NYT’s Bestseller Ta-Nehisi Coates to Pen Black Panther #1

NYT’s Bestseller Ta-Nehisi Coates to Pen Black Panther #1

September 23, 2015 0 By Laura Cerrone

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a household name in certain circles, and will soon be one in the comic book world. His writing repertoire includes The Village Voice, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and many other esteemed papers. His latest venture is down a different path from his normal and insightful socio-political commentary about race, history, and culture. Coates can add Marvel writer to his growing list of accolades.


While Coates is no stranger to writing books, such as his 2008 memoir The Beautiful Struggle, and his 2015 book Between the World and Me, a letter-style book to his teenaged son about being black in the United States, Marvel announced this week that the New York Times bestseller will be penning the new Black Panther series along with artist Brian Stelfreeze.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates, photo courtesy of Marvel.

“This story will have all the political intrigue of the best episodes of The West Wing and Homeland, but it’s also going to have the trademark Marvel action and energy that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (Black Panther’s creators) built into the foundation of the Marvel Universe. Look for some fun and unexpected Marvel villains to show up in this story, as well as an appearance or two by T’Challa’s new teammates, The Ultimates,” Black Panther editor William Moss explained.


The comic is slated for release in spring of 2016 and centers around a terrorist organization called The People who have stirred up civil unrest and protestation in the nation of Wakanda. T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, will have to navigate the nation through change, but it will be no simple feat for the ruler.


Coates describes the climate of the new Black Panther series and what the character T’Challa represents:

“Wakanda is really the light of the world, in the Marvel Universe. And yet it’s a system of governance that has not advanced beyond the idea of blood-rule. It’s always seemed to me that T’Challa was aware of this discrepancy. Among the monarchs of Marvel –Namor and Doctor Doom for instance– T’Challa has always been distinguished to me by his discomfort on the throne, and with the problems of one-man rule. I am very much looking forward to exploring that tension.”


Artist Brian Stelfreeze’s credentials include work for Marvel, DC Comics and indie labels such as 12 Gauge Comics; CyCops, Shadow of the Bat, The Ride, Domino, Matador, Gun Candy, and The Ride: Die Valkyrie.


Black Panther #1 is one of the many new books Marvel hopes that will shake up the All-New, All-Different line-up creatively.

Black Panter Hip-Hop Variant Cover, Provided by Marvel.

Black Panter Hip-Hop Variant Cover, Provided by Marvel.