The success of Marvel’s “Black Panther” has reached around the globe and has now expanded toward comic series on the continent where the fictional Wakanda exists.
Thanks to the heightened interest in African culture and superheroes, comics focused on superhumans from the motherland are in major demand and African comic book writers are reaping the benefits.
Loyiso Mkize’s comic, “Kwezi,” is selling out quickly in South Africa, according to The Economist. The story focuses on an uber-confident teenager whose relationship with his ancestors grows stronger as his powers increase. Kwezi fights bad guys in Gold City, which is the fictional version of South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg. In the real Johannesburg, customers want the issue in Zulu and Xhosa, which actually serves as the language of Wakanda.
Another writer feeling the positive impact of “Black Panther” is Zimbabwean Bill Masuku. He said his comic about vigilante superhero Razor-Man has been made easier to sell where interest in the medium isn’t widespread. Hence, most of the interest in his work comes from American and European readers seeking stories based in the motherland.
And with Black Pather’s inclusion in the soon-to-be-released “Avengers: Infinity War,” the creators of African comics anthology “Kugali,” due in June, want to take advantage of the continued momentum.
But it’s not just African comic book writers who are taking advantage of the $1.3 billion worldwide-grossing film. Nollywood, Nigeria’s answer to Hollywood, has released films like “The Wakanda Kingdom of Black Panther” and “The Ancient Wakanda Warrior.”
Additionally, Nigerian-Amerian writer Nnedi Okorafo has been tapped to pen “Wakanda Forever,” a story focusing on T’Challa’s all-female guards and warriors, the Dora Milaje. She had previously been tapped to write another Black Panther series, “Long Live The King.”