Marvel’s Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1 (Marvel, April 6, 2016) is out today and to the uninitiated this may seem like just another comic book Marvel Studios can whip up into a film (which they’re definitely doing in 2018). However, there’s more to this particular release than non-comic lovers might think. It’s been written by nonfiction icon Ta-Nehisi Coates, winner of the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction for his fearless memoir, Between the World and Me, and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.
It would be unfair to say that he’s arguably one of the most important literary voices of our time, because the point isn’t arguable. His profound and thoughtful writing, paired with artist Brian Stelfreeze’s naturalistic and colorful illustrations, is expected to bring an entirely new audience to the classic, beloved Black Panther character, who was developed by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby 50 years ago, and to the art of comic books in general. The comic has already been labeled a huge success, having sold over 300,000 pre-order copies (To put that into context, if a comic book sells 50,000 pre-order copies, it’s considered a wild success!).
If you’re completely unfamiliar with the character Black Panther, then you’re in for a treat. Black Panther, whose real name is T’Challa, is a totally awesome superhero: he’s the ruler of a fictional African nation, called Wakanda, a master martial artist, a brilliant scientist and inventor who can also control the undead (and wear the crap out of a super-amazing costume). So, if you’re looking for something a little different that’s as profound as it is visually enticing, you should check out the latest Black Panther series! You can read more about the comic, plus an interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates, over at The New Republic.
Since 2018 is not the near future and we’ll have to wait for what seems like forever until we see Black Panther star in his own feature film, we’re pretty excited then that Black Panther will first appear in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, out in theaters May 6. Watch the trailer below: