Archive for the 'Race in Comics' Category

Women’s History Month Superheroine Spotlight: Sheena, Queen of the Jungle

Sheena is the first female character to star in her own comicI’m celebrating Women’s History Month with a series of posts examining historically significant comic heroines, starting with the first female comic character to star in her own title.

Sheena first appeared in the pages of the UK magazine WAGS in 1937. The following year, Sheena would enjoy her first appearance in the U.S. market when Fiction House reprinted her first adventure in the pages of Jumbo Comics #1. Continue reading ‘Women’s History Month Superheroine Spotlight: Sheena, Queen of the Jungle’

Civil Rights Leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis Coauthors Graphic Novel Memoir

John Lewis being arrested during the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March ("Bloody Sunday")

Lewis’ arrest during the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March (aka Bloody Sunday)

This August, Civil Rights leader and U.S. Representative John Lewis will be publishing a graphic novel memoir through Top Shelf.

March: Book One, coauthored by Andrew Aydin (Lewis’ Telecommunications and Technology aide) with art by Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole), marks the first time a graphic novel has been written by a sitting Member of Congress.

Lewis’ contributions to the Civil Rights Movement have been monumental. In fact, his acts of civil disobedience were so prolific that they would result in him being jailed 40 times over the course of the movement.
Continue reading ‘Civil Rights Leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis Coauthors Graphic Novel Memoir’

Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Butterfly

First appearing in Hell-Rider in 1971, The Butterfly is the first African-American Superheroine

Nearly four years before the debut of Marvel’s Storm in May 1975, and almost six years before DC’s Bumblebee first appeared in June 1977, there was the Butterfly, the first black female superhero.

Butterfly first appeared in a back-up feature in Hell-Rider #1, published in August 1971 by Skywald. The feature was written by Gary Friedrich (Ghost Rider), penciled by Ross Andru (The Amazing Spider-Man, Wonder Woman), and inked by Jack Abel (Superman) and Mike Esposito (The Amazing Spider-ManWonder Woman).  Continue reading ‘Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Butterfly’

Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Falcon


As I discussed last week, the Black Panther debuted as the first black superhero in July 1966. However, it would be three years until the introduction of the first African-American superhero in comics: Samuel Wilson, the Falcon. Created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan, Wilson first appeared in Captain America #117 in September 1969.

When a group of men on an unnamed tropical island put out an ad for a falconer, Wilson, a social worker from Harlem, responds with his falcon, Redwing. Continue reading ‘Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Falcon’

Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Black Panther

Fantastic Four #52 (1966) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby In observance of Black History Month, I’d like to take a little time to talk about the first black superhero.

Ascertaining the first black superhero is tricky thanks to the ambiguous nature of the term “superhero.” In 1941, the horribly offensive Whitewash Jones was fighting Nazis alongside Bucky in the pages of  The Young Allies; in 1954, Waku, Prince of the Bantu, starred in his own feature in Jungle Tales; in 1963, Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos introduced us to Gabe Jones; and in 1965, Lobo briefly starred in his own series. Continue reading ‘Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Black Panther’

Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Lobo

First appearance of Lobo the first black comic heroAs promised, in honor of Black History Month, I’m back to spotlight the first black hero to star in his own comic: Lobo.

This western hero, created by writer D.J. Arneson and illustrated by Tony Tallarico, made his debut in Lobo (1965),  published by Dell Comics.

In the series, Lobo is a former Union soldier who heads west after the the Civil War. Upon being wrongfully accused of murder, Lobo sets out on a mission to fight injustice and to clear his name. Continue reading ‘Black History Month Superhero Spotlight: Lobo’

Black Superheroes for Black History Month

First Black SuperheroToday marks the beginning of Black History Month. Being as this is a comic blog, I’ll be observing the month by highlighting some of the most influential and important black superheroes in comic history. Each Monday, I’ll be publishing a different black hero spotlight.

I hope you’ll join me this Monday when I discuss Lobo, the first black hero to star in his own title.

[Update: You can also now check out my posts on Black Panther, the first black superhero; Falcon, the first African-American superhero; and Butterfly, the first black superheroine.]

Is a Hero of Color More Upsetting than a White Would-Be Rapist?

Doc_Ock_Spider-Man_vs_Miles_MoralesSome pundits seem to think so.

Spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man #700 ahead. Continue reading ‘Is a Hero of Color More Upsetting than a White Would-Be Rapist?’

What the Comic Industry Can Learn from the 2012 U.S. Elections

Obama and Spiderman ComicThere’s a very important lesson that the comic book industry can learn from the 2012 U.S. elections. You can’t just cater to straight white men anymore.

Last night we saw Mitt Romney carry the white vote and lose, a record number of women win Senate seats, and multiple victories for the LGBT community.

As ABC News puts it “Romney’s most reliant bloc the whole campaign was white men.” He won the white vote by 20 points but lost the election and the popular vote. The same margin of white voters Reagan used to win by a landslide in 1980 is no longer enough to win an election. Continue reading ‘What the Comic Industry Can Learn from the 2012 U.S. Elections’

Thanks for Trying, Jonathan Hickman

Jonathan Hickman's New Avengers #1 coverI should start by saying that I have enjoyed the limited amount of Jonathan Hickman’s writing that I have read and I am looking forward to his run on New Avengers as part of Marvel Now.

However, I have to call him on what he recently said about his new lineup:

“By the time we get to 22 characters on the book, twelve are either female or minority, and we feel like we’ve accomplished what we’ve set out to do, which is a book that looks like the [real] world.”

Sorry Mr. Hickman, but it doesn’t seem like you know anything about demographics. Continue reading ‘Thanks for Trying, Jonathan Hickman’

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