Marvel's Black Panther Is Headed for Sex Change

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Marvel's Black Panther Is Headed for Sex Change

Wired said:


Believe it or not, Marvel Comics' superhero Black Panther bears little relation to the militant political group with whom he shares a name. And here's another news flash for you comics nuts: Black Panther isn't a man either. At least not anymore.

In February, Marvel is stripping the original Black Panther, T'Challa, of his mask and handing it over to a woman. The lucky heroine remains as yet anonymous. But as you can see by the graphic above, she is very capable of rocking a panther suit.

Series writer and famed film and television producer Reginald Hudlin (House Party, Boomerang, The Boondocks) wouldn't share details of the gender swap looming for comics' first modern black superhero. But Wired.com caught a few minutes with Hudlin to talk about the sex change, the other Black Panthers and whether Marvel's royal superhero would vote for Obama.

Wired.com: Talk about the gender swap. Do you think fanboys will dig it?

Reginald Hudlin: There are people who say books about blackcharacters don't work. Books about women don't work. Books aboutroyalty don't work. And if you're dependent on the small audience thatbuys the majority of comic books, that might be true.

Wired.com: I smell a "but" coming.

Hudlin: But there are a lot more people who don't buy comics than those who do. I've always had an audience that didn't otherwise come to a comic book store.

Wired.com: Speaking of, what do you think of the simultaneous evolution of the Black Panther, and the Black Panthers, who share a 1966 birthday?

Hudlin: Even though they both debuted the same year, and they both represent black pride, The Black Panther and the Black Panthers have a very important distinction. The Black Panthers were black Americans who formed an organization to help their communities and fight a system of white supremacy. The Black Panther is an African king of a scientifically advanced fictional nation named Wakanda. He doesn't fight the power. He is the power.

Wired.com: Right, but would he vote for Obama?

Hudlin: I'm sure the Black Panther would have donated to Obama's campaign, and given him some advice about international geopolitics. I am the same age as Barack, and we’ve met a few times. But I never thought to ask him if he read Black Panther as a kid, or as an adult. Who knows, maybe the character inspired him? I know Barack inspires the heck out of me.

Wired.com: Your series has taken a few hits from critics. Do you think they're missing something?

Hudlin: Critics? Who? Did The New York Times Review of Books do a review? I must have missed it. I continue to get positive feedback from fans who appreciate what we're doing. We're hoping to expand that audience in February.

Photo courtesy Marvel Comics

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(Via Wired)
 
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