‘Black Panther,’ ‘Black Lightning,’ ‘Luke Cage’ Highlight Rise of Black Superheroes

Image via variety.com

by Daniel Holloway via variety.com

Diversity is on the uptick in comics-inspired TV and film. When “Luke Cage” exec producer Cheo Hodari Coker declared at his show’s San Diego Comic-Con panel last year, “The world is ready for a bulletproof black man,” the crowd erupted in cheers. So did the internet. “Right before I said it, I knew what I was feeling,” Coker later told Variety. “I had said variations of it during the day. It was coming from an emotional place, but I didn’t think it was going to reverberate the way that it did. But I’m glad that it did.”

The “Luke Cage” panel came in July on the heels of widespread protests sparked by the killings of unarmed black men by white police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota. When the show premiered in September, it became the first live-action series about a black superhero since 1994’s “MANTIS.” Now it’s getting some company. Next season the CW will premiere “Black Lightning,” based on the DC Comics superhero. And next year Marvel will debut “Black Panther,” the studio’s first feature with a black hero in the lead.

Social, political and business trends have converged to put black superheroes at the centers of burgeoning television and film franchises after years of being relegated to supporting status. Dan Evans, VP of creative affairs at DC Entertainment, cites the emergence of black superheroes on-screen as part of a larger trend in television and film. “There’s so many examples now, from ‘24’ to ‘The Fast and the Furious’ to ‘Creed,’” says Evans, whose office door features an oversize image of Cyborg, the black teen hero who will play a key role in the upcoming “Justice League” movie. “We’ve seen again and again that if you tell a good story with these characters, people will come.”

In superhero comics, the first appeals to underserved minority audiences came with the debuts of Black Panther (1966), Luke Cage (1972), Black Lightning (1977) and others. “These black superheroes emerge parallel to the changes in American race relations in the late 1960s with the emergence of the Black Power movement,” says Adilifu Nama, author of “Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes.” The movement’s push for equality and representation rippled through popular culture. “It wouldn’t be very sensible to think that these demands for diversity would only be in the realm of lunch counters and bus transportation.”

To read full article, go to: ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Luke Cage’ Highlight Rise of Black Superheroes | Variety

WATCH: Marvel’s “Black Panther” Teaser Trailer is Here!

Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o starring, Ryan Coogler directing. Out in theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.  Mark the date – we can’t wait!

Angela Bassett Joins Cast of Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Movie

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett (JIM SMEAL/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

“American Horror Story” star Angela Bassett has joined Marvel’s “Black Panther,” playing the mother of the title character.

Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o and “The Walking Dead’s” Danai Gurira are also part of the ensemble cast. “Creed” helmer Ryan Coogler will direct.

Chadwick Boseman will play T’Challa, the prince of the African nation of Wakanda, who must take over the throne after his father’s murder. Marvel unveiled the character in “Captain America: Civil War” last May and his standalone film hits theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.

Production is expected to start in the first quarter of 2017.  Joe Robert Cole is co-penning the script with Coogler. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is producing the movie.

This marks Bassett’s second turn down the comic book avenue having previously appeared in DC’s “Green Latern” movie starring Ryan Reynolds.

Bassett recently reprised her role as Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs in “London Has Fallen.” On the small screen, she was just seen on “American Horror Story: Roanoke.”

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/angela-bassett-cast-in-marvel-black-panther-1201923837/

This Pioneering Comic Shop Owner Gets Her Own Marvel Cover | Colorlines

Colorlines Screenshot of (L to R) the variant “Invincible Iron Man #1” comic, feat. (L to R) RiRi Williams and Ariell Johnson; and a picture of Ariell Johnson, taken from Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse’s Instagram on October 25, 2016.

article by Sameer Rao via colorlines.com

Ariell Johnson, the founder of Philadelphia’s Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, is the only Black woman to own a comics shop on the East Coast.  Johnson opened Amalgam Comics to tremendous fanfare in January. Now, her important contributions to geek culture and entrepreneurship for women of color has been immortalized in the most appropriate way possible.

Johnson appears on a store-specific variant cover for Marvel’s “Invincible Iron Man #1,” enjoying a meal with another Black woman trailblazer: RiRi Williamsthe new Iron Man. The comic goes on sale next month, with this alternate cover being available only at Amalgam.

