The Dawn of the Knights

By Mario Muscar

The series was followed the following year with a twelve-issue series by writer Garth Ennis and penciller (one "L" or two?) Steve Dillon. The series was embraced by fans. Quesada said he did not think, however, that this series would have been so successful without the Golden/Wrightson story.

"That particular incarnation of the Punisher cleansed people's palates and prepared the road for when Garth Ennis brought the Punisher back to his vigilante roots x 1,000, with that sardonic edge to it as well. So I think you couldn't have one without the other. If we would have just launched with Garth, it would have failed. But because we did the demon-hunter Punisher, one served the other."

Black Panther

Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in 1966 in Fantastic Four #52, Black Panther is considered by many to be the first modern African-American superhero. The character appeared in various Marvel books from the 1960s-1990s and had several moderately successful series. Palmiotti said he was excited when they were given the character to work with and knew who he wanted on art duties.

"This character has always been the coolest and one of the few African-American characters in comics, and the first person we thought of on art was a friend of mine from high school, Mark Texeira," Palmiotti said. "Then Joe suggested [Christopher] Priest as writer and the rest is a lot of madness that was totally a different kind of superhero book."

"Priest is a guy I've known for many years and I asked him to pitch Black Panther not knowing what to expect," Quesada added. "I really liked what he was doing at that time. He was working in a really deconstructive, pulp fiction format that he was trying to perfect in Quantum and Woody at Valiant, and he handed me this pitch for the Panther. He made the Panther the baddest ass in the Marvel Universe."

Priest and Texeira's Black Panther series was filled with humor and political intrigue. The story centered around T'Challa, alter ego of the Black Panther and king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. T'Challa comes to America, escorted by his government liaison, Everett K. Ross, and soon thereafter is thrust into dangerous events while others try to usurp him back in Wakanda.

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