Photo credit: Wes Ellis
In February of 2018, "Black Panther," one of the latest superhero movies from Disney and Marvel Studios, was released in theaters. Its earnings reached $1.3 billion globally and the film was nominated for 63 awards, winning 29. However, the story of Wakanda began far before the film as a series of comics, debuting in 1961 in Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four No. 52. Introduced amidst the civil rights movement, it not only brought forth a superhero with supernatural strength, agility, and intelligence - but it brought representation into the world of mainstream comics which often lacked racial diversity, both in the characters and the writers who create them.
The story of the Black Panther continues off-screen through Marvel's comics. One of the most recent, Rise of the Black Panther, was released a month before the film and is co-written by Evan Narcisse and former City Club speaker Ta-Nehisi Coates. The graphic novel details the first year of the Black Panther, T'Challa, as King of Wakanda, and who Narcisse himself says is his favorite superhero.
Journalist, critic, and author Evan Narcisse joins us to talk about the Black Panther and the representation of black life in pop culture.
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