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Black Panther was one of Marvel's most important superheroes long before he had made his mark on the MCU. But what are T'Challa's real origins, and just why is this character so beloved by comic book fans? This is the untold truth of Black Panther.
Co-created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Black Panther made his debut in 1966's Fantastic Four #52. Followers of comic book history will know that Lee and Kirby didn't always agree on things, but in the case of Black Panther's creation, both writer and artist were in total agreement. They knew that Marvel needed the king of Wakanda to fill a void that had existed for too long in comic books, the existence of a Black superhero.
In a 1990 interview with The Comics Journal, Kirby recalled realizing he wanted more diversity in the comics he made. He said:
"I suddenly discovered that I had a lot of Black readers...And here I was ignoring them because I was associating with everybody else."
Likewise, Lee said he conceived Black Panther with Kirby because, in his own words, he wanted to make the first Black superhero. In a 2011 interview with Alter Ego, Lee said that, while creating Black Panther, he was also careful not to play into stereotypes. America was used to depictions of Africa as a backward and primitive place, so Lee and Kirby wanted to portray the exact opposite. Lee explained:
"[Black Panther] is one of the greatest scientists in the world and his area. [H]is country is more scientifically advanced than any. When you get to the hidden entrance and go down to Wakanda, it looks like you're in a scene from a science-fiction movie of the thirtieth century!" Keep watching the video to see the untold truth of Black Panther
Visions of the Black Panther | 0:13
Black Panther vs. the Fantastic Four | 1:21
Prehistoric origins | 2:15
The Avengers | 3:14
Panther's Rage | 4:31
T'Challa's pack | 5:37
Christopher Priest | 6:42
The anti-superhero | 7:55
The Hunter | 8:59
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