T’Challa and and the legacy of Wakanda is continued by Ta-Nehisi Coates in his recent Black Panther series. Being his first shot at writing a comic book, Coates was determined to provide a lush, vibrant story that would ensnare leagues of veteran fans and newcomers to the series. He also proved to stay authentic to T’Challa’s background and story by featuring Klaw, Luke Cage, Ororo Munroe and countless others into his arcs. Themes surrounding colonial theft, xenophobia and the struggles to stay autonomous within an increasingly ‘globalized’ world are discussed within the series.
It is vastly important for Wakanda to have a collective memory and purpose outside of the Western gaze. While Don McGregor did a considerable job with T’Challa, it is evident that when dealing with culturally diverse characters, it is best to have a person who is of that culture to spearhead the character’s development. While some dismissed it as a promotional tool to ramp up interest in the Black Panther film by director Ryan Coogler, Coates proved that he is a writing force to be reckoned with. In his run of Black Panther, we receive a more nuanced idea of what T’Challa’s reign as a King is. The strife, the complications, the love interests, the cultural context – are perfected with Ta Nehisi’s flawless sociopolitical insight. Here are some highlights of his amazing run. [Read more…] about Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther Retrospective