School ya on your history, I tell ya what you ’bout”- Lupe Fiasco
As it stands now it’s only been a year since Ta-Naheisi Coates, and Brian Stelfreeze, hopped on Black Panther. We done seen some shit we thought we wasn’t ever gonna see in Wakanda. We done got civil unrest, a revolt, a revolution, and resolution within the formation of a government. We’re entering a new chapter dealing with the gods of Wakanda now, but can we just take a step back and look around, look around at how lucky we are to be apart of this fandom right now?
To say Coates and Stelfreeze went and put T’Challa on the map would be an understatement. This is Coates’s first crack at comics; he is only one year in and together with Stelfreeze he’s done god-tier level world-building with the history of Wakanda as we know it. Sheeeeeit, as we THOUGHT we knew it. We’ve ain’t had maps this in depth of the country, the in-depth divisions of Wakanda, how they got their names, the previous owners of certain portions of land, plus a Shuri’s journey through the origin of the most advanced civilization on the face of the Earth ever.
We got Okyo and Anyo of the Dora Milaje breaking off on their own standing and against the throne because “No one man should have all that power”. These are characters that are now just as much of a staple of Wakanda as T’Challa, Shuri. Ta-Nahesi Coates went and passed the sticks to his writers/artist and them Roxanne Gay to develop them even more? More character development, not some one-and-done comic book limbo shit? YOH!
As it stands now we’re going to delve into the gods of Wakanda. We been known about Bast, but Coates is giving us god building now? Religion building? Come on man, don’t even get me started on how trill that is but we’re only one issue in with that in Black Panther 13. You might be thinking since it’s too early to talk about the god we’re going to see, we still got a hefty body of work done from Coates’ Crew. That’s good enough right? I mean, what more could your ass possibly want?
How about Black heroes during the Golden Age of comics? Huh, How bout that shit right there? This shit goes beyond Wakanda man. You can’t be afraid to dream bigger darling. Coates went and tagged in Yona Harvey on the track in a story that’s having Misty Knight and Ororo Munroe (Storm if you with the shits) investigating the death of an old activist Ezra Miller (Lynx) that died in police custody up in Harlem. What makes this situation extra saucy is upon his death it’s discovered he was a hero during the 50’s that lead a team of heroes. These heroes were much in the same vein as the freedom fighters or the invaders, or crusaders team of that era. They didn’t just fight and for rights in Harlem but in all the “Harlems” across America.
Do you see? You don’t hear me tho, I said, do you see?! We’re still delving into this story but the fact that we now have this team of Black heroes operating during the Golden Age of comics which was completely white across the board. We’re getting a cohesive web stretching out for the Black Heroes of The “Golden Era” mythos.
This crew’s iteration can be in combination with Weapon Zero aka Isaiah Bradley, The Black Captain America’s story, as well as The Blue Marvel, Adam Bradshear’s story. [Although their adventure took place in the 1970’s Silver Age of comics I still mention the Black / POC Mighty Avengers that came together on an adventure also adding to the mythos].
My guy, this is mythos building from three different corners of comic character’s perspectives, from three different creative teams my guy. Coates didn’t just bring back a new iteration of Christopher Priest’s series The Crew [most underrated team in the fucking game] after fourteen years, he literally formed a crew in real life.
Take a look at all the people named working on these pieces across the board man. Roxanne Gay, Yona Harvey, Brian Stelfreeze, Afua Richardson, Alitha Martinez, Rembert Browne, Joe Bennet. This is a team you assemble when you’re about to pull a heist man. These are artists meeting up with blueprints on breaking into comics and changing the game. This is a mission impossible team for putting the fandom on pathos. We got a Wu-Tang Clan of artists dropping their version of triumph on us right now and they ain’t even done yet. [Does Rick Flair level “Wooooooooo”]. This entire roster got me thinking, what a glorious time to be alive and consume art, right now.