The First Black Superhero


502nd Air Base Wing

According to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Black History Month dates back to 1915. Carter G. Woodson, founder of the ASALH and Black History Month, chose the month of February for the observance because it includes the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Tommy Brown/Released)

By Alexis Grimaldo, Staff Writer

Marvel’s “Black Panther” has been a highly anticipated movie; however, no one has really discussed its origins in the comic book world.

The character Black Panther was first introduced in 1966, appearing in the Fantastic 4 comic and soon after becoming a member of the Avengers. Although he made many appearances in other comics and story-lines, the Black Panther didn’t have his own comic until 1977 when co-creator Jack Kirby realized that there wasn’t a lead black superhero.

What made this such a significant comic and character was that it was more than just a stereotypical representation of how blacks were seen back then. The comic’s emergence marked a transformation of the times in the 60’s. The hero, Black Panther, and the fictional nation he originates in, Wakanda, was a symbol of the turning times and strength of a united nation.