Johnson told ABC News that her colleague Randy Green spearheaded the project. “When the email went out about potential variants for stores, he was really excited and took it upon himself to work out the [details],” she said. “I knew what it was supposed to look like, but having the actual art in front of you is so much different. It’s really exciting.”

“When you are a person of color, you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel to find someone you can identify with. I always felt like I was watching other people’s adventures,” she said to ABC News. Had she not been introduced to X-Men character Storm, she said, “I might have grown out of my love for [comics].”

To read full article, go to: This Pioneering Comic Shop Owner Gets Her Own Marvel Cover | Colorlines

“Bad Feminist” Author Roxane Gay Becomes 1st Black Woman to Ever Write Marvel Comic Book

Zenzi, in green, a revolutionary in Wakanda, the home of the Black Panther. (Photo via Marvel Entertainment)

Zenzi, in green, a revolutionary in Wakanda, the home of the Black Panther. (Photo via Marvel Entertainment)

article via theroot.com

Roxane Gay is set to write a new Marvel comic book in the World of Wakanda, which delves into the lives of the women of the Black Panther comic book series universe. It will be released in November, the New York Times reports.

The Purdue College professor and “Bad Feminist” scribe will team up with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates who has written his Black Panther series set in the fictional African nation.

Complex reports that the new series will involve several black women as writers and illustrators in addition to Gay. Alitha Martinez is the illustrator, and Yona Harvey and Afua Richardson will co-write and illustrate, respectively, a special “backup” story that will appear in the series’ debut issue.

Gay’s story will feature two members of Black Panther’s all-female security team—Ayo and Aneka—who fall in love. Harvey’s first story will revolve around Zenzi, a female revolutionary introduced in the first issue of Coates’ Black Panther series.  “It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever done, and I mean that in the best possible way,” said Gay to the Times.

Coates recruited both writers because he thought it important to have a woman’s perspective. “The women in Black Panther’s life are very, very important,” he said.

Read more in the New York Times and Complex.

Hannibal Buress Joins Cast of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ for Sony and Marvel

Hannibal Buress Spider-Man: Homecoming

Hannibal Buress (ROB LATOUR/VARIETY/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

Hannibal Buress is joining the cast of Sony and Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

Tom Holland will play Peter Parker in the reboot with Marisa Tomei taking on Aunt May. Michael Keaton is also on board for the role of a villain. Other actors who have joined the cast over the last several weeks include Logan Marshall-Green, Donald Glover, Zendaya and Tony Revolori.

Jon Watts has been hired to direct with Amy Pascal and Kevin Feige producing. Plot details are still being heavily guarded as is Buress’ character. “Vacation” directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein wrote the script.

Production is expected to start this summer with the film hitting theaters on July 7, 2017.

Buress, a stand-up comedian, has recently shifted gears to film, with upcoming roles in some of next year’s more anticipated comedies. First he has “The Masterpiece,” opposite Dave and James Franco, which is a movie about the making of what is widely considered the worst film of all-time, “The Room.”  He will follow that up with Dwayne Johnson’s reboot of “Baywatch,” which bows next summer. He also lent his voice to Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets.”

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/spider-man-homecoming-hannibal-buress-1201799535/

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ ‘Black Panther’ Is 2016’s Best-Selling Comic So Far

Ta-Nehisi Coates (photo via colorlines.com)

article by Sameer Rao via colorlines.com

Add “Black Panther” to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ list of best-selling titles.

The culture critic and “The Atlantic” journalist’s first foray into comic books was not only the top-selling comic last month, but according to Vulture, it’s the top-selling comic of 2016 so far.

Less than a year after the success of his memoir, “Between the World and Me,” the first issue of Coates’ reboot of the classic Marvel character’s story tops the list with 253,259 orders from North American retailers. While that number doesn’t account for actual sales (or orders from oustide the continent), Vulture notes that it “is the only industry statistic available and it’s generally a good indicator of interest in a comic.” The closest runner-up, the inaugural issue of Marvel’s “Star Wars: Poe Dameron,” received just 175,322 orders.

Source: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ ‘Black Panther’ Is 2016’s Best-Selling Comic So Far