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Marvel Comics – John Ridley Takes Over ‘Black Panther’ in August!

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Academy Award winning writer John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) made his Marvel comics debut in February with Wolverine: Red, White & Blood #3. Today, Marvel announced that beginning this August, Ridley will be taking over for TaNehisi Coates on the Black Panther series.

To celebrate the announcement and the new era of Black Panther, legendary artist Alex Ross was tapped to do the cover for Ridley’s book, which will feature interior art by Juann Cabal.

Ross is of course one of the most popular and respected artists in the industry, but this stunning cover is some of his best work yet. Not only does it include a robust cast of Marvel characters, the division of Wakanda based characters on the back cover and the Avengers characters on the front cover is a great representation of the tension that T’Challa regularly struggles with.

Speaking with The New York Times, Ridley talked about how much the character means to him. “First of all, Black Panther is just a great character in and of himself,” he said in a telephone interview with The New York Times. “But being a young Black kid growing up, every time you saw a hero that looked like you, even if their background didn’t reflect my lived experience, it was just something that made you feel closer to the wish fulfillment that is intrinsic in graphic novel writing.”

As for the story arc that Ridley will be writing, following the conclusion of Coates’ intergalactic epic, it sounds like Ridley’s approach will be more relationship focused.

“It’s a hybrid espionage-superhero thriller, but at its core, it’s a love story,” Ridley told The New York Times. “And I don’t mean just romantic love, although there’s some of that as well. It’s love between friends.

“We’re coming out of a summer where we saw Black people fighting for our rights, standing up, fighting in ways that we haven’t had to do in years,” Ridley added. “And it was really important to me after the year we had where we can have these conversations with Black people and we can use words like love and caring and hope and regret and all these really fundamental emotions that everybody has.”

Black Panther #1 by John Ridley releases this August!

Black Panther #1 Cover by Alex Ross
Black Panther #1 Cover by Alex Ross

BLACK PANTHER #1
Written by JOHN RIDLEY 
Art by JUANN CABAL
Cover by ALEX ROSS
ON SALE AUGUST 2021

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MARVEL UNVEILS NEW BLACK PANTHER COMIC BOOK SERIES LAUNCHING THIS AUGUST!

Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley and artist Juann Cabal launch T’Challa’s next revolutionary chapter this summer!

New York, NY— May 18, 2021 — As Black Panther’s intergalactic saga makes its stunning conclusion next Wednesday, Marvel Comics has revealed that the next thrilling chapter for T’Challa, Wakanda, and the Marvel Universe will begin this summer! Officially announced today by The New York Times in an exclusive interview, Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) will helm Marvel’s next Black Panther comic book series alongside Marvel’s Stormbreaker artist Juann Cabal (Guardians of the Galaxy), beginning with BLACK PANTHER #1 this August.

Building from the epic last chapter of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ groundbreaking multi-year Black Panther run in BLACK PANTHER #25 next week, Ridley will kick off an action-packed espionage story that will impact everything in T’Challa’s life and have ramifications for the entire Marvel Universe!

In this new ongoing series, secrets from T’Challa’s past have come back to haunt him. Fresh from returning from his adventures in space, Black Panther receives an unexpected and urgent message from a Wakandan secret agent. T’Challa must race the clock not only to save his agent, but also to keep his true agenda under wraps. Because if the truth comes out, it could cost T’Challa everything…

“It’s a hybrid espionage-superhero thriller, but at its core, it’s a love story,” Ridley told The New York Times. “And I don’t mean just romantic love, although there’s some of that as well. It’s love between friends.

“We’re coming out of a summer where we saw Black people fighting for our rights, standing up, fighting in ways that we haven’t had to do in years,” Ridley added. “And it was really important to me after the year we had where we can have these conversations with Black people and we can use words like love and caring and hope and regret and all these really fundamental emotions that everybody has.”

Don’t miss Black Panther’s historic moment in BLACK PANTHER #25 next week, and be sure to pick up BLACK PANTHER #1 when it hits stands this August! Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more details.

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Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture.  He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.

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