11 Black comics writers to read, from DC to Marvel and beyond

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Ta-Nehisi Coates

Like Roxane Gay, you may know of Ta-Nehisi Coates through his more overtly literary and journalistic work, like pieces written for major publications including The Atlantic and The New York Times. His second book, Between the World and Me, received the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer for General Non-Fiction. Coates also received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2015, popularly known as the “Genius Grant.”

So,maybe you want to check out some of his work if you haven’t done so already.

When it comes to comics, Coates is very much in the midst of making his mark. He’s already gained much deserved praise for his work on Black Panther and Captain America. Coates was also a co-writer on World of Wakanda, the cancelled six-issue run also written by Roxane Gay.

Coates’ work on the main Black Panther series is much longer, thankfully. Starting in 2016, Coates started work as the head writer telling the story of T’Challa, current Black Panther, King of Wakanda, and, historically speaking, one of the first Black superheroes to make it onto major comic books’ pages.

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The current series was originally slated for an 11-issue series, but was so well-received that it’s since extended to more than 20 issues. Readers and critics responded fantastically well to Coates’ portrait of the young king. T’Challa is a superhero for our times, someone who has the bravery and moral core that we need, but also the uncertainty required of a fully realized character.

The complexity of this particular Black Panther, along with his fellow Wakandans and the rest of the world that’s ready to take on Wakanda’s rich stores of vibranium, makes it a clear choice for comics readers, but all 11 of these writers have something to offer.