The New Black Mambo

At some point I was no longer a writer. I had, somehow, become a black writer. This perplexed me, considering the halcyon 80’s, where Marvel was a hotbed of scathing, litigiously un-PC sexism and racism (reference: Rescue Me’s potty-mouthed fire house), I was never seen as a “black” writer. I competed with everybody else, with guys who had much more experience than I, and did the grunt work and odd jobs just like anybody else.

Nobody at DC hired me to reboot Green Lantern in Emerald Dawn because I was a black guy, and Fabian Nicieza seemed to not notice or care about my skin color when he approached me to dream up a Power Man/ Iron Fist-esque buddy book for his startup imprint Acclaim.

Pre-Milestone, the subject just didn’ t come up. Somewhere along the way, Marvel became much more PC and I became inexplicably much blacker.

Essay Is Here


  1. Umbra says:

    My personal dream comic would have you writing the Avengers team with Ironman and Black Panther [your Batman]… because the dynamic between them that you created is one of the best I have read in comics. Captain America, Thor, Scarlet Witch, and so on. I would add Storm to the Avengers…why not she is being marginalized with the X-men currently.

    Not sure who else I would have on the roster, but I know you would rock it. As long as Ironman and T’challa was on there…I loved the politics and social satire, and even comedy that you weaved into your comics. Your work is still my favorite stuff.

    I read a interview that you did saying that you were shortly considered for Uncanny X-men. I’m telling you, all I can do is shake my head. Boy could the X-men use someone with your talent.

  2. priest says:

    Umbra: I was shortly considered for lots of things. 🙂 I was considered for Batman to the point of receiving a writing schedule in the mail, but at the last moment, Marv Wolfman expressed interest and DC went with a “name.” I was assigned to Justice League America and began working out storylines with editor Ruben Diaz when Grant Morrison appeared and of course DC went another direction. I was almost given Wonder Woman until John Byrne expressed interest. This happens all the time. Best– cjp

  3. Thelmon Baggett says:

    Mr Priest,

    I read somewhere about Valiant Comics starting back up. Have they approached you and Mr. Bright about doing Quantum and Woody?

    • priest says:

      First I’m hearing of it. Theyh have my number. –cjp

      • Thelmon Baggett says:

        I think the Valiant Comics reboot was reported by Newsarama or Comic book Resources or both. The interviewer asked the question if they were going to bring back Quantum and Woody. The person interviewed gave some vague answer.

        By the way, a few months back a came across an audio interview you did. I enjoyed it.