Marvel Comics’ Black Panther spinoff comic Black Panther & The Crew is coming to an abrupt end. After two issues, the publisher has cancelled the comic starring some of its most popular Black superheroes, including Black Panther, Storm, Luke Cage, Misty Knight, and Manifold.
Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates told The Verge the reason for the cancellation is poor sales, but the series will conclude with issue six in order to allow himself and co-writer Yona Harvey to complete the story, and “the mystery will be solved.”
The initial story focuses on what happens after an activist dies while in police custody. When the series was first announced, Coates spoke about the story’s relevance to today’s headlines, saying that “this is in the air. It’s not like I looked at a Black Lives Matter protest and was like, ‘Hey, I want to write a comic about that.’ But you’re confronted with it every day. So when I sat down to think about what is this story with four black protagonists about, and you start scribbling, that rises up. The events of the day are with me. It seemed like an opportunity to do something. It becomes clear in the first issue that the activist is not just an activist. There’s something more going on there.”
Coates says he was inspired by the initial volume called The Crew, which was written by Christopher Priest with art by Joe Bennett and published in 2003.
“Christopher Priest wrote what turned out to be a mini-series that I just adored called The Crew,” Coates said. “Black Panther wasn’t in the original Crew, but he was weirdly sort of related because an ancillary character of his series was in the Crew. It was a unique book because the majority of the characters were black. So when I came back to write Black Panther, I read a bunch of Christopher Priest’s stuff, and I wanted to bring it back. I was going to try to do it with the same members that he had. But it became clear that certain characters would not be available for various reasons. So I decided to think about it in a different way and think about something new.”
Black Panther & The Crew #3 releases on June 14.