The Black Panther, and His Unexpected Adventures

Amaz­ing­ly, I’ve made it here to Day 25 of the month-long online Jack Kir­by Art Trib­ute, sponsored/suggested by Howard Simp­son. I was­n’t sure I was going to get through all of these, but here we are! It’s open to all cre­atives, and you can find the work on your favorite social media plat­forms by the hash­tag #Kir­b­yArt­Trib­ut­es.

The prompt for today reads: “Draw a char­ac­ter or scene from Jack Kir­by’s Black Pan­ther series.” I chose to draw Black Pan­ther him­self, along with Princess Zan­da and Abn­er Lit­tle, two oth­er key char­ac­ters from that run.

When Kir­by left DC to make his return to Mar­vel in the ’70s, and fans heard he was going to do a Black Pan­ther title, many expect­ed he would just pick up the same con­ti­nu­ities and types of sto­ries that pre­vi­ous cre­ators had been doing with the char­ac­ter. But that was­n’t what they got, and some were appar­ent­ly dis­ap­point­ed. At this point in Kir­by’s career, he seemed to want to be allowed to just have a lit­tle cor­ner of his own where he could do his own thing with­out imping­ing on what oth­er cre­ators might be doing, or hav­ing oth­ers impinge on his creativity.

You have to take Jack­’s Black Pan­ther run on its own terms. His view of the char­ac­ter and the sto­ries he want­ed to tell with him seemed to have roots in the types of exot­ic adven­ture sto­ries H. Rid­er Hag­gard used to write, like King Solomon’s Mines, or She. If this com­ic had come out four or five years lat­er, read­ers might have asso­ci­at­ed it with the sorts of arcane arche­ol­o­gy Indi­ana Jones delved into in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Hope you enjoy, and feel free to tune in again tomorrow!

2 thoughts on “The Black Panther, and His Unexpected Adventures

  1. Joe musiich

    What? I just watched She again. I picked up the ver­sion that was col­orized. I did not know it was com­ing out until the pan­el at SDCC ages ago. Yes. I liked Jack’s Black Pan­ther. But to your point, do a Google search and the first many come up relat­ed to the MCU. The Black Pan­ther that appeared in ’66 is nowhere near the top­ic of a search. Your bold and col­or­ful image does some resus­ci­ta­tion. I am not say­ing the more recent char­ac­ter we know is either supe­ri­or or infe­ri­or, which could be said about some re-char­ac­ter­i­za­tions. It is just not the whole time­line that has evolved to what we know today. Once again, I appre­ci­ate your col­or feast. Thank you.

    1. Mark Post author

      Glad you enjoyed this.
      Yeah, there seem to be a num­ber of dif­fer­ent takes on Black Pan­ther when you look back over his pub­lish­ing his­to­ry. In a way, it’s kind of like Bat­man. There’s his orig­i­nal pulp-inspired ver­sion that owes a lot to char­ac­ters like the Shad­ow, the smi­ley guy who deals with Bat Mite and aliens, the campy TV show ver­sion, the Den­ny O’Neil/Neal Adams ver­sion, etc., etc. All dif­fer­ent, and all valid in their own ways.


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