Monday, September 19, 2011

Reading Room: NOT WHO YOU THINK: "Black Panther"

Prince T'Challa, Marvel's first Black superhero, ruler of Wakanda, husband of Storm, Avenger...
1) Who is he?
2) Where did he come from??
3) What are his powers???
4) Why does he have a tail????
Of all those questions, we can only answer #3: Agile as a cat (obviously), expert in hand-to-hand combat, and probably good with the knife he carries.
Since he only made one appearance, in Stars & Stripes #3 (1941) from Centaur Comics, we will never know what his creator, writer/artist Paul Gustavson, had in mind for him.
Gustavson, though not a "big" name, did contribute several long-running characters to Golden Age comics history at Timely (Marvel), Quality, and Centaur, including The Fantom of the Fair (FantoMan), The Human Bomb, The Angel, two archer-heroes; The Arrow and Alias the Spider, and Man of War.
He also worked on Blackhawk, Uncle Sam, and other Quality Comics characters.

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