Here’s A Fresh Look At Ta-Nehisi Coates’ ‘Black Panther’ Comic

My little nerd sector of social media went wild when it was announced that Ta-Nehisi Coates, the prominent writer and National Correspondent for The Atlantic who routinely makes waves with his thought-provoking essays on race, would be revamping the Marvel character Black Panther. And with good reason! Coates is not only bringing his brand of social awareness to pop culture, but his longtime love of the form. He writes a little bit about how he came to love comics in this exclusive Black Panther sneak peek at The Atlantic:

Some of the best days of my life were spent poring over the back issues of TheUncanny X-Men and The Amazing Spider-Man. As a child of the crack-riddled West Baltimore of the 1980s, I found the tales of comic books to be an escape, another reality where, very often, the weak and mocked could transform their fallibility into fantastic power. That is the premise behind the wimpy Steve Rogers mutating into Captain America, behind the nerdy Bruce Banner needing only to grow angry to make his enemies take flight, behind the bespectacled Peter Parker being transfigured by a banal spider bite into something more.

Part of the excitement about the announcement that Coates would be revamping the character was rooted in the idea that Marvel might finally start to expand in a way that addressed more diversity, considering most of their superhero stable is aggressively white and male.

The post includes initial sketches, the artwork for the cover of the first issue, storyboards, and this short video where Coates explains how he hopes the work might connect to an audience:

I can’t wait for the first issue to drop!