Black Panther and black comic book characters in our collections

Since it’s Black History Month and Black Panther has just hit theaters we couldn’t resist a post featuring comics! If you’ve entered comics by way of the Marvel movies it’s possible you don’t know that there are multiple incarnations of the Black Panther over the decades. Every few years Marvel reboots their favorite heroes to give new artists and authors a chance, and there have been some awesome plots for the Black Panther. We’re going to highlight the differences between the Black Panthers we own and our favorite black characters in comics.

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Cover for Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet

This is the comic incarnation that Marvel resurrected after they put the movie Black Panther into production, so it should closely match the movie. T’Challa, the current king of Wakanda and their Black Panther, finds his authority challenged by a superpowered terrorist cell.

Location in the catalog.

Black Panther: Who Is Black Panther? by Reginald Hudlin

This version of Black Panther focuses on the rise of this superhero and the country of Wakanda. This is also the Black Panther who marries Storm of X-Men fame to become superpower royalty and serious relationship goals.

 Location in the catalog.

Jungle Action ft. The Black Panther by Don McGregor

Cover for Jungle Action

Jungle Action

This is the first Black Panther-centric storyline and the character’s first starring role, though he cropped up in some Avengers issues before this one. It’s a 1974 classic in superhero canon, and can be requested from Oak Street if you want to see where the story started.

Location in the catalog.

If you’re interested in more black superheroes than just Black Panther, here’s some you can find in the UGL!

Storm in X-Men

Cover for X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga

X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga

Before Halle Berry took on the role in the movies, Storm had a long history of protecting mutants and kicking ass. The Dark Phoenix arc is widely considered to be one of the greatest plotlines in the X-Men universe and Storm takes her powers to a whole new level to fight her friend-turned-foe.

Location in the catalog.

Alex Wilder in Runaways

Cover for Runaways


This comic was picked up for a few seasons on Hulu, and they’ve stayed true to the diverse case of the books. What would you do if you discovered your parents were supervillains? After witnessing a dark ritual, these characters run away, band together, and forge deep friendships that are constantly tested as they’re forced to face off against their parents and decide where their loyalties lie.

Location in the catalog.

Luke Cage


Cover for Luke Cage

Luke Cage

The UGL has both the comic books and season one of the Netflix show! If you missed Luke Cage when it broke the internet in 2016 we highly recommend you check it out. The bulletproof superhero lives in Harlem, a highly charged allegory in our political climate.

The location of the comic in the catalog.

The location of the Netflix show in the catalog.


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Black History Month 2017

In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history” and he designated the month of February officially as “Black History Month.” 50 years earlier, it had been conceived by Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History and was originally called “Negro History Week.” It was only celebrated for one week in the month of February, but it was the week that spanned the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and eminent abolitionist, Frederick Douglass.

The University of Illinois’s Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center, in collaboration with other organizations on campus, has put together over 20 events during the month of February to celebrate Black History Month and to bring cultural awareness and amazingly diverse programming to the community. Below are some events you should check out, and a link to their Facebook Page, where you can find more information about the events happening on campus. Plus, we’ve got the UGL’s pick for Black History Month reading: the graphic novel series entitled “March” by Congressman John Lewis.


Food for the Soul: Black History Month Kick-Off Celebration:

At 12pm on February 1st, the BNAACC is having a kick-off celebration! There will be a tasty Caribbean Grill meal, a performance by Soul Premiere, and a preview of their Black History Month events! Come join in the celebration, get some great food, and get ready for a great month of new experiences!

Black Composer Speaks: A Conversation with Jeffrey Mumford

Jeffrey Mumford- Composer

Image Courtesy of

Thursday, February 9th from 12-1pm, visit the BNAACC to listen to Award-Winning Black Composer Jeffrey Mumford give an invigorating music talk. Recently, he has been a part of the “The Black Composer Speaks” series, which is a series of programs showcasing a range of new music by African American composers, where the World Premiere of his new piece “ …becoming” took place. Later that evening, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at Illinois will be hosting a performance titled, “Sonic Illinois: The Black Composer Speaks,” which will include a piece by Mr. Mumford.

Information for that event can be found here:

School Daze: Movies that Matter

School Daze by Spike Lee

School Daze by Spike Lee

Attend the first of 3 Spike Lee Films Showing at the Virginia Theater on February 13th at 7pm. School Daze is a film that is loosely based on Lee’s experiences as a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Actor Laurence Fishburne plays “Dap” in the musical comedy drama, a student who hopes to unify the study body to actively fight social inequity and addresses divisions within the African American community itself. It costs $5 to see School Daze, but for just $10 you can also attend 2 more Spike Lee films “Clockers” and “Malcom X” which will be shown on the 15th/16th and 17th/18th all at 7pm. For more information check out the Virginia Theater’s website:



Image courtesy of

BlackTransMagick is the duo of J Mase III, a Black/Trans/Queer Poet and Vita E a percussionist and poet. On Monday, February 20th at 7pm, they will be at the Illini Union Courtyard Cafe to will take you on a journey through poetry, movement and drums in a show inspired by their lives and the world around them. A video preview of their work can be found here:
For more Black History Month events check out the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center’s Facebook, which has event pages for all of the events in February, or check out this poster which includes all of the events.

Black History Month Reading Pick:

March Trilogy

March Trilogy

Images courtesy of

The “March Trilogy” is a black and white graphic novel series written by Congressman John Lewis that tells the story of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement through his perspective.  These three beautiful graphic novels were published between August 2013 and August 2016 with beautiful writing assistance from Andrew Aydin and illustration and lettering by Nate Powell. The graphic accounts show the atrocities committed against African Americans in the United States, and the heroic actions of Lewis and his fellow Civil Rights Leaders. The books have won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, the Eisner Award, the Michael L. Printz for excellence in literature for young adults, and the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, among many others. The moving accounts from the 1960’s are beautifully juxtaposed against modern events, like the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

To find them in the catalog, follow each title’s link: March: Book OneMarch: Book Two,  March: Book Three


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