After damn near stealing the show in Captain America: Civil War, it comes as no surprise that Marvel is ready to give Black Panther more time in the spotlight. With his first solo big screen outing just over a year away, the publisher has wisely opted to put out more titles featuring this unique character, no doubt attempting to make him a fixture in the public’s consciousness.
Interestingly enough, this won’t be just another solo title – T’Challa is bringing some friends with him. Specifically, Storm, Luke Cage, Misty Knight and Manifold. Dubbed “The Crew” and paying homage to an earlier book penned by Christopher Priest (who is now hitting home runs with DC’s Deathstroke), expect to see this group of heroes do their best to keep the streets of Harlem safe.
Marvel is certainly known for boasting a wide array of super teams – the Avengers, X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy immediately come to mind – but the Crew may resonate with readers in a way similar to that of the Defenders. Sure, it’s cool to see galactic threats be dealt with, but let’s be honest, seeing real world issues being tackled is more relatable to the average reader. It’s one reason why I love characters like Daredevil and the Punisher so much.
National Book Award and MacArthur Genius Grant winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates recently told Time why he wanted to revive this concept:
“Christopher Priest wrote what turned out to be a mini-series that I just adored called The Crew. Black Panther wasn’t in the original Crew, but he was weirdly sort of related because an ancillary character of his series was in the Crew. It was a unique book because the majority of the characters were black. So when I came back to write Black Panther, I read a bunch of Christopher Priest’s stuff, and I wanted to bring it back.
“I was going to try to do it with the same members that he had. But it became clear that certain characters would not be available for various reasons. So I decided to think about it in a different way and think about something new.”
Furthermore, he elaborated on why Harlem was chosen as the series’ setting:
“Because I lived in Harlem for like seven years, and I love the neighborhood. There’s some history there for Marvel, too. I think Storm’s dad was from Harlem or lived in Harlem. Misty Knight and Luke Cage have connections there.”
Black Panther & The Crew, co-written by Coates and Yona Harvey, currently lacks a release date. Needless to say, we’ll keep you posted on that front.