Ta-Nehisi Coates & Brian Stelfreeze’s Black Panther Series Gets a Debut Date

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Mark your calendars: The upcoming Black Panther comic book series written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze finally has a release date. Admittedly, it’s the somewhat vague “April 2016” as opposed to a specific day, so maybe just circle the entire month of April on your calendar.

We’ve already heard thoughts from Coates and from Stelfreeze about the upcoming 12-part story in the works; now we have a few more details, including a variant cover by Alex Ross (pictured above). Series editor Wil Moss told Newsarama:

Ta-Nehisi, Brian [Stelfreeze], colorist Laura Martin, letterer Joe Sabino, assistant editor Chris Robinson, and I have been working on this series for months already, so we’re happy to have a launch date as we’re all anxious to start getting this book out in front of people. We may be biased, but we think it’s something pretty special!

And what better way to celebrate the launch than with a variant cover by the legendary Alex Ross, sporting a logo designed by Rian Hughes? Alex’s art is known for making characters feel ‘real,’ which perfectly fits the tone of this series, as Ta-Nehisi and Brian are presenting a very ‘real’ take on Black Panther and Wakanda, one blended with the epic, unpredictable scope that the Marvel Universe is known for.

So mark your calendars: King T’Challa returns in April!

And here’s the official description of the book:

A new era for the Black Panther starts here! Written by MacArthur Genius and National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates (“Between the World and Me”) and illustrated by living legend Brian Stelfreeze, “A Nation Under Our Feet” is a story about dramatic upheaval in Wakanda and the Black Panther’s struggle to do right by his people as their ruler. The indomitable will of Wakanda — the famed African nation known for its vast wealth, advanced technology, and warrior traditions — has long been reflected in the will of its monarchs, the Black Panthers. But now the current Black Panther, T’Challa, finds that will tested by a superhuman terrorist group called the People that has sparked a violent uprising among the citizens of Wakanda. T’Challa knows the country must change to survive—the question is, will the Black Panther survive the change? (40 pgs./Rated T …$4.99)

As a reminder, Stelfreeze assured fans last October that he and Coates “want this to be a book that someone who has never read Black Panther before can pick up and really enjoy.” Personally, I’m a big fan of Coates’ writing, but I’m not very familiar with Black Panther canon — so I’m all set to hop on board for this as soon as it’s out. What about you all?

(via Newsarama)

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Maddy Myers
Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).