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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Black Panther Key Comics Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of this Black Panther key comics list. We got some more Black Panther key issues here that are heating up in the market and some that are either purely speculative since there isn't much news about the Black Panther movie or some that are just worth terms of key issue status.

If you missed Part 1, just click the blue link to go back and read up on that. Otherwise, enjoy Part 2!

Black Panther joins Avengers

This issue has seen a nice bump in demand in the current market, and Avengers #52 marks when the Black Panther joins the Avengers. Despite this Marvel historic fact, this issue also sees a change in Black Panther's mask.

Before, the mask covered his entire face, but this issue has the costume reveal a portion of T'Challa's face. Not really a super important detail worth noting in Overstreet Guide or third party grading labels.

Avengers #52 is primarily sought out now because of the first reason, and it's pretty much common sense that Black Panther will at least be joining the Avengers in Avengers Infinity Wars Part 2. May, 1968 was when this Avengers key issue was published.

1st appearance of Man-Ape
1st appearance of N'Gamo

Completely missed this one when I first whipped up the Black Panther key issues series. Yes, I just recently added it in and fully admit that.

Man-Ape is M'Baku and hails from the Jabari Village within the nation of Wakanda, Africa. He is the 2nd greatest warrior in Wakanda and a definite threat to T'Challa's reign of the isolated nation.

Like Killmonger, M'Baku also schemes to take the throne and rule away from T'Challa. He aligns himself with the White Gorilla Cult, a rival to the Black Panther Cult whom are obviously the dominate cult in Wakanda.

M'Baku is a ruthless warrior. He stalked and killed one of the rare white gorillas in Wakanda, bathed in its blood and ate the creatures flesh in order to mystically incorporate the gorillas incredible strength. 

His aide or trusted right-hand man is N'Gamo, who also makes his debut in this issue. Man-Ape will be played by actor Winston Duke and the character has been confirmed to appear in Avengers Infinity War also.

Avengers #62 has the cover date of March, 1969.

Origin Black Panther retold in more depth
First appearance of B'Tuma
First appearance of N'Baza

Fantastic Four #53 first told the origin of the Black Panther, but it was a freeze dried version. Although Avengers #87 is basically a retelling of the origin, it does add more details and goes more in-depth.

This version has the first appearance of B'Tuma, only in flashback of course, a childhood friend that grew up with T'Challa. After the death of his father at the hands of Klaw, T'Challa was taken in by B'Tuma's father, N'Baza, who was a great friend and most trusted council of T'Chaka.

Both T'Challa and B'Tuma were sent to school in both Europe and America by N'Baza. After school, B'Tuma went his separate ways while T'Challa went back to Wakanda to become the next Black Panther of his people.

After earning the costume of the Black Panther, his last task was to search for the heart-shaped herb that would give him great powers. While doing this he discovered a group called A.I.M., Advanced Idea Mechanics, whom were in the area looking to steal vibranium to, of course, build weapons that would help them to rule the world.

When Black Panther is spotted and captured, he discovers that B'Tuma is an A.I.M. agent. However, when ordered to kill T'Challa, B'Tuma cannot execute his old friend and instead helps him to escape and battle A.I.M.

In the course of the battle, B'Tuma is fatally wounded and after the A.I.M. soldiers are defeated, apologizes to T'Challa before dying. The end of this issue sees T'Challa explaining all this to his Avengers team mates, and informing them that the reason he is thinking of the past is because he just received word that N'Baza has just passed. T'Challa must go back to Wakanda to rule or lose his title forever.

I cannot say whether Hollyweird will base on origin story off this one for the Black Panther movie. I definitely think it would be awesome to see this origin story translated to the screen, but we also do know that they could very well just invent a new Black Panther origin or twist it terribly for the movie like they did with Whiplash and Mandarin. So, who knows, I do hope they use B'Tuma and N'Baza in the movie and it would be strange if those characters were omitted.

This key issue is a Bronze Age comic and was published April, 1971.

First Black Panther solo feature

Black Panther gets his own solo feature in the volume two comic series titled Jungle Action. This is the first issue to have an on-going Black Panther feature filled with his own adventures and stories.

There is debate about whether the story in Jungle Action #5 is actually Black Panther's first solo story since the story is a reprint from Avengers #62. Like I said, though, this issue does mark Black Panther getting his very own comic feature, and because of it, Jungle Action #5 has seen demand since confirmation of the Black Panther movie. I do not suspect demand for this issue to sustain long enough to be considered a solid long-term investment, however.

Jungle Action #5 was published July, 1973.

First solo Black Panther story?
First appearance of Killmonger

More Bronze Age key issue goodness with this issue right here. Jungle Action #6 actually has the first new Black Panther solo story, and despite that debate, there is also another good reason that this comic may be worth snagging up.

Jungle Action #6 has the first appearance of Killmonger, who is another character connected to Wakanda and T'Challa's history. Killmonger's real name is N'Jadaka, and his father was pressed into working for Klaw.

After Klaw was defeated and fled Wakanda, N'Jadaka's family was exiled by T'Chaka. N'Jadaka ended up in New York's Harlem, and changed his name to Erik Killmonger. His hatred for both Klaw and T'Chaka made Killmonger dedicate his life in getting revenge on both Klaw and the royal Wakandan family, most notably the son of T'Chaka.

