The Black Panther superhero universe is expanding onto television screens.
According to the New York Times, Marvel announced on Tuesday (May 18) that the superhero is getting a new series and a new creative team in August. It will be written by the Oscar winning 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley and drawn by Juann Cabal.
Ridley said he is eager for the chance to write the hero.
“First of all, Black Panther is just a great character in and of himself,” Ridley said in a telephone interview with the 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.”
In the new story, Black Panther receives an urgent message from a Wakandan operative who is in danger. “It’s a hybrid espionage-superhero thriller, but at its core, it’s a love story,” Ridley said. “And I don’t mean just romantic love, although there’s some of that as well. It’s love between friends.”
The screenwriter said he thought about his closest childhood friends “and the ways that we ran together and how our lives changed over time.”
Ridley also told the Times he wanted to reflect upon the last year.
“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 said. “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.”
News of the new series was first reported by comic book site, Bleeding Cool. Issue No. 1 of the new series will debut with a cover by Alex Ross. The New York Times reported that the current Black Panther series, which began in 2016 and has been written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, will conclude on May 26.
(Photo: Juan Torres Padilla/Getty Images)