First Black Superhero Gets Fancy New Writer

Ta-Nehisi Coates announced as new Black Panther writer
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2015 2:22 PM CDT
First Black Superhero Gets Fancy New Writer
Tweet from Marvel Comics' editor in chief announcing Ta-Nehisi Coates as the new writer of "Black Panther."   (Twitter)

Fresh off a nomination for the National Book Award, Atlantic correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates is going where an increasing number of very successful people are finding themselves: the Marvel Universe. Starting this spring, Coates will be writing for Marvel's Black Panther, the first black superhero, the New York Times reports. Coates tells the Times he's been a Marvel fan since he was a kid. "It meant something to see people who looked like me in comic books," he says. "It was this beautiful place that I felt pop culture should look like." Black Panther, who was created in 1966, is going through a recent resurgence with a role in the upcoming movie Captain America: Civil War and his own film to follow.

Coates has been getting rave reviews for his book Between the World and Me, a letter to his son about being black in America, the Times reports. "Coates' thoughtfulness and the way he writes about race and its relationship to politics, economics, and issues like mass incarceration is respected and virtually unmatched in this country," Alex Abad-Santos writes on Vox. "The reality of Coates writing a black superhero is a gigantic step in an industry where female and non-white creators are still a minority fighting for their voices to be heard." The Times reports Coates' Black Panther series will focus on a violent uprising in the fictional African nation of Wakanda, from which Black Panther hails, plus (of course) a superhuman terrorist group. (More Marvel Comics stories.)

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