Since Erik Killmonger's family origins are deeply tied to T'Challa and his father's, Killmonger or N'Jadaka could be a great villain to introduce in a future Black Panther movie. I would even say that it would be logical to have Killmonger and Black Panther's half brother Jakarra to align in a conspiracy to overthrow T'Challa in possibly the first flick.

This movie franchise has so much awesome potential, and the first appearance of Killmonger and Jungle Action #6 is definitely one to snag up even just for a short-term comic investment. This comic was published September, 1973.

Black Panther takes on KKK

Okay, I highly doubt we'll see a movie where Black Panther takes on the KKK, but this story arc that ran from Jungle Action #19 to #24 was considered highly controversial at the time.

For that reason and since Marvel was willing to take on yet another controversial subject matter in the pages of its comics, I'm putting this issue on there as a notable Black Panther key issue.

Jungle Action's run from #6 to #24 was highly acclaimed, but the sales numbers were extremely low. The publishing date for Jungle Action #19 is January, 1976.

First self-titled Black Panther on-going series

Here we are with the first self-titled and on-going Black Panther series that didn't last very long either. Right now in the market, this key issue has already seen a very nice spike in demand and value.

This very first Black Panther self-titled series sees the return of the character's creator Jack Kirby back to the Marvel camp. However, he was not very happy about returning to this character that he already worked extensively on before and wanted to work on new characters. Jack Kirby would leave after issue 12 and the series was cancelled with issue #15.

Black Panther #1 was published January, 1977 and was a Black Panther key comic to best snag late last year/early this year. If you think it still has the juice to keep rising, probably be best to get this one as soon as possible.

One more Part to go for this Black Panther key comics list, and the next part will have some that are quite over-looked but just may include the first appearances of characters that will be in the movie or a future movie. Black Panther does have a royal family, so we'll be getting into some of those Black Panther key issues in Part 3.

If you missed Part 1, just click the PREVIOUS link below to go back and read that. If not, just click the PART 3 link below to continue reading on.


  1. Is a semi key issue in a very high grade a better investment than a major key issues in a low grade in the long run. example 9.2 verses say a 3.0. great articles by the way. Thanks Mike, Jeremy got me on to this website he says you have the best investments out there

    1. A major key would have more of a demand in the cb market, but try to get toward the mid grade range (the higher the better, of course). This would also appeal to more people for resale. Getting a high grade semi key is wonderful if its your favorite character or if your just a broad collector in general. The only down fall is you are narrowing your market for resale in the future. Then again that one certain semi key could blow up because a detail in a movie. (like Ironman 304, 1st hulk buster armor.) This was a very minor semi key 1 year ago, now its climbing in value. I guess its all a gamble with semi keys, but with major keys the market is more steady and in my opinion a better investment.

    2. so a ms marvel 1 9.6 isn't a good as an investment as x-men 1 1.0 grade. thanks for the reply. Mike

    3. Wayne brings up a very good point and I'll use his example of Iron man #304, first Hulkbuster. Iron Man #304 is very much a trend book...not a very important first appearance nor all that cared for until the suit was confirmed to be in the 2nd Avengers movie.

      Will that book have anything going for it after Avengers 2 to sustain the demand for the first Hulkbuster suit? I seriously doubt it. When we're talking about Iron Man #304 in CGC 9.6 or 9.8, I'd rather put my money down on an X-Men #1 CGC 1.0.

      But here's the thing. I wouldn't want a 1.0 of X-Men #1. It's not a book that should be sought out in 1.0 as an investment. It's not even a book that should be sought out as an investment in 2.0. A book like Showcase #4 at a 2.0 is an ok (reasonable) investment.

      Ms. Marvel may be a trend book also. Her first appearance before the rumor hype was going for next to nothing not long ago, but her key issue first appearance is definitely more sustainable than the first Hulkbuster in Iron Man #304. Her first appearance has a higher probability of becoming a more important key issue in the back issue market, especially for this and the next generation of comic collectors that sprouts up.

      However, a Ms. Marvel #1 CGC 9.6 NM+ is definitely an investment grade for that key issue. An X-Men #1 CGC 1.0 is not, even for that key issue that has had consistent demand over the years. It's basically a very low grade that's a "I just want it to have it" book.

      When you're considering comic book investments, you have to look at each one individually. What's the sustainability like (demand and for how long)?Short-term or long-term investment? What's investment grade worthy for each key issue? Like Wayne said and what I've been saying for years, major key issues have always survived in terms of demand throughout each generation. There's a reason for that.

      To answer your question, I wouldn't consider an X-Men #1 CGC 1.0 a good long-term comic investment. A Batman #1 CGC 1.0...yes, but X-Men #1...not really. Between those two, I'd pick the Ms. Marvel #1 CGC 9.6 as a short-term investment. An X-Men #1? I wouldn't consider anything below a 4.0 VG.

    4. And thanks JW for spreading the word and welcome to the site Mike! Hope it has been of help to ya!

  2. Thanks mayhem for the advice Jeremy was kinda telling me the same thing but I thought he was crazy. Mike