Tag: African Americans in comics

The Return of Black Panther: A Look at the Revival of Marvel’s 1st Black Superhero

Marvel / The Atlantic

article by Ta-Nehisi Coates via theatlantic.com

Last year I was offered the opportunity to script an 11-issue series of Black Panther, for Marvel. The Black Panther—who, when he debuted in an issue of Fantastic Four, in 1966, was the first black superhero in mainstream American comics—is the alter ego of T’Challa, the king of Wakanda, a mythical and technologically advanced African country.

By day, T’Challa mediates conflicts within his nation. By night, he battles Dr. Doom. The attempt to make these two identities—monarch and superhero—cohere has proved a rich vein for storytelling by such creators as Jack Kirby, Christopher Priest, and Reginald Hudlin. But when I got the call to write Black Panther, I was less concerned with character conflict than with the realization of my dreams as a 9-year-old.

The September 1976 cover of Jungle Action, the first Marvel series starring the Black Panther (Marvel Entertainment)

Some of the best days of my life were spent poring over the back issues of The Uncanny X-Men and The Amazing Spider-Man. As a child of the crack-riddled West Baltimore of the 1980s, I found the tales of comic books to be an escape, another reality where, very often, the weak and mocked could transform their fallibility into fantastic power. That is the premise behind the wimpy Steve Rogers mutating into Captain America, behind the nerdy Bruce Banner needing only to grow angry to make his enemies take flight, behind the bespectacled Peter Parker being transfigured by a banal spider bite into something more.

But comic books provided something beyond escapism. Indeed, aside from hip-hop and Dungeons & Dragons, comics were my earliest influences. In the way that past writers had been shaped by the canon of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Wharton, I was formed by the canon of Claremont, DeFalco, and Simonson. Some of this was personal. All of the comics I loved made use of two seemingly dueling forces—fantastic grandiosity and ruthless efficiency. Comic books are absurd. At any moment, the Avengers might include a hero drawn from Norse mythology (Thor), a monstrous realization of our nuclear-age nightmares (the Hulk), a creation of science fiction (Wasp), and an allegory for the experience of minorities in human society (Beast).

Continue reading “The Return of Black Panther: A Look at the Revival of Marvel’s 1st Black Superhero”

Marvel’s New Captain America Will Be African-American

African American Captain America

Marvel Entertainment has announced that a new Captain America will be African-American.  In an online article the character Sam Wilson, also known as The Falcon, was named as the replacement for Steve Rogers.  The move follows what is described as “a dire encounter with the Iron Nail” which left Rogers unable to carry on.

The post reads: “Robbed of his superior strength and vitality, Steve Rogers must surrender his blues for a sturdy cane.”

The change of character is only set to affect the Captain America comic book series.  Chris Evans, who has played him in The Avengers film, will also play the role in Avengers: Age of Ultron which is set for release in 2015.

Anthony Mackie played The Falcon, Sam Wilson, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but there are no plans for his character to become the Captain on the big screen.

Anthony Mackie
The Falcon was played by Anthony Mackie in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America writer Rick Remender wrote: “I think that different characters across the Marvel Universe are going to respond to Sam’s appointment in different ways.

“But he’s not a novice in his long history as the Falcon, he’s earned a reputation for integrity and honesty and backbone that most of the super hero community have a respect for.”

Captain America first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1941.

The news about Captain America comes a day after Marvel announced that Thor, the God of Thunder, would now be portrayed as a woman in that comic book series.

Talking about the alterations, Marvel comic editor Tom Brevoort said: “We’re not anywhere near finished.

“Change is one of the watchwords of the Marvel Universe, so there are even more startling surprises to come.”

article via bbc.co.uk

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
%d bloggers like this: