began reading comics in the mid-1980s, he was introduced to three important characters: Storm, the leader of the X-Men; Monica Rambeau, who had taken on the name Captain Marvel; and James Rhodes, who was Iron Man. “I’m sure it meant something to see people who looked like me in comic books. It was this beautiful place that I felt pop culture should look like.”

You can read more about the project over at The New York Times, and check out Coates’ conversation with Marvel editor Sana Amanat about the importance of Ms. Marvel!

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