'Black Panther,' a historical figure in comics

By: Henry Hanks, Contributor     @hankstv / tvshenry@gmail.com

In 1966, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made history with the introduction of the very first black mainstream superhero, Black Panther, in "Fantastic Four" #52. This inclusion paved the way for tons of fantastic diverse characters in comics. Luke Cage, John Stewart, Black Lightning, Storm, Bishop, Static Shock and many more can all trace their roots from The Black Panther.

After a two issue arc in the FF, the character of T'Challa made appearances in other Marvel Comics, joining the Avengers in their 52nd issue in 1968.

1973 saw the Panther in a groundbreaking multi-issue story in the pages of "Jungle Action." Four years later, he got his own self-titled series, which Jack "The King" Kirby also contributed art to, which lasted 15 issues and continued in "Marvel Premiere."

T'Challa returned to the pages of his own miniseries in 1988, and again ten years later as part of "Marvel Knights."

Two other ongoing series launched in 2005 and 2009, and Black Panther replaced Daredevil in his own title in 2011.

Well-known author and cultural commentator Ta-Nehisi Coates took on writing duties for an ongoing series of "Black Panther" in 2016, coinciding with the character's big screen debut that year in "Captain America: Civil War."

We've now seen the first solo "Black Panther" movie, one of the most anticipated films of 2018, break box office records left & right. "Black Panther" now keeps company in the movie record books with "Avengers" & "Star Wars: Force Awakens".... not too shabby. Chadwick Boseman is set to  reprise the Panther again later this year in "Avengers: Infinity War."

Over a half century later, and T'Challa is on the verge of once again making history.