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Exhibition Geppi Gems

Black Lightning, no. 1, April 1977. New York: DC Comics. Stephen A. Geppi Collection of Comics and Graphic Arts, Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (029.01.00) © DC Comics

Black Lightning

Created by veteran comics writer Tony Isabella and artist Trevor Von Eeden, Black Lightning was the first African American character with his own series to be published by DC Comics. Following on the successes of Black Panther, who first appeared in Fantastic Four, no. 52 (1966), and Luke Cage, no. 1 (1972), series such as Black Lightning and Black Goliath were some of the few Black superheroes series published before the advent of Milestone Comics in the 1990s. Milestone, founded to increase representation of Black creators and characters in comics, was one of the only Black owned and operated comic book companies since the beginning of modern comics in the 1930s.