The whole of the entertainment industry was rocked by the sudden and unexpected passing of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. Soon, Marvel Comics will be paying special respect to the late actor with a series of tribute covers across their line of comics.
Boseman, who had been playing Marvel's Black Panther since 2016's Captain America: Civil War, passed away August 28th after a years-long battle with colon cancer at the age of 43. Since making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Civil War, the 'King T'Challa' actor had become a mainstay in the MCU, playing pivotal roles in Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and in his own Black Panther solo film, the sequel to which was slated to begin filming in March of next year. Many of Boseman's MCU compatriots offered heartfelt condolences via social media upon hearing the news of his passing, and Marvel's comic branch is providing their own touching tribute on the covers of upcoming issues.
Beginning September 23, new Marvel books will feature a banner at the covers' top reading, "REST IN POWER CHADWICK BOSEMAN 1976-2020." A Black Panther logo will adorn both sides of the commemorative message. These special issues will begin releasing on September 23, according to CBR, but it's currently unclear how long the tribute will be featured.
This will not be the first time Marvel Comics has taken a similar approach to the passing of an integral member of the Marvel family. In 2018, the company commemorated the passing of Marvel legend Stan Lee by adorning its covers with similar RIP banners at the top. Those covers ran for a full month, so hopefully Marvel will follow suit in Boseman's case and give fans a chance to mourn the actor's death, while also supporting the character, comic, and company that made him a global phenomenon. While he's now probably best known for his portrayal of the the King of Wakanda, Boseman had a long and storied career before joining the MCU, having played cultural icons like Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall, just to name a few. While it may have been his Marvel role that made the exceptional actor a household name, his previous work is worth celebrating just as much.
Regardless, it's touching that Marvel is treating Boseman's passing with a similar reverence that they did for Stan Lee. Boseman might not have spent much time attached to Marvel brand, but his work in the MCU has proven integral to its development, and one of the greatest leaps forward in diversity for the genre of superhero blockbusters. These covers are a beautiful testament to his impact. Rest in power, Chadwick Boseman. Wakanda Forever.