On Tuesday, Black Panther was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, setting off a round of congratulations and celebrations across social media. Today, the estate of Black Panther co-creator Jack Kirby took to Twitter with their own acknowledgement -- the first sketch of the character.
In the post, Kirby's grandson Jeremy shared the sketch along with a moving caption about how the legendary artist had no idea how many lives the sketch would change. You can check it out below.
When my grandfather first put pencil to paper on @theblackpanther he had no idea a simple sketch would change so many lives. He wanted to make a small contribution to equality and give readers a hero who looked like them. Congratulations team for an amazing movie! First BP sketch pic.twitter.com/GJZeK1pfVr— Jeremy Kirby (@jackkirbycomics) January 22, 2019
"When my grandfather first put pencil to paper on @theblackpanther he had no idea a simple sketch would change so many lives," Jeremy wrote. "He wanted to make a small contribution to equality and give readers a hero who looked like them. Congratulations team for an amazing movie! First BP sketch."
As Marvel fans may notice, the sketch in the tweet is quite different from the character portrayed on the silver screen by Chadwick Boseman and even from the character's first comic book appearance in 1966's Fantastic Four #52. Instead of the more familiar all-black attire, Kirby's sketch is more colorful featuring a black cape lined in red, and with a yellow and black striped bodysuit and matching gloves. The belt of the costume comes together to make a "T" as well, something that is explained by the fact that Kirby's original concept for Black Panther used the name Coal Tiger.
While the Coal Tiger sketch ultimately gave way to the completely black suit that is more familiar to fans today, it's interesting to see just how far the character has come. The first black superhero in American mainstream comic books, Black Panther went on to have his own title and has since then remained an important character in Marvel comics, something that thus led to the character taking a place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe making the character among the most recognizable as it breaks new ground by proving that not only can a black superhero carry a successful film, but that film can be respected as the best of the best. It's an incredible journey.
It's also a journey that doesn't end with a Best Picture nomination. Black Panther received seven total nominations for the upcoming Academy Awards. In addition to its Best Picture nod, Black Panther is also up for Best Original Music Score (Ludwig Göransson), Best Costume Design (Ruth E. Carter), Best Sound Mixing (Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Peter J. Devlin), Best Sound Editing (Benjamin A. Burtt, Steve Boeddeker), Best Original Song (Sounwave, Kendrick Lamar, Anthony Tiffith, SZA), and Best Production Design (Hannah Beachler, Jay Hart).
Black Panther is currently available for home-viewing. Upcoming Marvel films include Captain Marvel on March 8, Avengers: Endgame on April 26, and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5.
What do you think of this original Black Panther sketch? Let us know in the comments below.