9. Christopher Priest Was the First Full-Time Black Writer at Marvel
Christopher Priest, who wrote an influential chunk of Black Panther stories from 1998 – 2003, was the first full-time Black writer to work at either Marvel or DC Comics. Under the name “Jim Owsley,” He first entered the industry as a regular writer for Marvel in 1983, writing for series like Falcon and Power Man and Iron Fist. Then he switched over DC and wrote for various titles.
Priest’s relationships with the major publishers weren’t always smooth and he actually spent some time in self-imposed exile as a bus driver during this era, but eventually he returned to Marvel to pen Black Panther under the edgy “Marvel Knights” banner. Priest told the story from the perspective of Everett K. Ross, T’Challa’s bumbling, white diplomatic escort in New York. This idea allowed him to poke at the racial issues common to the Black Panther series from a new vantage point.
Despite leaving comics to become a pastor in 2005, Priest picked up a cult following as more readers became acquainted with his work and his stature. He returned to comics in 2014 to revive his old Quantum and Woody series, and currently serves as the writer for Justice League.
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