As reported in the New York Times, national corespondent for The Atlantic and National Book Award nominee Ta-Nehesi Coates is writing an upcoming 12-issue run of Marvel's Black Panther. We've given Matrix Jedi, Elvis Costello doppleganger, and esteemed professor Dr. Cornel West, an outspoken critic of Coates, an opportunity to preview some of the early issues:
Brother Coates’ new issues of Black Panther are full of BAM and POW, but they hardly measure up to James Baldwin’s historic run on the comic back in the Mighty Marching Marvel Society days of the salubrious seventies. Baldwin’s excoriation of the exploitive American eye towards brother T’Challa’s native Wakanda and the imperialist strip mining of its vibranium resouces led to collective action, and may even have inspired the organization that came to share the hero’s name. Coates’ Panther, meanwhile, makes no critique of the Black president in power, or the rampant capitalist wage inequity evident in the disparity between the tony Starks and the proletariat Parkers. He hasn’t familiarized himself with our hero brethren who have struggled alongside us: Black Goliath, Black Lightning, Black Talon, Black Manta, Black Vulcan, black Power Man, and (somehow) the Bronze Tiger. Until he’s studied these afro’d and afro-centric heroes of the four-color struggle, Coates will remain a mere darling of Stan Lee-liberals and jackbooted Kirbyism. Also, as brother Jonathan Lethem proved with his 2007 attempted revival of Omega the Unknown, no one wants this shit. Finally, in what can be attributed only to Coates' youth and an unwillingness to examine our era's omnipresent neocon ogliarchy, brother Ta-Nehesi completely misunderstands the villain he employs against brother T'Challa. As any scholar must recognize, Klaw lost his powers in a fight with Carnage in Amazing Spider Man #676, but here he appears again as a bigoted imperialist with a vibranium-powered sonic laser rather than as a being of pure sound as he’s appeared since his fight in Dazzler #11. Please send my no-prize to the efficiency apartment I'm sharing with John Edwards in Topeka, KS.