For the past few years critically acclaimed author, journalist, and comic book writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has been giving fans more reason to love and appreciate the reboot of Marvel’s Black Panther and now the Baltimore native has announced that he’ll be taking over the penning duties for another classic Marvel superhero, Captain America (Trumpian critics and comic book fanboys gonna be extra mad at this development).
In an essay he penned for The Atlantic titled Why I’m Writing Captain America… And why it scares the hell out of me, Coates confirms that starting this July he, along with Leinil Yu on interior art and Alex Ross on covers, will be the creative team behind the reboot of the patriotic superhero. But fret not Wakandans, Coates will remain penning Black Panther for the foreseeable future.
While Ta-Nehisi is happy about his new gig he does admit it poses some challenges and knows that his writing is going to stir the pot amongst certain Captain America fans.
At the end of World War II, Captain America is frozen in ice and awakens in our time—and this, too, distances him from his country and its ideals. He is “a man out of time,” a walking emblem of greatest-generation propaganda brought to life in this splintered postmodern time. Thus, Captain America is not so much tied to America as it is, but to an America of the imagined past. In one famous scene, flattered by a treacherous general for his “loyalty,” Rogers—grasping the American flag—retorts, “I’m loyal to nothing, general … except the dream.”
I confess to having a conflicted history with this kind of proclamation—which is precisely why I am so excited to take on Captain America. I have my share of strong opinions about the world. But one reason that I chose the practice of opinion journalism—which is to say a mix of reporting and opinion—is because understanding how those opinions fit in with the perspectives of others has always been more interesting to me than repeatedly restating my own. Writing, for me, is about questions—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.
If nothing else, Coates seems poised to make Captain America more relevant to today’s political climate, and that alone should Ta-Nehisi’s upcoming run all the more interesting and exciting.
Fly News: ‘Black Panther’ Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates To Takeover ‘Captain America’ was originally published on hiphopwired.com