Cue up Curtis Mayfield’s “Right on for the Darkness” or Billy Paul’s “Am I Black Enough for You?” or Common’s “The Corner”Black comic books. Where can I find Black comic books? Now, you can go the indy route and try to find books by independent Black creators. You can go to the comic book store and pick something right off the wall. (My how times have changed, and I would caution you on that because Black faces don’t necessarily mean Black spaces. Let that bake in your noodle for a spell.) I’m not going to go into a spiel about why we need Black representation or why it’s important to find yourself in the pages of comic books. Been there and done that. However, I want to speak directly to Black comic book collectors because there’s a run of Marvel Black Panther books every Black collector should have in their collection in my opinion. Now you may ask why these particular Black Panther comic books? I’m so glad you asked. First of all, shout out to the king Reginald Hudlin. Reginald Hudlin wrote on Black Panther for a number of years and in that run of Black Panther books, he did something amazing that to my knowledge had not been done before. He brought a number of Black Marvel Superheroes together.Now, Ta-Nehisi Coates in the Intergalatic Republic of Wakanda run put together the most Black Marvel superheroes in the history of Marvel in issue 24 of Black Panther. It is noteworthy that book is not possible without Reginald Hudlin.In March 2006, in issue 12 of Black Panther, the story takes place down in Louisiana, near New Orleans. A couple of brothers are walking home and we see a mother on her knees praying asking the Lord to bring her boys home safe. The boys are walking home and are paranoid. Black men walking on dark roads in southern parts of America in certain places can relate. However, it is one thing to be afraid of white boys riding around in pickup trucks in the south and it’s another thing entirely for those white boys to be vampires. Double the trouble. However, the daywalker Blade happens to be out hunting. Then as if whole thing is already bizarre. A tree attacks one of the vampires and that is made courtesy of Brother Voodoo. Without giving the story away suffice to say that this issue leads us to the Blackest Blickity Blickity Bla Bla Black issue in Marvel’s storied history. Marvel Comics Black Panther issue 13.This book is significant in that it contains some of Marvel’s Black top Superheroes. All of which are original Black characters. No cheap carbon copies of white superheroes. No my brother and sister. All original. Black Panther, Luke Cage, Blade, Brother Voodoo and a superdope guest appearance of Spectrum aka Monica Rambeau. I point this out because some fanboys get all hot and bothered by legacy characters. Here, it’s all straight no chaser. The story is excellent and will whet your appetite for more honestly. Plus, Hudlin being Hudlin gives us a laugh at the end of the issue by having our heroes ride away in the sunrise in a candy apple red 59 eldog. (if you don’t what an eldog is, i will snatch your Black card from you personally) You should collect both issues 12 and 13 but at least grab issue 13 when you see it. Side note. Falcon does makes an appearance in issue 12 of this run. Suffice to say there’s a lot of Black folks in these here comics and for me Black power fist up and right on for the darkness.
-Richard J Wright
NOTE: Richard J Wright’s complete blog listing can be found at blackwardslivingincomics.blogspot.com