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Marvel Kicks Off Video Series To Ease In New Readers, Starting With Black Panther

With superstar writer Ta-Nehisi Coates behind the comic, and a movie on the way, now’s the time to learn about the man known as T’Challa.

Marvel Kicks Off Video Series To Ease In New Readers, Starting With Black Panther

Marvel grabbed some international headlines when it announced that its relaunched Black Panther title, following the “All-New, All-Different” reboot of its line, would be helmed by National Book Award winner and superstar Atlantic columnist Ta-Nehisi Coates. And the first issue, which was released last month, earned that attention–the debut was a confident, assured story of the inner workings of the nation of Wakanda and its superheroic leader, T’Challa.

But if all of that sounds a little confusing–where the eff is Wakanda, and how does anybody pronounce “T’Challa”?–Marvel’s got you: To accompany each issue of the title, they’re launching a video series in which Coates explains the world of Black Panther. The first episode–which launches today–gives a basic primer: The background on the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and how its ruler doubles as a super-scientist and a superhero.

Future installments can go further in-depth, creating a “previously on” effect that helps serve as a way in for fans intrigued by Coates’s participation–or by Chadwick Boseman’s interpretation of the character in Captain America; Civil War and the Panther’s own forthcoming solo film.

It’s an interesting prospect for comics. Stan Lee famously said that “every comic book is somebody’s first” as a reminder that these things need to be accessible, and anything that makes ongoing titles with a whole lot of history easier for new readers to pick up and get immediately is a good idea. Using some light animation, a hip hop score, and an overview from Coates himself is a clever way to market the book to people who might just be waiting for an extra push to find out what the future holds for Black Panther.

Related: See the evolution of Marvel’s Brand since its inception

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.