Marvel has announced another Black Panther series titled Black Panther & The Crew, playing on a previous concept created by writer Christopher Priest (a series whose cancellation in 2003 initially drove Priest to his extended hiatus from comics at the time) It will be written by current Black Panther writer Ta-Nehisi Coates with poet and World of Wakanda contributor Yona Harvey with art from Butch Guice of Captain America, Resurrection Man, Action Comics & Micronauts. More details at Time Magazine
It’s December again which means another month of year end list and pontificating. Cosmo kicked things off with his best new character list yesterday, now it’s time for the ten best new series. Continue reading This Years Finest 2016: The Ten Best New Series
On Friday at New York Comic Con, Marvel held a panel observing the 50th Anniversary of Black Panther. Created in 1966 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Black Panther debuted in the pages of Fantastic Four #52. Lee and Kirby were at the height of their collaboration at this moment, having just wrapped a string of stories introducing iconic figures such as the Inhumans, Galactus and Silver Surfer. The issue prior (#51) told the classic tale “This Man . . . This Monster!” Given this high level of quality, it is hardly surprising that they would not miss a beat when premiering The Big Two’s first black superhero. Two years later, Roy Thomas added the Panther to the ranks of The Avengers just in time for T’Challa to share Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ initial encounters with Ultron and The Vision.
Despite their canonical status, the NYCC panel was mostly silent on these earliest Black Panther stories. Instead, they cited the work of writer Don McGregor as the foundational Black Panther tales. In the early 70s, Marvel launched Jungle Action as a low-profile series reprinting old adventure stories from the 1950s. However, much had changed in America since the 50s and McGregor found much of these stories racially offensive. (A cursory glance at the initial covers suggests that these narratives revolved around a generic Tarzan type rescuing a fearful white woman from all sorts of rampaging jungle beasts). Eventually editorial grew tired of McGregor’s complaining and assigned him the task of writing new scripts for the series. As McGregor explained, “jungle books didn’t sell, so what did they have to lose? They could simply cancel the series and say ‘hey we tried.’” Then in the tradition of Frank Miller, Jim Starlin and other creators reviving moribund properties, McGregor refashioned Jungle Action into something iconic.
Marvel Entertainment has announced that not only will Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther be getting a companion title, it will be written by the first (and thus far only) Black Female creator to ever write for Marvel or DC, Roxane Gay.
More details at NY Times..
Editors Note: This article has been altered, the original text listed Roxanne Gay as the first”Black female creator to ever work for the Big 2″ to the first “Black Female creator to ever write for Marvel or DC”
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HERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.Josh’s Recommendations … The Fix #2
“A funny crime series by the creators of ‘Superior Foes of Spider-Man’. Get on this, its wrong in all the right ways…”
By Ta-Nehisi Coates, Butch Guice, Scott Hanna & Dan Brown
Marvel has a long history of using superheroes as a means for discussing political topics. Steve Gerber repeatedly used four-color tropes to tackle issues as divisive as the culture wars (Howard the Duck), racial tensions (The Defenders) and the breakdown of social discourse (Foolkiller). Gerber, though, was far from the only Bullpen member engaged in such exercises. Don McGregor’s iconic run of Black Panther stories in Jungle Action broke new ground in its depiction of Africans in comic books. At the tail end of the run, McGregor brought Ta-Challa to America where he fought the Klu Klux Klan (a decision that even in the post-Civil Rights landscape of the 1970s sat uneasily with some Marvel editors). The run was never a best seller; indeed, it was abruptly canceled mid-storyline. However, it made a strong impression on those who read it, especially the next generation of African-American creators. Christopher Priest drew on it for background to his own acclaimed Black Panther title, making the material his own by swapping out the 70s earnestness for 90s satire. Towards the end of his run, Priest penned a related (short lived) series featuring the characters James Rhodes, Josiah X and White Tiger. On Wednesday Marvel revived that property as a tie-in to the current Black Panther on-going written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The strong debut issue is worthy continuation of Marvel’s tradition of social relevance.
Cosmo: This week, Marvel launches a new Black Panther solo series. Under normal circumstances, Marvel giving one of their most prominent black heroes a new series, along with a persons of color creative team would be noteworthy. Black Panther has a strong legacy at Marvel stretching back to when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced him in Fantastic Four as the first black superhero from the big two. However, what has given this debut issue even more attention is the specific choice of its scribe: Ta-Nehisi Coates. Coates is a respected journalist, op-ed writer and acclaimed author. His recent Between the World and Me deservedly won several prestigious awards. While he is not the first literary author to cross over to comics (Jonathan Lethem springs to mind), there is still is something remarkable about his selection. It feels as though Marvel wants Black Panther to be more than respected or relevant; they want the title to be “important” as well. Continue reading Comic Convo: Ta-Nehisi Coates & Black Panther