Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Interracial romance in comic books

The earliest interracial kiss in a comic from a major publisher that I've found was in 1943, when Blackhawk kissed a Chinese woman:

It's not quite what it looks like, though—the woman gets her dying wish, a kiss from Blackhawk.

Though they never kiss, there's a strong hint of interracial romance in a 1952 comic book of King Solomon's Mines. On the cover, a white man and a black man appear to be fighting for the love of a black woman.

Sure, she's paler than the black guy, but she's still black in a time when interracial marriage was illegal in many states. As Gallup notes, only 4% of Americans approved of marriage between blacks and whites then, while 77% approved by 2007:

DC Comics missed a chance for a semi-interracial kiss in 1970 when Lois Lane became black for a day:

To give them a tiny bit of credit, they did have her ask if he could love her if she was black:

He responded with a variant of the standard superhero cop-out line of the time: "my enemies, blah blah, deadly danger, blah, blah..." (There's a copy of the full story here, but I only recommend it to folks obsessed with comics, race, and romance.)

The first straight-up romantic kiss in comics didn't come until 1975, in a Killraven story in Marvel's Amazing Adventure #31:

But the first interracial kiss involving superheroes came in 1977, when Iron Fist and Misty Knight finally snogged.


  1. Misty and Danny were a cute couple. And they both had iron fists! (Well, Misty had one.)

  2. Heh

    I never made that connection either.

  3. Love this article. There needs to be more on interracial relationships.
    Multicultural Gifts for a Multicultural World

    1. Man, multiculturality sucks. To each its own.

  4. Love this! Misty and Iron Fist look good together.

  5. Here in Brazil this kind of relationship are very normal, I am born from one back and white couple, I've married a white man. But in books, movies and comic books it is not normal either here.
    Great article, very interesting ;)