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1930s

The early comic creators were overwhelmingly white men, influenced and informed by a Jim Crow America. They comfortably promoted overt racism and sexism.

Characters From The Decade

1934 Lothar

Mandrake the Magician comic strip

(1)1934 PRINCE LOTHAR: (spice up language) Before the Black Panther, widely considered the first black superhero, there was Lothar, Prince of the Twelve Nations, who debuted on newspaper comic pages three decades before the Black Panther.  Mandrake the Magician created by cartoonist Lee Falk, featured Lothar as Mandrake’s muscular servant sidekick. Though he  began as an unfortunate stereotype, Lothar gradually became Mandrake’s equal and a hero worth embracing. Fortunately, since his debut in the early 20th century, he has come a long way. Though he did not possess “superhero powers,” it can be argued that he still warrants mention as comics’ first iteration and forerunner of today’s black superhero. (featured character on the weekday animated kids series, the Defenders of the Earth, debuting in the Fall of 1986.) 

(Interestingly, Lothar has a lot of familiar superpowers. He is immensely strong (he can lift cars, traincars, and elephants easily) and has immense stamina. He is invulnerable to weapons like knives and bullets, heat and cold, and magic.)