Chris (pokeypenguin) wrote,

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I'm not saying Obama would have been elected decades earlier, but I'm not saying he wouldn't, either

In the mid-70's, I read the Black Panther's first solo comic, where he was attached to the blaxpoitatively named Jungle Action. Despite that, it was a really good strip drawn beautifully and laid out very experimentally by Billy Graham (not, I assume, the same one) and written by I want to say Don Gregor? I really cannot oversell how cool the layouts were, and how different from page to page and issue to issue. And there was a two year civil war in Wakanda (which is the small, wealthy country in central Africa over which the Black Panther rules, in case you do not know this), after which he headed back to America to investigate his girlfriend's sister's suicide only to unearth a vast KKK conspiracy. Both tales were thoughtful, dark, full of reader-solvable mysteries, character redemptions, and allegories to spare. The latter storyline was maybe halfway done at the end of 1976 when, suddenly, the strip was canceled. I have no idea why, but I have to assume it was nepotism.

Now it is January 1977, and exactly on schedule where the next chapter of the KKK story should have been, there is instead a new strip actually named Black Panther. Here are the things it says on the cover:

First Issue! The all-new, all-exciting Black Panther

They searched for it! They fought -- and even killed for it! What was it?

King Solomon's Frog!

He's back! As only Jack Kirby can do it!

You know, Jack: that is almost certainly true, and the truth of it is pretty much exactly what I fear.

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