Ta-Nehisi Coates to Write Captain America
The opinion journalist who has lately been writing the Black Panther comics is taking on one of the format's most iconic characters.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, who made his name as an opinion journalist but has lately been writing the Black Panther comics, is taking on one of the format’s most iconic characters. He explains why:
Two years ago I began taking up the childhood dream of writing comics. To say it is more difficult than it looks is to commit oneself to criminal understatement. Writers don’t write comics so much as they draw them with words. Everything has to be shown, a fact I knew going into the work, but could not truly know until I had actually done it. For two years I’ve lived in the world of Wakanda, writing the title Black Panther. I’ll continue working in that world. This summer, I’m entering a new one—the world of Captain America.
Writing is about questions for me—not answers. And Captain America, the embodiment of a kind of Lincolnesque optimism, poses a direct question for me: Why would anyone believe in The Dream? What is exciting here is not some didactic act of putting my words in Captain America’s head, but attempting to put Captain America’s words in my head. What is exciting is the possibility of exploration, of avoiding the repetition of a voice I’ve tired of.
[N]othing should really scare a writer more than the moment when they are no longer scared. I think it’s then that one might begin to lapse into self-caricature, endlessly repeating the same insights and the same opinions over and over. I’m not convinced I can tell a great Captain America story—which is precisely why I want so bad to try.
Captain America #1 drops on the Fourth of July.
While I was an avid collector, including of Captain America, from 7th grade through college, I’ve only read a handful of comics since. But this is quite intriguing.