Left to right: Princess Zanda, Mister Little and T'Challa from the Black Panther (1976).
With acknowledgements to Jack Kirby.
Lest there be any doubt, the lines, composition and colours are all mine.
Remember Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet in 'The Maltese Falcon'? Then say hello to Mister Little, because he is clearly drawn from the same stable of characters. Remember the Maltese Falcon itself? Then say hello to 'King Solomon's Frog', another 'priceless artefact' being hunted down by a motley assortment of collectors, all of whom would cut one another's throats to get their hands on it. That's basically the plot of issue one of Jack Kirby's Black Panther - which is to say, the creator's Black Panther. Throw in some sci-fi (King Solomon's brass frog also doubles as a time machine) and some high adventure (the race to King Solomon's Tomb, etc) and you have precisely the sort of high-octane caper plot that would be given a significant reboot a few years later with the first Indiana Jones film. That's one of the curious things about Jack Kirby - even when he was looking to the past for inspiration, he still managed to stay a few years ahead of the game...^^
The Maltese Falcon is sometimes credited as being the first Hollywood 'film noir'. Hence the title I've given to this picture - Panther Noir. Do I think this same idea was lost upon Jack Kirby? Let's just say that I think it was one of his little puns.
They'll catch up with you in the end, Jack. We all will....
These characters remain (c) Marvel Comics