Given that Key Collector Comics is the world’s most concise and comprehensive database focused exclusively on significant comic books known as “key issues," founder and CEO Nick Coglianese feels it is a perfect platform to chart the pioneering events that led to a more diverse and layered universe of heroes.
Throughout the month of February, Key Collector Comics will feature a portal called Black History In Comics, accessible on the landing screen of the app and front page of the website. Examples of the comic books that present a key issue moment in black history include:
- “All-Negro Comics,” the first comic book to be written and drawn, from start-to-finish by black artists and writers, published in 1947.
- The first comic book appearance of Martin Luther King Jr.in “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story,” published in 1957.
- “Jumbo Comics No. 69” introduced the illustrative art of Matt Baker, the first African-American who built a career in comics.
- “Incredible Science Fiction No. 33,” published in 1956, initially received pushback by the self-regulatory committee, the Comics Code Authority, due to a final-panel revelation that a high-ranking, heroic astronaut was a black man. The story was published at the insistence of the infuriated storytellers.
- In 1965, a cowboy named Lobo was the first African-American character to headline his own comic book title.
- Legendary artist Neal Adams and writer Dennis O’Neill introduced John Stewart to DC Comics in “Green Lantern No. 87,” published in 1971, making the character the first, black Green Lantern.
- DC debuted Nubia, the black sister of fellow Amazonian, Wonder Woman in issue No. 204, 1973.
- Published in 1975, “Giant Sized X-Men No. 1” introduced the first super-powered female of African descent to the Marvel Universe. Storm has been a consistent character of immense power throughout the decades and in 2006, she married T’Challa, the Black Panther.
- In 1993, a team of black creators formed Milestone Media and published comics dedicated to diverse superheroes beginning with a gifted inventor who fought crime with high-tech gadgetry and went by the name Hardware.
- “The Unconquerable Soul,” a graphic novel biography of Nelson Mandela’s life, published by Campfire Biographies in 2011.
- In 2016, a comic book simply titled “Black” imagined a world where only African-Americans had superpowers. The story, which was announced as optioned for film production in 2018 focuses on a boy who discovers he is invincible after getting shot by police officers and surviving, unharmed.
- “Niobe: She Is Life,” is about a powerful warrior who is a black, teenage girl. It was co-written by Amandla Stenberg who also played Rue in the movie, The Hunger Games and is also the first comic book whose protagonist, writer and artist are all African-American women.
- In 2018, black writers Ta-Nehisi Coates, Roxane Gay and Alitha E. Martinez won the comic book industry’s version of the Oscars, the Eisner award for their collaboration on “Black Panther: World of Wakanda” which explored the stories of women living in the fictional African nation.
“This is an exciting time to be a fan of comics books,” said Coglianese. “More often we are being introduced to characters with different backgrounds and the creators who give them a voice which is especially important to comic fans around the world who want to be able to identify with a hero with whom they share commonalities.”
Key Collector Comics encourages comic fans to download the free app on the Apple App Store and Google Play or visit the website keycollectorcomics.com. Got a suggestion for a submission to the "Black History In Comic" feature? Email us through the free mobile app by tapping MENU and our email link.
About Key Collector Comics
While helping a friend separate the more desirable collectibles from a massive collection of over 50,000 comics, owner of Key Collector Comics, Nick Coglianese recognized a void in the hobby. Without experience in tech or contacts in the comics industry, Coglianese built the Key Collector Comics free mobile app to help new and experienced collectors identify key issues: character first appearances, classic storylines, iconic covers and more. Since Key Collector Comics launched at the New York Comic Con in October 2017, it has been downloaded in over 160 countries and enjoys 4.8 out 5.0 stars on Google Play and Apple.