The Cause of Black Panther & The Crew’s Cancellation

This weekend news broke that after two issues, Marvel’s Black Panther & the Crew has been canceled.

The series revolved around Black Panther, Storm, Luke Cage, Misty Knight, and Manifold who band together to take on a dangerous wave of street-level threats in this new ongoing series by co-writers Ta-Nehisi Coates (New York Times best-selling author of Between the World and Me and Marvel’s Black Panther) and Yona Harvey (Black Panther: World of Wakanda) and legendary artist Butch Guice!

The death of a Harlem activist kicks off a mystery that will reveal surprising new secrets about the Marvel Universe’s past and set the stage for a big story in the Marvel Universe’s near future. Fear, hate and violence loom, but don’t worry, The Crew’s got this: “We are the streets.”

Anyone who thinks the cancellation has to do with “poor sales” and not the comics’ themes of racial justice and unapologetic blackness can line up and purchase some beachfront property I own in Wyoming.

Nevertheless, there are many who are still trying to qualify that diversity doesn’t sale and identity politics shouldn’t be in comics; i.e., if it’s not white, it’s not right.

That’s hilarious because Coates is a bestselling author, so poor sales… really? Really? Brian Michael Bendis had no issue making Miles Morales a household name. Reginald Hudlin made the Black Panther animated series an international hit. Marvel’s sister company, ABC, has devoted it’s Thursday night block (one of the most competitive television nights of the week) to executive producer and phenom Shonda Rhimes who has made her career out of making hit TV shows with diverse narratives.


Lest we forget that Marvel’s Luke Cage was such a monumental hit when it was released that it broke Netflix.


Marvel’s chief rival, DC Comics, has had no issue being successful with black superheroes. Static Shock was a hit WB cartoon for four seasons.


Cyborg has been featured in countless DC TV shows and animated series and movies. He will make his official live-action feature length debut in the upcoming Justice League before receiving his own solo film.


Black Lightning is getting his own series at CW.


Speaking of CW, the Vixen cartoon series was such a hit that it’s being released as a feature film with never-before-seen footage on May 23, 2017.


Indie comic companies such as Lion Forge and Stranger Comics seem to have no issue with diversity or black protagonists and have put the comic book industry on notice.


The bottom line is this.

If Marvel can’t sell a book featuring black superheroes, then the fault lies with one source: MARVEL. Storytelling “the other” is their business. Selling the stories of “the other” is their business.

That is what they do.

Their parent company is one the largest multinational entertainment corporations in the world. If they can’t produce and sell a story about black superheroes then perhaps they need to not only diversify their writers and artists but also editors, marketers, publishers, executives, and other shot-callers with people who actually know their craft.

But don’t hold your breath. Because to do so would mean the powers-that-be would have to accept one sobering fact: more often than not, the best person for the job is often NOT a cis hetero white male.

8 thoughts on “The Cause of Black Panther & The Crew’s Cancellation

  1. sad the book ended especially after a second strong issue and the continuing of focus on the ladies. i was like “what?! is this book going to be all about misty and storm as the leads and not the sidechicks? HYPE” and then its cancelled. sigh. i take low sales at their word til i see the sales and compare them to other books they keeping around. cant find the sales report for the crew so mums the word on that point. i also have to look at books like moon girl which doesnt sell well individually but does well in trade. why wasnt this given the same opportunity? why wasnt world of wakanda? like i dont get it. the title so didnt help. i mean if it wasnt for storm and misty? not i said the cat. the crew? black panther first? like chill gwen stefani and no doubt lol sigh.

  2. question. who are the other two in that last pic with storm and black panther??? is it just a picture or a book i somehow missed? classic storm but that is some 2000s art

      1. ah the googles from captain america!!! cant believe i forgot that. thanks man

  3. If we could stop relying on the hope that white people love us, and start supporting our own creative companies, we’d stop crying when we’re not supported for writing THEIR black characters. The article is wrong. It’s not Marvel’s fault. It’s ours. Our dependency that somehow they owe us something. We owe it to ourselves to do it for ourselves. We’ll be less disappointed in the future. Let’s see less focus on the mainstream, and let’s focus more on those ideas of color being ignored because we’re wishing and hoping with all our might that abusive ‘massa’ gon’ give us some scraps. There’s better chefs out there that really care about us. And they look like us.

    1. We are supporting our own. As Lion Forge and Stranger Comics illustrate. Miss me with the victim blaming and caping for whiteness.

  4. So Much this! It is really eye opening that DC has better POC comics going on right now. What Happened MArvel? They were always at the forefront of inclusivity.

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