“Black Panther” writer and The Atlantic correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates will lend his voice to another Marvel icon when he and artist Leinil Yu take over “Captain America” this July.
In an Atlantic article titled “Why I’m Writing Captain America,” Coates explained why taking on a book that is, ostensibly, about defending and defining the American Dream is so exciting and so challenging for him.
“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?” says Coates. “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.”
Coates’s article explores Cap’s storied history of government service and government protest and compares Cap’s cyclical confliction with America, and how its actions don’t always live up to its ideals, to Coates’s own. According to Coates, Leinil Yu is currently set as the series’s full-time artist, and Alex Ross will provide the series’s covers. At the end of his article, Coates took time to praise his collaborators, and to thank the many creators who paved the way for him to write an American icon.
“There has long been a complaint among black comic creators that they are restricted to black characters,” said Coates. “I don’t know what it means to live in a world where people restrict what you write, and the reason I don’t know is largely because of the sacrifices of all those who were forced to know before me. I have not forgotten this.”
“Captain America” #1 will launch in comic stores on, appropriately, the Fourth of July, meaning Mark Waid’s current “Cap” run will likely end in June. As expected, Coates will also continue writing “Black Panther.”