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Misty Knight and "The People's Literature": The birth of an icon in the turbulent comic book industry of the 1970s Open Access

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After more than four decades the animated comic book character Misty Knight has not left the pages of Marvel Comics. She was one of the first African American women in comic books to be regularly employed by either of the two largest comic book companies, Marvel and DC Comics. She was also one of the few to survive. What follows is a history of how Misty Knight emerged. Looking at the development and early production of Knight provides a window into the mindset and behavior of workers within the comic book industry during the 1970s and their portrayals of Black women and men in 1970s comic books. This paper will therefore examine what those portrayals were along with the sociocultural significance of the development and portrayal of Misty Knight in conjunction with the historical context of the 1970s comic industry.

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