John Ridley and Juann Cabal Will Relaunch Black Panther For Marvel

Ta-Nehisi Coates is leaving behind some big shoes to fill when his Black Panther run comes to an end in just a few weeks. But it looks like Marvel has found a suitable candidate to carry on the Wakandan king’s legacy. The House of Ideas has enlisted Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley to relaunch the series with artist Juann Cabal later this year.

Ridley revealed a few key details about the series’ first arc in a new interview with The New York Times. Apparently, his run kicks off with T’Challa receiving an “urgent message” from a Wakandan operative in trouble. The distress call sets off a chain of events that Ridley describes as “a hybrid espionage-superhero thriller, but at its core, it’s a love story. And I don’t mean just romantic love, although there’s some of that as well. It’s love between friends.”

“First of all, Black Panther is just a great character in and of himself,” said Ridley. “But being a young Black kid growing up, every time you saw a hero that looked like you, even if their background didn’t reflect my lived experience, it was just something that made you feel closer to the wish-fulfillment that is intrinsic in graphic novel writing.”

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This won’t be Ridley’s first time playing in the superhero sandbox. He made a splash last fall with DC’s Black Label miniseries The Other History of the DC Universe. He also played a major role in DC’s Future State line earlier this year with The Next Batman, which made Lucius Fox’s son, Tim, the Dark Knight of one possible future. On the film side, Ridley is currently developing his next directorial effort, a biopic about trailblazing Black congresswoman Shirley Chisholm starring Regina King.

Black Panther #1 hits comic shops in August

You can check out Alex Ross’ wraparound cover for the first issue below. Are you excited to see what Ridley and Cabal bring to the series? Let us know in the comment section!

Recommended Reading: Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1

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