After “Panther’s Rage,” the creative team of Don McGregor and Billy Graham launched into another multi-issue arc in which T’Challa fought the Ku Klux Klan. This story was cut short and the series was ended with #24, when Jack Kirby agreed to return to Marvel and requested as one of his terms that he be able to start a Black Panther solo book. I know people love Kirby, but I don’t think his issues are anywhere near as good as these. This is an example of Jack Kirby taking over a book and killing off a creative team. Usually Stan Lee reserved that kind of honor for himself.
Many years later, Roy Thomas would pick up this story and finish it in the pages of Marvel Premiere—perhaps as a tribute to how great this run was.
I should mention that Black Panther continued to be in The Avengers during his Jungle Action run, and had some appearances in comics like Daredevil and Marvel Team-Up. These comics felt like they were about a different character compared to the rich depth of McGregor’s long run. I’m not going to cover them here, but I thought I’d mention them.