Can Black Panther stop his mutated brother from destroying the planet?

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Family remained an important factor in Jack Kirby’s work throughout his entire career. He took on as much work as possible as the provider of his own clan and also wove that responsibility into many of his comics. BLACK PANTHER #810 from 1978 focused on these ideas as well when T’Challa dealt with problems while his own blood responded to a related threat back in Wakanda.

The first installment began with a masked man facing off against The Black Panther in Wakanda during the combat ritual which allows for any challengers to try and defeat the country’s champion for supremacy. To our surprise, the Panther fell and the hooded combatant turned out to be none other than T’Challa! We then cut to our hero himself flying a chopper back to his homeland and realize we’ve been feasting our eyes on a flashback. We’d seen something like this in AVENGERS #87, but not drawn by “The King”! His return home delayed once more upon seeing two people floating below him in a life raft.

Meanwhile, in Wakanda, the mutated Jakarra—T’Challa’s half-brother—continued his rampage throughout the nation after exposing himself to too much Vibranium. Driven mad, he decided to wage a war against his own people! Back in the copter, the men the Panther saved turned out to be less than reputable. In fact, the mobsters put a gun to the king’s head and demanded he fly them to Corsica. Instead, the savvy jungle king lurched the helicopter so that they all crashed. The mafia boss’ henchman perished, but Scarpa survived, leaving T’Challa questioning what he should do as he carried his unconscious attacker through the desert.

Black Panther (1977) #8

Black Panther (1977) #8

  • Published: March 10, 1978
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Writer: Jack Kirby
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

At the same time, in Wakanda, N’Gassi spoke to a quartet of T’Challa’s extended family members who had been called on to serve in the Panther’s stead during his absence. The group included race car driver Khanata, businessman Ishanta, Zuni, and genius youth Joshua Itobo. Though even they didn’t know if they stood up to the task of stopping their rampaging cousin, the foursome soon found themselves tested as Jakarra burst into their meeting. Between their quick-thinking and brave actions, T’Challa’s relatives chased the threat away, and suddenly felt a newfound desire to fight for their nation.

The rechristened “Black Musketeers” donned Black Panther-esque costumes to face off against Jakarra. Over in the desert, the actual Black Panther could not figure out why he suddenly came across robots and aliens, only later realizing he’d wandered onto the filming location of a sci-fi motion picture! After an incredibly long journey, T’Challa finally made his way back to Wakanda and just in time as Jakarra threatened to destroy the entire planet by taking his ever-changing form to the Great Vibranium Mound. Though his brethren did their best to stop the imminent danger, it took the Panther leaping into action to actually stop his brother, destroying him in the process.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Jack Kirby launches The Black Panther on another wild journey!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

In many ways, Jack Kirby acted as one of the best tour guides around. In addition to introducing readers to new and exciting characters, he also took us to some of the wildest places across the Marvel Universe. In the late 70s, while writing, drawing and editing BLACK PANTHER, he spirited fans to a relic-filled tomb, a new nation called Narobia, and on to the glorious Samurai City.

After returning King Solomon’s Frogs to their rightful place in the tomb, T’Challa intended to leave his new acquaintances Mr. Abner Little and Princess Zanda to pursue other adventures. However, fate—and Kirby—had other plans in mind as our hero found himself battling a Sacred Samurai at the end of BLACK PANTHER #4. Zanda and her Collector allies soon revealed all of this as a test to see if the Panther proved strong enough to go to the secret samurai city and bring back the Sacred Water-Skin.

T’Challa turned them down at first, but by issue #5 he agreed to travel to the fabled city only after Zanda threatened to fire a nuclear missile at Wakanda! With that, the king and Mr. Little ventured out in a hover-craft. As they neared the secret city, though, unknown forces blasted them out of the sky! Upon landing, they first faced the peril of a raging river and then the ferocity of a yeti! Both men attempted to take the beast on in their own way, but only walked away victorious after working together. However, that safety proved short lived as they then came face to face with a Ronin named Akiro who threatened their very lives.

Black Panther (1977) #4

Black Panther (1977) #4

  • Published: July 10, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Writer: Jack Kirby
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Once again, Little and T’Challa proved a resourceful duo and defeated their foe. Afterwards, Little grabbed the Ronin’s sword. Upon waking up, the warrior revealed that his defeat should lead to his death. However, Black Panther told him that the Wakandan code forbade killing an unarmed enemy. To figure out what to do next, all entered the magnificent, underground Samurai City. To make good, the Panther met with their leader Shinzu and returned the Ronin’s sword to him in hopes of restoring his one-time opponent’s honor. To do so, the mysterious overlord decreed that T’Challa must fight another in hand-to-hand combat. Abner tried arranging it so that, if our hero won, they’d get a sample of the water of immortality, but the Wakanda king declined these machinations.

Unperturbed, Mr. Little used this distraction to sneak off and grab some long life liquid for himself. This affront to the denizens of Samurai City did not sit well and lead to yet another confrontation between the outsiders and their hosts. In the final issue of the story—#7—T’Challa revealed his true title of king, returned the stolen water, and requested a peaceful exit from Samurai City which Shinzu granted. Of course, their adventures would continue from there, but that tale will have to wait for another day…

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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The King's final year with Marvel included the launch of Devil Dinosaur and Machine Man.

