Ta-Nehisi Coates' 'Black Panther' No. 1 Is Best-Selling Comic of Year to Date

It is a big year for the Wakandan prince, who is celebrating his 50th anniversary and made his film debut in 'Captain America: Civil War.'
Courtesy of Brian Stelfreze/Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Comics' Black Panther No. 1 — scripted by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent for The Atlantic [EDIT: and wonderfully illustrated by Brain Stelfreeze]— sold 253,259 issues in its first month to become the best-selling comic so far in 2016. (That number will likely hit the 300,000 number Marvel announced in March once reorders are factored in). No. 2 on the list — an issue of Star Wars: Poe Dameron — sold 175,000 copies.

The sales figures marks an outstanding debut for a character often considered in the second tier of Marvel superheroes.

Black Panther No. 1's tally is comparable to the Marvel best-selling solo superhero comics of 2015: Invincible Iron Man No. 1, which sold 279,000 copies, and Spider-Gwen No. 1, which sold 254,000 copies. It outpaces such stalwarts as Spider-Man and the X-Men, whose books generally sell in the 75,000-100,000 copies-a-month range. 

Coates’ re-imagining of the first mainstream black superhero has been hotly anticipated since it was first announced and has drawn rave reviews. It's a big year for the character — a prince from the fictional (and technologically advanced) African nation of Wakanda — who in addition to celebrating his 50th anniversary made his big-screen debut in Captain America: Civil War (played by Chadwick Boseman).

A solo Black Panther film is scheduled for July 6, 2018.  Earlier this year, Coates won the National Book Award for his memoir Between the World and Me and was awarded a MacArthur "genius" grant.