Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Black Panther History Month!

This month will feature The Black Panther. It's my hope to look at a number of the King of the Wakanda's early appearances in various comics as well as his run in his own self-titled comic by Jack Kirby from the late 70's.

Above is one of Jack "King" Kirby's takes on the Black Panther, at this point referred to as the "Coal Tiger". It's a bright and dynamic design,but far removed from the costume we eventually get for the character, though you do see in this illustration the origin of the lines which added some design details to the Panther's gloves and boots. I first saw this design as a special page in the pages of Jungle Action,a comic dedicated at the time to the adventures of the King of Wakanda.

Here's that same image in its original form, a bit less bright and polished but arguably a bit more subtle.

And finally here's the costume we know which first appeared in the pages of Fantastic Four. The Panther went from being a member of the colorful cast of FF background characters and became an Avenger where he served faithfully for many years before returning to his duties as King of the Wakandans. These days the Black Panther is one of Marvel's more successful heroes and just this past year of course appeared in his first Marvel movie.

This February I want to take a gander at past Black Panther adventures beginning with his turns in the FF and how he came to be an Avenger. But the main focus will be his late 70's series when his creator Jack Kirby revisits him and offers up a spectacular if offbeat rendition of the character. Time permitting, I'd also like to have another go at the greatest Panther story, the epic "Panther's Rage" by writer Don McGregor and artists Rich Buckler and Billy Graham. We'll have to see about that.

On another note since February is the month for valentines, the Favorite Covers feature will be showcasing some of Jack Kirby's many romance comic covers from across the decades. That's only fitting since he and his partner Joe Simon largely created the genre.

All this and whatever else comes up, this winter month. Be sure to visit.

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  1. I hope you get to "Panther's Rage" as I am ordering it for my birthday. I did want to collect all the original issues, but ordering a collection is so much easier.

    1. I own the originals and what I know is that I only ever read trades now save from a few new comics like Popeye. Trades are just so much more inviting as entertainment, and it pains me to say it.

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