Marvel Hires Black Activist To Pen Black Panther Comic Series


“‘White America’ is a syndicate arrayed to protect its exclusive power to dominate and control our bodies.”

Marvel has announced that it has hired Ta-Nehisi Coates to author its next series of Black Panther comics, as was reported by The New York Times. Coates is well known for his regular column at the progressive outlet The Atlantic as well as being a voice for the black community in protesting America’s rich heritage of white supremacy.

The job was offered to Coates, 39, and a huge comics fan, soon after he interviewed a Marvel editor on diversity and inclusion in comics for a piece in The Atlantic. This editor, Sana Amanat, highlights Marvel’s move to include more diverse characters. She is responsible for rebranding Ms. Marvel as a Muslim teenager living in Jersey City, the Times notes.

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But before being thrust into the world of writing comics, Coates published a book, Between the World and Me, described as “a passionate letter to his son on being black in America.” In it, he writes:

‘White America’ is a syndicate arrayed to protect its exclusive power to dominate and control our bodies.

New York magazine hailed Coates as one of the nation’s most prolific writers of the Obama era for penning a piece titled “The Case for Reparations.” They gushed: “When Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and then Tamir Rice in Cleveland and Walter Scott in South Carolina, it was Coates who seemed to most adeptly digest the central paradox of the time: how, within an increasingly progressive era, a country led by a black president could still act with such racial brutality.”

And later, when nine black Christians were killed in Charleston, South Carolina, Coates, an atheist, questioned the forgiveness offered to Dylann Roof by the victims’ families. “Is that real?” he asked. “I question the realness of that.”

For his work with Black Panther, Coates doesn’t expect the audience to feel the weight of his typical works, as he explains to the NYT:

I don’t experience the stuff I write about as weighty. 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, a frequent member of the Avengers team and a character that will first appear in the film Captain America: Civil War next year, holds a Ph.D. in physics and is the leader of a fictional African land. Coates is slated to write a year-long storyline pitting the hero against what the Times reports is “a violent uprising in his country set off by a superhuman terrorist group called the People.” More

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