Marvel grabbed some international headlines when it announced that its relaunched Black Panther title, following the “All-New, All-Different” reboot of its line, would be helmed by National Book Award winner and superstar Atlantic columnist Ta-Nehisi Coates. And the first issue, which was released last month, earned that attention—the debut was a confident, assured story of the inner workings of the nation of Wakanda and its superheroic leader, T’Challa. Artist Brian Stelfreeze brings Coates’ story to life, confronting T’Challa with a dramatic upheaval in Wakanda that will make leading the African nation tougher than ever before.
For long time fans of the Marvel Universe, this storyline is simple continuity, but with T’Challa’s gig screen debut in Captain America: Civil War, Marvel is preparing for a new influx of first-time Black Panther fans. To accompany each issue of the title, they’re launching a video series in which Coates explains the world of Black Panther. The first episode—which launches today—gives a basic primer: The background on the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and how its ruler doubles as a super-scientist and a superhero.
See what Coates and Stelfreeze have in store for T’Challa in the first episode here:
Stan Lee famously said that “every comic book is somebody’s first” as a reminder that these things need to be accessible, and anything that makes ongoing titles with a whole lot of history easier for new readers to pick up and get immediately is a good idea. Using some light animation, a hip hop score, and an overview from Coates himself is a clever way to market the book to people who might just be waiting for an extra push to find out what the future holds for Black Panther.