After receiving high praise for his book “Between the World and Me,” a letter to his son on being black in America, some may think Coates’ move to comics is an odd choice. Coates disagrees.
“I don’t experience the stuff I write about as weighty,” Coates said to The New York Times. “I feel a strong need to express something. The writing usually lifts the weight. I expect to be doing the same thing for Marvel.”
Black Panther, also known as T’Challa, made his first appearance in Fantastic Four #52 back in 1966. The sometimes king of the fictional African country Wakanda became the first black superhero in mainstream American comics.
Coates’ yearlong storyline, drawn by Brian Stelfreeze, is titled “A Nation Under Our Feet” and is inspired by Steven Hahn’s book of the same name. The story follows Black Panther as he deals with an uprising in his country set off by a superhuman terrorist group called the People.
It’s no surprise that Marvel plans to give Black Panther a solo series this spring. On May 6, 2016, the hero makes his bigscreen debut, played by Chadwick Boseman, in “Captain America: Civil War” followed by a “Black Panther” standalone pic in 2018.