Created by Marvel Comics Legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, The Black Panther is considered the first Black superhero in American mainstream comics. Through a textual analysis, this book narrates the history of the character from his first appearance in 1966—the same year, the Black Panther Party was formed in Oakland, California—through Ta-Nehisi Coates’ version in 2015. It tells the story of how Black and white writers envisioned the character between those years, as a Patrice Lumumba to a Sidney Poitier to a Nelson Mandela to a hip-hop cool to a reflective, 21st century king. Along the way, the limitations of white liberalism and the boundless nature of the Black imagination are revealed. Marvel's Black Panther is the first textual study of a superhero comic book character, examining its writers and the stories they have created over a fifty year period.
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