With Civil War opened in the USA,
And with the debut of Ta-Nehisi Coates' new volume of Black Panther, I thought I'd break out two of the best of my Black Panther collection from the ol' TEX archives.
What d'ya think? Shall we?
Let's shall. :D
It's my copy of Fantastic Four #52, published in July of 1966, which features the very first appearance of T'Challa, The Black Panther! The Fantastic Four are sent are sent a flying vehicle (the Magnetic Wave Rider), a gift from the ruler of Wakanda, a mysterious and prosperous African nation. The Fantastic Four take the invitation, arriving only to be defeated one after another by a mysterious masked man, dressed in a black Panther Habit.
This Silver-Age key showcases not only the the first appearance of the Black Panther, but it also has several other first appearances: Wakanda, Wakandan vibranium (in the mesh of the Panther Habit), the Heart-Shaped Herb, the Techno Organic Jungle and the Panther Habit and Idol.
Here is my copy of Fantastic Four #53, the second appearance of the Black Panther! It also features the first appearance of Ulysses Claw and his Sonic Disruptor, as well as the first actual appearance and mention of Wakandan vibranium. In a flashback, the we also see the first appearance of T'Challa's father, T'Chaka.
I have some other goodies, but we'll just leave those for a later date. Now...FUN FACTS!
FUN FACT 1: Black Panther's name predates the founding of the Black Panther party by more than 2 months. The character was even briefly called the Black Leopard to avoid any connection to the Black Panther Party.
FUN FACT 2: There was a Black Panther Battalion, the all-African-American 761st Tank Battalion, that served during WWII. Although not permitted to serve beside white troops, the battalion fought valiantly, earning the Presidential Unit Citation. There is even a recipient of the Medal of Honor among the men of the battalion.
FUN FACT 3: One of the names that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby came up with for the character was Coal Tiger. It wasn't used. However, the name was later used for an alternate reality version of T'Challa, and for his son in the now-defunct MC2 universe.
FUN FACT 4: A derivative of Wakandan vibranium appeared in Daredevil vol 1, #13 as Anti-Metal.
FUN FACT 5: Black Panther being the first black/black African superhero is a fact that I like to dispute. I like to think that honor belongs to Lothar, best friend and partner to Mandrake the Magician who first appeared in 1934:
Lothar was "The Prince of Seven Nations" in Africa and definitely the strongest man on the planet. He performed great feats of superhuman strength, which, in my opinion, makes him the first black/black African superhero. He and Mandrake are the first interracial superhero team, and Lothar was the first black person to be treated seriously in comics. Lothar and Mandrake appeared beside Flash Gordon and The Phantom in the awesome 80s cartoon series, Defenders of the Earth:
Ahh. Good times.
That's all for today! Thanks for reading.