Before and especially after he showed up in the movies, Marvel’s comics gave Black Panther grand stories about his efforts to protect Wakanda and the larger universe from big threats. Being Wakanda’s king has meant he’s constantly had to shoulder the nation’s burdens on his back, but his upcoming solo series strips that away to turn him into a street-level hero for his nation.
Revealed earlier in the week, the new Black Panther run from Eve L. Ewing (Ironheart, Spectrum) and Chris Allen (X-Force, Miles Morales: Spider-Man) will pick up where the current run from John Ridley and German Peralta leaves off after that wraps in March. While he remains Wakanda’s king, T’Challa’s been banished from the throne and made a fugitive of his people. Still determined to protect his home, T’Challa holes up in the city of Birnin T’Chaka and begins to operate as...well, basically Wakandan Batman. As it goes with new runs for established superheroes, T’Challa’s new direction means new villains for him to tangle with before he eventually regains his title as throne, or at the very least is officially permitted to be its protector.
When talking about the new comic on the Today Show, Ewing discussed how T’Challa would be functioning as an incognito protector for Wakanda. That’s meant to be further reflected in his new look, which sees him rock a cloak, spear, throwing daggers, and literal panther shoulder pauldron. “It’s not so sleek and slick,” said Ewing. “ It’s much more edgy and kind of homespun. [...] What I can say, honestly, is that we will be seeing Wakanda in a way that we have not seen it ever before.”
Black Panther #1 will release in June.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.