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In Major Comic Book News: Ta-Nehisi Coates Tapped To Pen Marvel's Upcoming Black Panther Series

Marvel is teaming up with novelist and columnist Ta-Nehisi Coates and illustrator Brian Stelfreeze for the next Black Panther comic series.


The cover of Black Panther No. 1, to be published next year, drawn by Brian Stelfreeze. Credit: Marvel Entertainment

One of the leading voices in contemporary race debates will soon lend his voice to another influential figure.

According to The New York Times, Marvel Comics has hand-picked The Atlantic columnist and Between the World and Me author Ta-Nehisi Coates to write the Black Panther comic book series scheduled for spring 2016. The partnership reportedly grew out of a May 2015 interview between Coates and Marvel director Sana Amanat about diversity and inclusion in comic books.

With Coates penning the yearlong storyline, "A Nation Under Our Feet," and Brian Stelfreeze illustrating, the series will find Black Panther "dealing with a violent uprising in his country set off by a superhuman terrorist group called the People," the Times reports.

The Marvel hero, who was first introduced to readers in 1966, hails from the fictional technologically-advanced African nation of Wakanda and has been credited as the first Black superhero in mainstream American comics. "He has the baddest costume in comics and is a dude who is smarter and better than everyone,” Axel Alonso, the editor in chief of Marvel, told the Times.

A Black Panther film starring Chadwick Boseman is also slated for 2018, although fans will be able to catch the famous fighter much sooner in next year's Captain America: Civil War.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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