Say it ain’t so, Joe Quesada? First, Marvel Comics announced that the Black Panther, the first modern black superhero, would become a woman. Now, it appears as if the Black Panther has not only lost his manhood but also his blackness. Yes, the new, female Black Panther is rumored to be Echo, who is a Hispanic Native American with a big white hand stain across her face. Echo is a Marvel superheroine, who started out as a supporting character in Daredevil comics. Echo’s real name is Maya Lopez, but she has also gone under the name Ronin, as a member of the Avengers. She is also one of the few deaf comic book characters. An image of the new, female Black Panther unmasked to reveal Echo’s face recently appeared on Marvel’s website. While the image would seem to conclusively prove that Echo is the new Black Panther, there is also speculation that the image could be part of a promotional campaign or inside joke by Marvel. The Black Panther was originally created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. He first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 in July of 1966. Even though more than one man has worn the Black Panther mask, a man named T-Challa was the modern-day Black Panther. The new, female Black Panther will make her debut in Black Panther #1, which is scheduled to hit comic book stores on February 4, 2009. Black Panther #1 is written by Reginald Hudlin and penciled by Ken Lashley. The issue will have coves by J. Scott Campbell and Ken Lashley, as well as a special 70th Anniversary Variant by Marko Djurdjevic.