Journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates discussed his latest writing gig for Marvel at SXSW on Saturday. Marvel Comics recently confirmed that Coates will be the new writer for Captain America comics. In a political climate where some may find it difficult to be especially patriotic, the writer sees hope through the Marvel's red, white, and blue-clad superhero. Captain America even reminds Coates of former POTUS Barack Obama.
While talking about Captain America at the event, Coates said, "He’s like Barack Obama. He’s someone who believes in the ideal of America." He described the Captain's humanity as both "admirable idealism" and "disappointing naïveté."
In the '80's, Coates grew up in West Baltimore in a home where he followed the teachings of Malcolm X. Although he read comic books, Captain America was not a superhero he paid much attention to. Coates admitted that even as an adult, he was too quick to write off Captain America.
Coates, who is also a Black Panther comics writer, discussed the tremendous success of Black Panther the film. He praised the movie for including black actors from all over the world. The Marvel writer said it is a "beautiful testament to the diaspora." He called director Ryan Coogler a "great filmmaker" and said, "If the craft is not well-done none of that matters."
Coates' Captain America will appropriately debut on July 4. This is not the only Marvel project Coates currently has on the docket: In February, Marvel Comics announced that he will be rebooting the Black Panther comic and will bring Wakanda to space.