Marvel recently made the announcement that acclaimed author, journalist, and newly-minted MacArthur grant winner, Ta-Nehisi Coates, will be writing the latest edition of the Black Panther comic in 2016. I for one am very excited about this. I think that Mr. Coates is a very gifted writer. His latest article in the Atlantic is an interesting read that I highly suggest you check out.
I think that Mr. Coates is the type of writer that will re-establish the Black Panther character, or T’Challa, as a force to be reckoned with. I honestly have not seen as effective a representation of Black Panther since Christopher Priest’s run on the character. The Black Panther in the cartoon is very powerful but still not T’Challa at his ultimate level. I think that Mr. Coates’s perspective as a journalist will inform the character’s point of view that a typical comic writer couldn’t. Not to down comic writers (I love you Brian Michael Bendis) but it will be nice to see a writer outside of the genre tackle one of Marvel’s most prolific and oftentimes marginalized characters.
I wonder with the planned Black Panther movie coming out in 2018 (it got pushed back because of Spider-Man), whether the screenwriters will take cues from the Ta-Nehisi Coates Black Panther run. I would surely hope so, but with the play-it-safe mentality of a lot of Hollywood types they may not. Oh, if only Ava Duvernay would just change her mind about directing it….