Roxane Gay and Yona Harvey to Write "Black Panther" Spin-Offs for Marvel Comics

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Writer Roxane Gay and poet Yona Harvey have been charged with breathing life into the stories of Black women in a forthcoming series for Marvel Comics, the New York Times reports.

Marvel made the announcement at Comic-Con in San Diego. The new series, World of Wakanda, will premiere in November.

Gay and Harvey were recruited by Black Panther author Ta-Nehisi Coates to enter the Marvel Universe.

With Coates, Gay wrote the story of  two lovers who are former members of the Dora Milaje, the Tchalla's female security force.

Ayo and Aneka have gone rogue, now billing themselves “The Midnight Angels” as they rebel against the perceived injustices of the Wakandan series

“It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever done, and I mean that in the best possible way,” she said.

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Marvel Entertainment

Gay is a prolific essayist and novelist. Despite her busy schedule, she says this job was one she couldn't pass up. "The opportunity to write black women and queer black women into the Marvel universe, there’s no saying no to that."

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Afua Richardson (Marvel Comics)

Harvey is a poet who Coates thought would be distinctly suited for the genre.

“I have found that poetry is so correlated with writing comic books,” Mr. Coates said. “That’s just so little space, and you have to speak with so much power. I thought she’d be a natural.”

The first issue will feature have a 10-page standalone story by Coates and Harvey about Zenzi, the person who sparked the riot at the beginning of the Black Panther series.

Marvel has been criticized for their lack of diverse writing staff. According to some reports, Gay and Harvey are the first women to be lead writers for Marvel features, but this has not been confirmed.

Black Panther: World of Wakanda #1 will debut in November.