In celebration of Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday, we’re been reviewing the man’s legendary creations with a year-by-year examination of his unparalleled career at Marvel Comics. Read on for our final installment of the History of Kirby and witness more of the work that made him comic book royalty.

Though wrapping up what would be his last year of work for Marvel in 1978, Jack Kirby’s creativity reached an amazing new plateau as he debuted two new series as well as two singularly fantastic standalone projects.

Jack kicked off the year with his last cover for perhaps his greatest co-creation of all time. FANTASTIC FOUR #190 showed off the team surrounded by symbolic shots of their major arch-enemies, a fitting illustration for the artist to end on. Later, seemingly not done with the idea of the Fantastic Four, Jack wrote and drew WHAT IF? #11, a fun take on the first family of super heroes that replaced Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, the Human Torch, and the Thing with the real-life Marvel Bullpen staff of Stan Lee, Flo Steinberg, Sol Brodsky, and Jack himself.

What If? (1977) #11

What If? (1977) #11

  • Published: October 10, 1978
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Writer: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Stan and Jack also collaborated on an immense project, their last as a duo. The SILVER SURFER graphic novel of 1978, written by “The Man” and illustrated by “the King,” took readers on a far-flung “Ultimate Cosmic Experience” with the Surfer to pit him once again versus the world-eating Galactus. One of the very first graphic novels ever, the tome ended up in bookstores, bringing Marvel into a whole new arena.

Jack brought his two series from the previous year, ETERNALS and BLACK PANTHER to an end in 1978, or at least to a stopping point for himself. In ETERNALS #19, he drew the climax of a gigantic, sprawling battle between the various races in the saga, and over in BLACK PANTHER he fit in T’Challa’s origin story, a new team called the Musketeers, a first-time villain called Kiber the Cruel, and new psychic powers for the titular hero.

Devil Dinosaur (1978) #1

Devil Dinosaur (1978) #1

  • Published: April 10, 1978
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 08, 2009
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Never content with resting on his laurels, Jack also launched DEVIL DINOSAUR and spun MACHINE MAN out of his 2001 series. DEVIL DINOSAUR related the ongoing plight of Moonboy, an early relative to man, and a crimson dinosaur called Devil as they made their way through a prehistoric landscape to clash with fiends and foes along the way. In MACHINE MAN, Jack told the tale of X-51, a self-sentient robot that searched for his identity and his place in the world while fighting various factions that would end his quest.

As the year came to a close, Jack Kirby looked beyond comics to new horizons and, for a time, left the industry to pursue work in the ever-growing animation business. Eventually, he returned to his first love, comic books, and continued to build upon the legacy he crafted at Marvel with projects at new companies just starting out on their journeys.

Machine Man (1978) #1

Machine Man (1978) #1

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Track the evolution of one of Jack Kirby’s signature characters!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

As BLACK PANTHER enters the Marvel Legacy era this week with issue #166 by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leonard Kirk, it feels fitting to look back to Jack Kirby’s various dealings with the character over the years. Kirby worked with Stan Lee to introduce T’Challa, Wakanda, and The Black Panther to the world in 1966’s FANTASTIC FOUR #5254. In that first appearance, T’Challa brought the renowned team—and Johnny Storm’s college roommate Wyatt Wingfoot—to his homeland and challenged them to a battle of epic proportions. In fact, the only reason the FF wound up on top proved Wingfoot’s unexpected presence and feisty attitude.

After enjoying a feast of epic proportions, The monarch of Wakanda asked his guests for help in figuring out a problem that wound up revolving around a new villain called Klaw who would go on to become one of Black Panther’s deadliest opponents. Following their eventual victory, the crew played baseball with T’Challa and his people before receiving wonderful gifts and returning home.

The Black Panther would appear here and there in the remaining issues of Lee and Kirby’s renowned FANTASTIC FOUR run, most prominently in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #5 where he teamed up with the title heroes as well as the Inhumans to battle an army of super villains led by Psycho-Man.

Black Panther (1977) #1

Black Panther (1977) #1

  • Published: January 10, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Writer: Jack Kirby
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

In 1968, Lee and Kirby had T’Challa fly Captain America to Wakanda in a similar fashion as he had the Fantastic Four for TALES OF SUSPENSE #9799 and CAPTAIN AMERICA #100. After a bit of an initial brawl, the two heroes worked quickly to destroy a weapon called the Solar Heat Projector that happened to fall under Baron Zemo’s watchful eye. The duo, aided by Sharon Carter, battled their way through Zemo’s minions, The Destructron, and Zemo himself to eventually win the day. This adventure with Cap even led to Black Panther’s entry into the Avengers not long after.

Jack Kirby would eventually return to T‘Challa’s adventures with the character’s very first solo series in 1977 which “The King” wrote, drew and edited. This book framed the Panther as a globe-trotting adventurer of sorts, on the hunt for a wildly powerful artifact called King Solomon’s Frog. BLACK PANTHER also introduced the hero and the world to a variety of interesting and wild characters ranging from Mr. Little and Princess Zanda to a Yeti and a secret society of samurai!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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