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Rick Vance

The Black Panther Party and Black Panther the character are both in ’66

Those specific issues of Fantastic Four (52, 53, 54) are very rough to go back to.

Matthew Fabb

The Blank Panther comic does pre-date the Black Panther Party by a couple of months. Black Panther first appeared in Fantastic Four in July 1966 and the Black Panther Party was formed in October 1966.

Jack Kirby was originally using the title “Coal Tiger” before Stan Lee came up with the name Black Panther. Stan Lee says the inspiration came from a pulp adventure hero he used to remember that had a black panther.

As the Black Panther Party became more well known, Marvel tried to distance their comic character from the political group, briefly renaming him to Black Leopard. Only readers didn’t take to it and the writers weren’t happy about it either, so they switched it back. The character T’Challa distanced himself from the political group saying Black Panther “…has political connotations. I neither condemn nor condone those who have taken up the name, but T’Challa is a law unto himself.”