Ta- Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze get their claws into Black Panther
Set to be brought to life on the big screen by Chadwick Boseman in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther will first return to monthly comics in a new solo book written by Ta- Nehisi Coates and drawn by Brian Stelfreeze. Set primarily in Wakanda, the opening storyline “A Nation Under Our Feet” sees T’Challa’s right to rule the mythical African kingdom challenged by superhuman terrorist group The People.
“Ta- Nehisi starts with a question, ‘ How can the world’s most technologically advanced nation still have one of the most ancient forms of governance?’” Stelfreeze tells SFX. “This could get even more complicated when you consider that the king is often out of the country, so we’re exploring thoughts that come from attempts to answer those questions.”
Admitting that he’s “only seen what everyone else has in the previews,” Stelfreeze is looking forward to seeing exactly how T’Challa is portrayed in the upcoming Civil War movie. “I’m dying to know what their approach to the character is, and if it will have any resemblance to ours,” he says. “I’ve had varying degrees of disappointment with most of the superhero genre movies but Captain America has been the exception, so I’m really excited to see Black Panther in the cinema.”
With Creed’s Ryan Coogler having signed on to direct Black Panther’s 2018 solo outing, Stelfreeze hopes that some synergy can be developed between the comics and the films. “They operate almost in separate worlds, so I can’t really take on too much of an influence from the movies,” he says. “But if it’s not too arrogant for me to say, I hope they can take a lead from us.”
Black Panther # 1 is released by Marvel on 6 April.
Can T’Challa still rule his kingdom when he’s out saving the world?