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Kirby Family Releases First Black Panther Sketch to Celebrate Oscar Nom

Black Panther

To celebrate Black Panther's Oscar nomination for Best Picture, the family of Jack Kirby, the character's co-creator, has revealed the first sketch he drew of the character.

In a commemorative post, Jeremy Kirby -- the grandson and curator of Jack's creative estate -- Tweeted out the sketch with a sentimental caption. "When my grandfather first put pencil to paper on Black Panther he had no idea a simple sketch would change so many lives," he wrote. "He wanted to make a small contribution to equality and give readers a hero who looked like them. Congratulations team for an amazing movie! First BP sketch."

RELATED: Marvel's Black Panther Earns Oscar Nomination For Best Picture

Kirby created Black Panther with the late Stan Lee, debuting the hero in 1966's Fantastic Four #52, where he fought for social justice against the likes of the Ku Klux Klan. The sketch is a far cry from the black suit he'd come to wear, but we still get that regal feel from T'Challa with his cape and bright outfit reflecting Wakanda's African heritage.

RELATED: Marvel Chief Calls Black Panther's Best Picture Nod 'Immensely Gratifying'

Coogler's film has racked up seven nominations in total, with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige calling it "immensely gratifying." Chris Evans also praised the news, with several other voices in Hollywood expressing delight that the Oscars has chosen to recognize something with such a powerful message of diversity and exclusivity, especially in the superhero realm.

The winners of the 91st annual Academy Awards will be presented Sunday, February 24, in a ceremony broadcast live on ABC.

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