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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lefisc's Avatar
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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.

    Black Panther: The Importance of the character and movie.

    From its beginnings, comic portrayed black and Asian characters as terrible, stereotypes, in images and in dialogue and behavior, almost never as real people.

    In the 1950s, with super-hero strips dying out, there were many stories of concerning racial injustice and prejudice.

    However in 1954 Congress held hearing on comic books and connected them to juvenile delinquency, rape and homosexuality. Really!! They forced the industry to have an outside censor, called the Comics Code to stop sex and violence in the comics. Well, that is what they said. Instead the Code behaved as story editors banning hairstyles, clothes and ANY social issues of the day. The stories about bigotry (and drug use) were banned.

    And so were black people. In 1955 “Judgment Day” by EC comics (you know them as the publishers of Mad) the Code banned a black astronaut. Black people were not be portrayed as people. In fact, the police even arrested people at EC for publishing a parody of “The Night Before Christmas.” They went to jail.

    Prejudice was so bad that virtually all the Jewish creators had changed their names. Stan Lee (Stan Lieber); Jack Kirby (Jacob Kurtzberg); even the creator of Batman Robert Kahn became Bob Kane. In the mid 1960s, Dell published Lobo, a western with a black leading character. Many dealers in the south sent back the comic, and the ones that came with it, unopened. It lasted two issues, a financial disaster.

    So three Jewish guys, (Lee, Kirby and Publisher Martin Goodman) in 1963, introduced the FIRST regular African-American, Gabe Jones, along with a Italian and a Jew, to appear in a comic. It was a WW II comic entitled, Sgt. Fury. This took courage.

    In 1966, the Black Panther was introduced in Fantastic Four #52. He wore a FULL face mask (changed from a Half mask like Captain America) so the southern newsstand owners would not realize he was black. In 1973 he got his own series in Jungle Action and his own comic in 1977. Marvel had begun introducing other black supporting characters and super-heroes. The Falcon debuted in 1973. It took DC until 1977 to introduce Black Lightning.

    So it has been a really long journey. It’s not over, but Goodman, Lee and Kirby should be remembered for their courage.

    (I don’t use “African American” in reference to sci fi and comic characters because they are not necessarily American or even an earthling.)

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    Barry
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  2. #2
    Senior Member TrippleJ's Avatar
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    Thanks Barry for the historical context. It is amazing what power that Comics Code had.. When did they end that group or association?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Lefisc's Avatar
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    JJJ

    It was a slow change. In 1970, Stan Lee got a letter from a government agency asking Marvel to print an Anti-Drug story. Since drugs, even bad ones, did not exist in the Code’s universe, Marvel could NOT publish it with the code seal.

    They made the decision to publish it anyway. The Post Office delivered it and the newsstands sold it. Everyone seemed to forget about the Code. So the Code was amended in 1971 and in 1978. And every few years after that.

    But while the government had once put pressure on newsstands, comic book stores didn’t give a damn about “codes” just sales. So comics started being released without them. It didn’t just vanish, but became irreverent in the 1980s (the code at this time allowed beheadings and other nonsense) and in 2001 Marvel abandoned it. A few years later so did DC.


    What you don’t hear about the code is that it was a money making institution. Comic book companies had to pay them by the page. They fought for survival years, seemingly on moral groups, but they wanted that income!!!!!!!!Name:  Comics Code 1 DC 1955.jpg
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  4. #4


    Barry, I have always been surprised at your stories of Government control and censorship of the Comic Industry. It seems like a ridiculous overstep of our government and waste of resources, but what's new?

    The Code Seal got me thinking, and I started digging through a few comics that my Mother gave me. One from 1979, didn't have a seal on it.

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    Is this possibly because it looks to be a promotional piece for All detergent? Just curious if this was the case and if it were a loophole ever used by DC and Marvel.

  5. #5
    Senior Member TrippleJ's Avatar
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    Thank for the details again Barry. Appreciate it.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Lefisc's Avatar
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    Tracy,

    You bring up an important point. The government, especially during the 1950’s McCarthy era was very much into censorship. The FCC has censored broadcasting for years.

    They pressured the industry by saying that the Post Office would no longer give comics special subscription mailing rates. They also heavily pressured and threatened advertisers not to advertise in comics that did not have the code. They also pressured news dealers.

    You have a comic that was never mailed in a subscription and never sold on the stands. It therefore did NOT need a seal. However, it contained reprints from Spider-Man # 1, 21, 94 and Annual #1 (years 1961, 1964 and 1971). All had previously passed the comics code.

    It should be noted that they ONLY went after the “liberal” publishers, which were almost all of them. Liberal then was defined as “Jewish.” They did not require the code on Classics Illustrated and Walt Disney comics which were not owned by LIBERALS.
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  7. #7


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Made of reprinted materials that were previously approved by "The Code"; gotcha'.

    Maybe DC and Marvel should have created a legion of supervillains called, The Code. I'm sure it would have been approved.

  8. #8
    Senior Member TrippleJ's Avatar
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    Marvel released the family tree.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Lefisc's Avatar
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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    The decency and humanity of the Marvel super heroes was hereditary; They got them from their creators, Lee and Kirby.
    Barry
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