African Heroes - My favorite black comic book characters
Sorry for the wait peeps. I have been thinking about this particular post for a while now. I have been an avid reader of comics since the early 90's. My books of choice revolve around the X-Men as I have found that those books speak to me in a way that most other comics just frankly don't. Over the years my comic tastes have grown and there are a number of characters, both hero, and villain, that I like. With the current boom in popularity of the superhero movie in Hollywood. A lot of characters have been greenlit and a lot of projects have already come forward. Some good others not so good, and others are phenomenal. The following are my favorite comic book characters that exemplify that black excellence.
First up is Storm. Storm has been around since the mid-70's and she is one of the most powerful mutants in the Marvel comics universe. Her powers involve the manipulation of weather. Her abilities caused her to be hailed as a Goddess in her native home of Kenya. However, what makes her special to me is her character in the books. She is a great leader that sticks up for her team. On the big screen she has been portrayed by Halle Berry ( X-Men 1, 2, 3 and Days of Future Past) and Alexandra Shipp (X-Men Apocalypse) some of you know how I feel about 20th Century Fox and their X-Men films, however, I believe that the best portrayal of the character was in the original Fox animated series.
Next, is Luke Cage aka Power Man. His comic came into being in 1972 and if I am not mistaken he is the first African American character with his own comic, if not, I know he is one of the first. The character really thrived during the blaxploitation era and his original costume was a reflection of that time. One of the things that I liked about the character was that he was a "Hero for Hire". In other words being a hero was his job and got paid for it. This caused him to have run-ins with all types of characters in the Marvel Universe but one of the more famously weird run-ins was with Dr. Doom. Dr.Doom hired him for a job and then tries to leave without paying which causes Cage to go find Doom and unleash a can of that good ol fashioned butt kicking. Truly a classic moment. Cage has had many iterations over the past few years, mostly in animated form until 2016 when he got his own live-action series on NetFlix. By the way, the second season starts June 22. Mike Colter does an outstanding job as Luke, hopefully, in the upcoming season, we get to see a little more action from the hero from Harlem with the unbreakable skin.
T'Challa aka The Black Panther, protector, and king of Wakanda. I mean by now most of the world has been screaming WAKANDA FOREVAAAAA!!!! What can I say the live action movie is pretty good. T'Challa has been around since 1966, first appearing in the Fantastic Four before getting his own book in the 70's. A lot of his comics revolve around the various threats to his rule from within and outside of the country. Christopher Priest had an awesome run in the late 90's and the most recent run with Ta-Nehasi Coates is great as well. Check out the graphic novels for those as they are some really good books with great artwork. T'Challa has been represented in both animated format and most recently with the live action movie Black Panther. One of my favorite team-ups that T'Challa has in the books is when he teams up with Misty Knight, Luke Cage, Storm, and Brother Voodoo. Would love to see this happen in live action but it probably won't as there would probably be issues just trying to get the characters together.
Static Shock gained a lot of popularity due to his animated show in the early 2000's. While the character has been closely associated with Warner Bros. and by extension DC, the character began at Milestone Media in the early 90's. Milestone Media created characters for people of color some of which became pretty well known, Icon, Rocket, and Hardware are a few examples. The thing I liked about Static was the fact that he was intelligent and had his own style. DC has tried to bring the character in their comic book world but to be honest those books just didn't do well. Sometimes it feels like they have better success with the character when he is part of a team i.e. the Teen Titans. Hopefully, with the success of Black Panther DC will look to give the character a shot seeing as how he is still very popular.
There are plenty more that I could name but these are just a few of my favorites. If you want to learn more about them please click the links provided. Who are some of your favorite black superheroes? Leave a comment and as always thanks for reading.
Images via Marvel and DC Comics