The road to storytelling diversity is a long and winding one, and even with the Ms. Marvels, Statics and Kevin Kellers we have, there’s still a lot of ground to cover. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the history of comics is entirely devoid of progress. Welcome to Ten Things!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with ‘An Amateur Comics Historian’ and Black History Month, Presents:
TEN HISTORY-MAKING BLACK SUPERS!
10) LION MAN (1947)
From the first and only issue of ‘All-Negro Comics’, the first known comic book featuring all African-American creators, Lion Man, who may be comics’ first black hero, has much in common with the later Black Panther. A scientist who was born in America, Lion Man was dispatched by the United Nations to Africa’s Gold Coast, where he protects a virtual treasure trove of uranium. He uses his wits and physical prowess to keep it out of the hands of those who would make it into bombs, in a costume of red loincloth, head and armbands. Though Mandrake’s companion Lothar predates him in comic strips by some years, Lion Man is noteworthy for avoiding stereotypical “native” dialogue and the grotesque art of many black characters of the era.