TIME Entertainment

Roxane Gay on Being the First Black Female Lead Marvel Writer: ‘We Aren’t Allowed to Fail’

The writer opens up about her work on 'Black Panther: World of Wakanda'

Roxane Gay has made history as Marvel’s first black woman lead writer for Black Panther: World of Wakanda, but her watershed achievement hasn’t been an effortless experience.

The Bad Feminist writer was tapped by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Marvel to write a spinoff story of Coates’ series, focusing on two of the Black Panther’s female bodyguards who fall in love.

Writing about two women of color in a queer relationship for a mostly white, male-dominated franchise is groundbreaking, but Gay notes that it can also be daunting.

In an interview with Complex, Gay explains that while she is proud of the work that she is doing, it’s not always easy to be a trailblazer, especially when it comes to making spaces for diversity.

All too often, black creators aren’t allowed to make mistakes,” Gay said. “We aren’t allowed to fail. If we do, we’re not only the first, we’re the last. That keeps me up at night.”

However, Gay is up to the challenge — and looking to the future.

I certainly hope this isn’t the last comic book I write.”

Read the full interview at Complex.com

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team