First Appearance: Lobo #1 (1965)
Creators: Don Arneson, Tony Tallarico

For decades, any character of color was often portrayed as a racial stereotype in comics. They were noble savages or pickaninnies, much like the infamous Ebony White from Will Eisner’s Spirit comics. We won't dignify those caricatures with a spot on this list, but we will talk about the creation that got the medium marching in a more progressive direction: Lobo.

Lobo starred in a two-issue western put out by Dell in 1965, and he’s often cited as the first African-American character to have his own self-titled book. He was a wealthy hero of the Old West, and was famous for leaving a gold coin with the letter “L” on his defeated foes. Lobo wasn’t a commercial success, but it got the wheels turning in the industry, inciting mainstream publishers to bring some diversity into their books.