Roxane Gay Becomes Marvel’s First Ever Black Female Comic Book Writer

Roxane Gay will be the first ever black female writer for Marvel Comics. Yeah, we know, it’s 2016 and wild that it’s taken this long. But we’re going to focus on celebrating the long overdue achievement.

Gay will be teaming up with Ta-Nehisi Coates for a separate story in Marvel’s current Black Panther run. It will specifically focus on Ayo and Aneka, two lovers and former members of the Dora Milaje, the Black Panther’s personal all-female security detail, according to The New York Times.

Riri Williams Iron Man

A Black Girl Named Riri Williams Will Be The Next Iron Man

Comic book publishers have been playing some serious catch-up after decades of characters that were mostly white men filled their pages. The latest step towards a better, more representative future falls in the middle of Iron Man’s storyline.

According to a TIME exclusive interview with Bendis, a black girl named Riri Williams will be holding down the mantle that Tony Stark will leave behind once Marvel’s current Civil War II storyline is done. Williams was created by Brian Michael Bendis, who’s credited with helping create Miles Morales and Jessica Jones, and is a 15-year-old MIT student who reverse-engineered an Iron Man suit out of stolen school supplies. Of course, this gets her on Tony Stark’s radar. 

Photo: Marvel

‘Captain America: Civil War’ Felt Like More Of The Same With A Little Blackness On Top

By: Angelica Bastien

With Captain America: Civil War the clockwork-like efficiency of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is on full display. Nearly a decade after it was kicked off with Iron Man (2008), Marvel has perfected its formula which mixes a blend of humor, light pathos, and bright-eyed optimism. The problem is the cracks in this methodology are beginning to show and these films desperately need to start coloring outside of the lines.

In Civil War, the strengths of the MCU brand—reliance on quips, increasingly smooth easily commodified storytelling, exceeding lightness—feel like weaknesses. As the superhero genre continues to balloon Marvel’s desire to tell the same types of stories with the same types of characters is proving to be increasingly rote.

Flickr/Gordon Correll

‘Queen of Katwe’ Trailer and ‘Black Panther’ Casting Puts Lupita Nyong’o In the Spotlight

By: Angelica Bastien

After winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the 2013 film 12 Years A Slave Lupita Nyong’o’s film career didn’t catapult in the ways fans expected. But it looks like she’s coming back into the spotlight with the release of the Queen of Katwe trailer and news of her potential casting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Ryan Coogler Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan Reportedly Cast In Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’

After it was announced that Ryan Coogler would be directing Marvel’s Black Panther film many hoped that the stars would align and find a way to get his close friend Michael B. Jordan somewhere in the project. According to the Root, fans of Coogler, Jordan and T’Challa will be getting their wish and the band’s getting back together.

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A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad Will Be Co-Scoring Marvel’s ‘Luke Cage’ Series

Marvel’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones series’ have both proven to be huge successes for both the comic book company and Netflix, who plays them on its streaming service. Next up to help round out “The Defenders” stable will be Luke Cage, the bulletproof, super-strength wielding resident of Harlem who’s already appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While the introduction of the Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War has fans of black comic book characters fainting from anticipation, Luke Cage’s Netflix show will help make it a two-sided effort on the smaller screen. But now fans have something else to get excited about. It’s been announced that A Tribe Called Quest will be scoring the series. 

Black Panther Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates Previews Highly Anticipated ‘Black Panther’ Comic Book

April 6 will surely be a holiday for black nerds as the first issue of Marvel’s latest run of Black Panther, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, will be released to the public. Like a dream come true, the best black comic book character ever will be in the care of a highly esteemed writer on black identity in the modern era.

Zendaya Coleman

Zendaya Coleman Cast In Upcoming ‘Spider-Man’ Reboot

For the second time in less than 15 years, Spider-Man is being rebooted for a film franchise. But the good news is that, this time around, Peter Parker/Spidey will be played by an actual teenager – Tom Holland – and the reboot is attached to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has such a high batting average at the moment that they practically can’t miss. [Let’s pretend Iron Man 2 didn’t happen.]

As the first film of the new franchise comes together, the project’s starting to bring together its cast. Deadline reports that Zendaya Coleman has been cast as a lead in the upcoming film alongside Holland. Early reports claim that she’ll be playing a character named Michelle. This is great news given Zendaya’s growing popularity and adds to the much needed diversity to comic book products.