Roxane Gay and Yona Harvey to Helm New Black Panther Spin-Off Series!

EW has shared some fantastic new from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con: Roxane Gay  and Yona Harvey will be writing Black Panther spin-off comics! And not just any old Black Panther spin-offs, but a series called The World of Wakanda, which will focus on the tales of three women of Wakanda.

Roxane Gay is an author and critic who is currently spinning a lot of plates. She has a story collection, Difficult Women, coming out next year, a memoir releasing in 2017, and her novel An Untamed State is being adapted for film. This will be her first foray into comics, and she’ll be working with poet Yona Harvey.

The two women will highlight two stories. One, a story about lovers Ayo and Aneka, will be co-plotted with Ta-Nehisi Coates, and follow on the events in his “A Nation Under Our Feet” series. Harvey’s story will focus on the revolutionary, Zenzi. Coates specifically asked Harvey to work on the series because he felt “poetry is so correlated with writing comic books… that’s just so little space, and you have to speak with so much power. I thought she’d be a natural.”

This comic would seem to be part of a large, welcome push on Marvel’s part, to not just pay lip service to diversity in comics by having Sam Wilson take up Captain America’s shield, or Riri Williams become a new Iron Man, but to actually hire new voices from a variety of backgrounds. Apart form the obvious fact that two African-American women will tell a story differently than, say, an Irish-American man, Marvel is also trying to pull talent from the worlds of literary fiction, poetry, cultural criticism – think of how many fantastic stories we’ll get if they keep this up! The series will premiere in November, and we can’t wait to read it.

In the meantime, you can read Yona Harvey’s poem “The Subject of Retreat” here, check out a roundup of Roxane Gay’s essay here, and read more about the series over at EW and The New York Times!

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