One month after Chadwick Boseman’s untimely death at age 43 from a private battle with colon cancer, it remains difficult to grasp how the world has lost the Black Panther star. He was a real-life hero by many measures, and each passing week still brings stories of his immeasurable acts and presence. For this week’s Marvel comics, Ta-Nehisi Coates (who wrote the Black Panther comic book series drawn by Brian Stelfreeze) penned a beautiful tribute to the actor who embodied King T’Challa.
Coates (who also, it should be noted, also penned The Atlantic piece that inspired Damon Lindelof to reimagine Alan Moore’s Watchmen graphic novel for HBO) knew Boseman for decades after meeting during a protest at Howard University. He praised Boseman as a “warrior” who was “regal even then.” In short, he was blown away by his friend’s presence and intellect. Via GamesRadar:
“There was something almost otherworldly about Chad – I would listen to him talk and only catch about 60% of what he was actually saying. It took time to realize that this was because Chad was always a few steps ahead of everyone. He was perfect. He had T’Challa’s royal spirit, the sense that he did not represent merely himself, but a nation. And this is how I am understanding his death.”
The rest of the eulogy can only be described as breathtakingly beautiful to behold, and it must be read in full, which you can do below (via Alex Abads on Twitter). As Coates writes, “We simply cannot afford to be without Chad.” It’s a eulogy fit for a king and one that sends Boseman off onto a “different kind of journey,” one that matches up with the Black Panther lore, so that the king’s power might be harnessed by future warriors for lifetimes to come.