Black Panther, the latest superhero action flick from Marvel, received rapturous applause from critics upon release - but was also met with trolling and racism from social media profiles posting fake images purporting to show white fans being assaulted at screenings.

The misleading pictures spread after the premiere of the movie, which has been widely celebrated for the performances of its almost entirely black cast. They were lifted from other violent crimes and - as noted by Snopes - every upload was proven to be a lie.

One, showing a blood-soaked paper towel, was captioned: "Was at the Black Panther premiere but a group of black youths said this movie wasn't for me. I am white." It was uploaded to Flickr in 2009.

Another post, showing a bruised and battered woman, read: "I went to see Black Panther with my gf and a black teenager shouted 'u at the wrong theater' and smashed a bottle on her face."

In reality, it featured a 19-year-old Swedish woman, Sophie Johansson, who was attacked with a bottle at a nightclub last month.

Using reverse image searching, many Twitter sleuths discovered the source of the fake uploads. In typical Twitter fashion, other users quickly uploaded images and memes mocking the trolls using violent images from Hollywood movies and TV shows.

James Gunn, director of Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy", tweeted Saturday (17 February): "The racists are out and rearing their ugly heads with lots of fake tweets about violence at #BlackPanther screenings. In truth, people from all walks of life have been enjoying the film together this weekend. Don't let this BS scare you away."

There is no indication that the posts were being specifically coordinated, Snopes said.

Before Black Panther's release, a group called "Down with Disney's Treatment of Franchises" pledged to negatively impact the movie's rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. The protest, organised via Facebook, gathered 4,000 signatures before being closed.