Christopher Priest’s short-lived black superhero series The Crew is coming back, thanks to Black Panther writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and poet Yona Harvey. And suddenly, there’s a whole new team of black heroes in Harlem.
Cover art by John Cassaday.
Announced through Time this morning, Black Panther and the Crew — written by Coates and Harvey, with art by Butch Guice — will feature a new incarnation of the Crew, different from the team seen in Priest and Joe Bennett’s 2003 series. As the series is a quasi-spinoff of Coates’ ongoing Panther book in the vein of World of Wakanda, T’Challa is a primary character in the series, but he’ll be joined by Misty Knight, Storm, Luke Cage and former Secret Warriors member Manifold.
The original Crew series subtly took on the issues facing black communities in the ’90s, but the new series makes a point of connecting black superheroes with a primarily black neighbourhood. Black Panther and the Crewwill open with shades of the Black Lives Matters movement when the new team investigates the mysterious death of a political activist in police custody.
Coates’ run on Black Panther has been one of the strongest in Marvel’s current roster, so it’s great to see that the writer is being allowed to stretch his wings and tell stories with T’Challa and other heroes beyond the confines of the main Black Panther series itself. The Crew was a short-lived but important series for Marvel’s approach to writing stories that spoke to black audiences, in a way the company has rarely done over the years. It has a legacy to live up to, but Black Panther and the Crew sounds like it’s taking that legacy to some interesting places.
Black Panther and the Crew will begin in April.