Ta-Nehisi Coates is definitely one of the most prolific writers of the day. The MacArthur Genius Grant winner has penned such books as Between the World and Me and We Were Eight Years in Power. He’s also a writer for such publications as The Atlantic.
In 2016, Coates took over Black Panther for Marvel. Honestly? It’s a relevation and one of the most interesting comics on the market today. He’s taken T’Challa on a personal, political, and philosophical journey through an Wakandan revolution and the revival of dead gods. This year, with Marvel’s “fresh start” the writer plans to take T’Challa and Wakanda to space. He also co-written several spin-off books from the title.
In an essay that Coates wrote for The Atlantic, he revealed that he will be writing Captain America later this year. It wasn’t a secret. The essay was literally titled “Why I’m Writing Captain America“. After the god-awful Secret Empire, writer Mark Waid took over the book and has done a lot to bring Cap back to his roots.
In the essay, Coates wrote about his thoughts on Steve Rogers: “he is a dissident just as likely to be feuding with his superiors in civilian and military governance as he is to be fighting with the supervillain Red Skull.”
He continued with, “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.””
Coates also said that such idealism brings up conflicted feelings when understanding the character.
“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.”
Coates even admitted that the reason he wants to try so badly to write Captain America is because he isn’t sure if he can make a good story. Although, from my own interpretations of the character and what I read in the essay, I think that he’ll definitely write something amazing.
Joining Coates on the book is artist Leinil Yu (Superman: Birthright, Secret Invasion) for interiors and Alex Ross for covers.
Captain America #1 will, fittingly, drop on July 4th.
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