Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday, January 18, 2016

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

While we're waiting for John Lewis to release the third part of his comics autobiography (although books one and two are both available as we speak--step right up, no waiting!), let's use this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to revisit the first black superhero, the Black Panther. This is his first appearance, from spring 1966, so it's just under 50 years ago. Could the character have inspired the name of the Black Panther Party? It's possible--the timing is right, and Marvel was concerned enough about the connection that this guy called himself the Black Leopard for a while.

You'll see him soon in the new Captain America movie, along with a whole lot of other Avengers, and then his own follow up film in another couple of years. So be prepared for his visibility to shoot up. And, if you've a mind to, keep in mind his origins as a direct comics response to the Civil Rights Movement.


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