6. Marvel­man Fa mily No. 16, c. 1958

Comic Heroes - - Feature -

The hooded lynch mob, the Ku Klux Klan, were con­spic­u­ously ab­sent as vil­lains in US su­per­hero comic books and popped up in just one episode of the Su­per­man ra­dio show. Lon­don in the sum­mer of 1958 saw a large mob of white people at­tack­ing West In­dian res­i­dents. Per­haps to ad­dress the Not­ting Hill race ri­ots, Bri­tish cre­ators Mick An­glo and Don Lawrence con­cocted this well-mean­ing if heavy-handed story show­ing the Marvel­man Fam­ily in­ter­ven­ing at a univer­sity in Amer­ica’s Deep South, where ‘coloured’ stu­dents are be­ing ter­rorised by the Klan. Our white su­per­heroes dis­guise their iden­ti­ties by black­en­ing their faces and trick the Klans­men, un­mask­ing their leader as a re­spected cit­i­zen.

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