The Ages of the Black Panther

Essays on the King of Wakanda in Comic Books


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About the Book

Black Panther was the first black superhero in mainstream comic books, and his most iconic adventures are analyzed here. This collection of new essays explores Black Panther’s place in the Marvel universe, focusing on the comic books. With topics ranging from the impact apartheid and the Black Panther Party had on the comic to theories of gender and animist imagery, these essays analyze individual storylines and situate them within the socio-cultural framework of the time periods in which they were created, drawing connections that deepen understanding of both popular culture and the movements of society. Supporting characters such as Everett K. Ross and T’Challa’s sister Shuri are also considered. From his creation in 1966 by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee up through the character’s recent adventures by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze, more than fifty years of the Black Panther’s history are addressed. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Joseph J. Darowski teaches English at Brigham Young University and has published on comic book superheroes such as the X-Men, Wonder Woman, and Superman as well as on television series such as Chuck and Frasier.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Joseph J. Darowski

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 234
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7522-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3932-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface (Joseph J. Darowski) 1
The “Secret Origin” of the Black Panther: Literary and Historical Sources of Inspiration
(Liam T. Webb) 5
Breaking (Some) Ground While Dodging Politics: How Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Started a Legend
(Cathy Leogrande) 20
A Tale of Two Panthers: T’Challa and the Black Panther Party for ­Self-Defense
(Charles W. Henebry) 36
Wakanda Forever! (Except for That One Time…): The Black Panther Party, Apartheid and the Brief Identity Crisis of the Black LEOPARD?!?
(Christopher Maverick) 64
Wakanda Speaks: Animals and Animacy in “Panther’s Rage”
(José Alaniz) 76
Fighting the Long War Against the Klan: The Black Panther as a Symbol of ­Self-Defense and Social Justice
(Burton P. Buchanan, Ivon Alcime and Carlos D. Morrison) 99
The Shadow of Apartheid: Analyzing Peter Gillis’ Run in the 1980s
(Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns) 113
The King of Wakanda and the Emperor of the Useless White Boys: Race and Gender in Christopher Priest’s Black Panther
(John Darowski) 125
An Initiative for a More Fantastic Union: Prowling Around the PATRIOT Act
(Peter W.Y. Lee) 149
Secret Invasions, Lost Technology and 21st Century Learning Skills: How Black Panther Saved Wakanda Using the “Four C’s”
(Daniel J. Bergman) 166
Gender in Wakanda: Exploring Intersectionality and ­Hyper-Sexualization in Princess Shuri’s Tenure as Black Panther
(Hollie FitzMaurice) 182
Black Panther, Namor and Mimetic Violence in Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers
(Matthew Brake) 193
A Different Nation: Continuing a Legacy of Decolonization in Black Panther
(Julian C. Chambliss) 204
About the Contributors 221
Index 225