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By Devin Bartolotta

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The movie “Black Panther” is a highly-anticipated film that releases next week.

WJZ sat down with Bowie, Maryland native, Jesse Holland, who is the author of “Who Is the Black Panther?” and other comics.

Holland, a proud Goucher College alum and professor, wrote the book on Black Panther’s background.

“Man, it’s a culmination of a lifelong dream. It’s just great,” he said.  “All of these characters that you’re going to see in the movie, they already have these defined personalities form the comic books. All it took for me is to take these characters and move them into the modern day.”

Black Panther, who first appeared in comic books more than 50 years ago, is king of a remote African nation, tasked with protecting his people from greedy outsiders.

“We’re actually in the middle of a renaissance of black superheroes,” Holland said.

Developing the characters and story line on paper came naturally for Holland.

“When Marvel came to me with this project, they said, ‘You know, we can send you a bunch of Black Panther comic books so you can figure out the character and what his motivations are.’ I told them, ‘Never mind! I’ve got them all down in my basement,'” he added.

Projected to earn more than $400 million at the box office, anticipation and early ticket sales for Black Panther have been booming.

“We’re finally seeing a representation of all of America. Of all skin colors. Or all genders, now, in superhero stories,” Holland said. “So, just like people went crazy for Wonder Woman, people are going to go crazy for Black Panther.”

The film debuts in theaters February 16.

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