The first black character in any Captain Marvel comic book - Steamboat. An attempt at drawing the black audience that went horribly wrong. America's Greatest Comics #2
(Excerpt from Captain Marvel Culture by Zorikh Lequidre and Evan Azriliant)
It seems that the Kree, though humanoid in appearance, were made up of two races. The original Kree had blue skin and began the conquest of the galaxy, but centuries of interbreeding with other, alien races, led to the now majority, white (sometimes called pink) Kree (of whom Captain Mar-Vell, Una, and Yon -Rogg were members). The Supreme Intelligence had allowed this to happen, and later on we would find out why, but for now, Zarek was a xenophobic purebred Blue Kree, seeking to reclaim the glory of the pure Kree race.
Let it not be said that Marvel Comics, in general, and Captain Marvel in particular, lacked timeliness. Captain Marvel #16 was released in the summer of 1969. Within the past year Dr. Martin Luther King had been assassinated and President Lyndon B. Johnson had signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968. These events capped off a decade and a half of the modern Civil Rights movement. This powerful movement had been dedicated to ensuring freedom and equality for all Americans, particularly black Americans, who had been the victims of slavery, racism, and segregation throughout America's history. Zarek's rant was a perfect echo of white racists who argued against integration and for the preservation of segregation.
Two decades later Marvel Comics put out a one-shot Captain Marvel issue that had Monica Rambeau dealing with racism on a college campus.
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