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‘Introducing the Sensational Black Panther!’: Fantastic Four #52–53, the Cold War, and Marvel’s Imagined Africa
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
2016 (English)In: Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship, ISSN 1560-5892, E-ISSN 2048-0792, Vol. 6, no 1, 1-21 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses Fantastic Four #52–53 (July–August 1966), in which Black Panther, Marvel’s first black superhero, premiered. It argues that the character as he appeared in these issues is best read as an example of ‘white on black’ representation, or white images of blacks centered on white interests, filtered through Marvel’s then-prevalent Cold War focus. The article first looks at the Fantastic Four as Cold Warriors to contextualize Black Panther. It then goes on to look at how Wakanda, Black Panther’s tribe, and Klaw, the storyline’s villain, are configured in relation to this context, in order to highlight the importance in the story of Cold War conceptions of and fears about the process of decolonization that was taking place on the African continent. Finally, it argues that Black Panther is rhetorically ‘Americanized,’ to better fit with US self-conceptions and to alleviate worries about what Africa’s then-recent decolonization might mean for United States of America.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 6, no 1, 1-21 p.
Keyword [en]
Black Panther, Cold War, decolonization, Fantastic Four, representation
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Humanities, Comparative literature; Humanities, English literature; Humanities, History; Humanities, Visual Culture
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-52640DOI: 10.16995/cg.80OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-52640DiVA: diva2:930523
Available from: 2016-05-24 Created: 2016-05-24 Last updated: 2016-05-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf