Ta-Nehisi Coates to pen year-long narrative arc for Marvel's "Black Panther" comic in 2017

The assignment wasn't intended "to try to please the 12-year-old me," the life-long comics fan insisted

Scott Eric Kaufman
September 22, 2015 9:59PM (UTC)

Ta-Nehisi Coates' year keeps getting better. In addition to writing a book, "Between the World and Me," that's been universally praised by everyone who isn't a blinkered, hidebound fool, the New York Times' George Gene Gustines reports that the life-long comics fan is writing a year-long narrative arc for "Black Panther" which will begin publication in 2017.

"I don’t experience the stuff I write about as weighty,” he said, referring to the possibility that for those who believe him to be the heir to James Baldwin, writing for a comic book would be beneath his talents. "I feel a strong need to express something. The writing usually lifts the weight. I expect to be doing the same thing for Marvel."


The arc will be called "A Nation Under Our Feet," and will involve a violent uprising by a superhuman terrorist group known as "The People" in Black Panther's home county of Wakanda. "It’s going to be a story that repositions the Black Panther in the minds of readers,” Marvel's editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said. “It really moves him forward."

The character of Black Panther isn't merely "moving forward" -- he looks to be having a banner year in 2017 as well, because in addition to having his eponymous comic written by one of the most powerful voices in American letters today, he will make an appearance in "Captain American: Civil War," the followup to this year's blockbuster "Avengers: Age of Ultron."

Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Avengers: Age Of Ultron Black Panther Captain America Comic Books Comics Marvel Ta-nehisi Coates

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