Talking "Black Panther: The Sex Change"
Marvel's new female Black Panther debuted this month, and with the first issue now on the stands, Comic Riffs caught up with Black Panther writer Reggie Hudlin to discuss the direction of the new BP series.
David Betancourt: So how are you feeling now that this issue -- which has been debated a lot since this blog broke the new-panther news -- is on the stands?
Reggie Hudlin: Nothing validates like an idea like a first-day sellout. There's a lot of curiosity. You've got people saying black superheroes don't sell. Female superheroes don't sell. And you've created a black, female superhero and -- boom! -- it blows out on the first day.
DB: Will the new BP be getting aquainted with other members of the Marvel Universe, or will she primarily be operating in Wakanda?
RH: Definitely, the new Black Panther will become a figure known throughout the Marvel Universe. There's tremendous enthusiasm for the character. Clearly, the public has immediately embraced the concept.
DB: T'Challa has Storm (and his bodyguards, which Doom referred to as his concubines). Will the new BP have any romance, or will she just be consumed with kicking butt? And since T'Challa had the female bodyguards, will the new BP have male bodyguards?
RH: The gender of the [bodyguards] is definitely something being discussed right now. There's opinions both ways. I've written the first six issues. Now I'm focusing on 7-12 and that's one of the things we're going to be playing with.
DB: In terms of leaving your mark on this character, what do you want people to think when they look back on Reggie Hudlin's Black Panther run?
RH: For me, I feel like the first 40 issues I wrote, it was about doing things with T'Challa that I always wanted to see him do. ... Wakanda being a technologically advanced culture, the superiority complex of the nation, Black Panther as a player who had reformed, [having become] a committed married man with the baddest [woman] in the world, Storm. ...
The next three story arcs will be my attempt to add a contribution to the legacy of Black Panther. The new Black Panther... that's not the most shocking thing I'll be doing in the coming issues. The conclusion of the second arc will be as shocking, if not more shocking, than the first six issues.
LATER THIS WEEK: 'Riffs Picks 'Em: The Top 10 Black Superheroes.
| February 18, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
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