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Marvel videos will help 'Black Panther' readers catch up

Engadget Engadget 4/05/2016 Nick Summers
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Superhero comics are a notoriously difficult medium for beginners to jump into. Where to begin? So many are a continuation of long-running series, constantly referencing prior events or other characters' books. Marvel's latest attempt to solve the problem is a complementary video series for the "All-New, All-Different" Black Panther line. It's narrated by Ta-Nehisi Coates, the comic's new writer and a national correspondent for TheAtlantic. The first instalment will be an introduction to the character, but the plan is for subsequent episodes to act as "previously on" recaps.

It's a fresh take on a problem that has plagued Marvel and DC comics for years. The videos will be released every month and serve as a trailer for the next issue, teasing what's to come or unpacking prior events. Production house Bow & Arrow will be putting them together and plans to feature music from a number of rising hip-hop artists. Coates will be at the core of each episode, however, explaining his vision for the popular superhero.

The move makes sense, given the proliferation of YouTube channels explaining Marvel and DC lore. ComicsExplained, for instance, has accrued over half a million subscribers diving into prolific characters, items and storylines. Black Panther is an ideal candidate for Marvel's new experiment -- last month, the first "All-New, All-Different" issue racked up more than 330,000 sales in its first week. For a graphic novel that's impressive, and will likely improve now that Captain America: Civil War is in theaters. Black Panther is one of the standout characters in that movie, giving fans all the more reason to start reading the hero's counterpart comic series.

The Hollywood Reporter, Co.Create

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