This news has been out for a while now, but I just read Between the World and Me, so it’s fresh in my head.
Now, some of you might be reading this and wondering who Coates is.
Not a bad thing to wonder depending on what you read.
Anyway, Coates is a best-selling author and journalist. His aforementioned book, Between the World and Me, is an excellent work. Written as an open letter to his teenage son, Coates discusses his life and what it means to be black in modern American. His work covers the physicality of the body, religion, history, the American Dream, violence, fear, education, security, fairness, Malcolm X, and especially focuses on the tragic death of a college classmate.
Marvel hiring this man to write Black Panther would probably be roughly the equivalent of hiring Betty Friedan to write Ms./Captain Marvel shortly after The Feminine Mystique came out.
But wait, you say, the title of this article says Marvel hired a genius. Don’t take my word for it. Coates received a MacArthur Genius Grant from the MacArthur Foundation. That’s a big deal. You don’t apply for those. The MacArthur Foundation chooses those they think worthy of, essentially, over $600,000 with no strings attached. Coates was one of 24 to get it this year. That’s impressive.
So, yeah, a certified genius will be writing an upcoming Marvel monthly.