Black Superheroes Matter
Black Panther was never going to be your typical product of the increasingly convoluted Marvel universe. Debuting in an issue of Fantastic Four in 1966, the first black superhero in mainstream American comics, The Black Panther is the alter ego of T’Challa, the King of Wakanda – a mythical African nation. His day job is to mediate the conflicts he encounters within his nation. By night, however, he is locked in deadly battle with his nemesis, Dr Doom. It’s the attempt to make these two identities coexist – monarch and superhero – that makes the character a great deal more powerful and interesting than some pumped-up, square-jawed saviour of the world in tights and a red cape.