Black Panther: The Struggle of Faith When God Is Silent

Modern comics tend to focus on shorter, four-to-six issue story arcs.  The ever-present wariness about the mercurial taste of readers, accessibility to potential newbies, as well as the fact each title will be collected and sold as trades two or three times a year shapes how stories are told.  Yet Ta-Nehisi Coates has embraced a longer form of storytelling, with great success, since taking over Black Panther.  His first “season” (as he describes it) was “A Nation Under Our Feet,” a yearlong story exploring the nature of people and politics, what it means to rule and who has the right to do so.  His second season, “Avengers Of The New World,” is another thoughtful, multifaceted yearlong story.  In it Coates eloquently and gracefully depicts the struggle of faith when God is silent. Continue reading

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The Future of the MCU: A Little Speculative Fun

With the premiere of Black Panther just two weeks away, my excitement couldn’t be higher!  I have fallen in love with the character through Ta-Nehisi Coates genre-defining run on the title and my anticipation of seeing the world of Wakanda on the big screen has legitimately surpassed – by far (and for real!) – my excitement for Avengers: Infinity War.  And now Black Panther has taken the record for the largest ticket presale for any superhero movie ever!!  As I get ready for Black Panther, I’ve been thinking a lot about what Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will look like.  Who lives?!?  Who dies?!?  What movies will we see down the line?!?  Here are my guesses… Continue reading

The Elegant Nature of Black Panther

This is a piece I’ve wanted to write for a long time.  I’ve tried before but could never find the right words.  Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze and Laura Martin’s Black Panther was one of the titles I was most excited by as I returned to reading comics in 2015.  While the Black Panther was only ever a guest star in the comics I read in my youth, Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of my favorite contemporary authors.  I follow his work in The Atlantic and have read his memoir Between The World and Me several times.  An author I so respect coming to a medium I’ve loved since before I could read was almost too good to be true!  The results proved even better than I’d imagined.  The pages of Coates, Stelfreeze, and Martin’s Black Panther held a story with an elegance unlike any I’d found in a comic book before. Continue reading