Most comics don’t generate that much buzz, but then again, most comics aren’t written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent for The Atlantic and the best-selling author of “Between the World and Me,” which won the National Book Award last year. One of the most celebrated authors about race in America writing about a black superhero who has pummeled Captain America and members of the Ku Klux Klan? The collective response from fans of comics and Mr. Coates alike: I’d read that.
The book arrives during the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther, who first appeared in issue No. 52 of the Fantastic Four (and yes, he beat them up, too).
The Coates/Marvel collaboration stems from a 2015 conference hosted by The Atlantic, where the author interviewed the Marvel editor Sana Amanat in a seminar titled “What if Captain America Were Muslim and Female?” Soon after, another Marvel editor, Tom Brevoort, asked Mr. Coates if there were any characters that he might like to write for them. A lifelong fan of Spider-Man and the X-Men, Mr. Coates sent them some favorites. “Black Panther was not on my list,” he said with a laugh.