Hello interweb, Nate here. So everyone knows about Martin Luther King Jr. and how he fought for Black-American’s rights and all that right? I could go on about his history but you guys probably have either heard the story countless times or you have some books lying around your school’s library. Despite me brushing this story off to get to the list, this is a very important holiday and as thus should have a list dedicated towards it. So in celebration of Martin Luther King and his “I Have a Dream” speech, I’m counting down my Top 10 Favorite Black Superheroes.
To see my other Top 10s (or 5s) click here.
Disclaimer: This list is not intended to be racially insensitive in any way. I am simply celebrating the day that helped fight for Black-American rights. So just because this is a racially specific list, does not make it a racist list. Are we all clear? We all good with having some fun and not taking this list as an insult in any way? Great, on to the list!
- DC and Marvel only
- The character must have some type of Black background, meaning a racially mixed character is still acceptable as long as s/he’s at least part Black
- This is based on favoritism, not how iconic, popular, nor well-known the character is.
#10 – Luke Cage
OK I admit, I don’t know much about Luke Cage. I mostly placed him here on number 10 because I couldn’t find another Black superhero that deserves to be on this list. I haven’t read any comics where he’s been of big importance and is mostly a background character, but I have seen him in the Ultimate Spider-man cartoons (take that as you will). Luke Cage possesses super strength and unbreakable skin…um, that’s pretty much it. Like I said, the only reason he made it at all is because I couldn’t think of anyone else…um…moving on?
#9 – Spyke
Now a lot of you might have never heard of this character, even if you read comics. This is because he was one of the two new characters created by the cartoon X-Men: Evolution. The other being X-23 who actually made it to the comics, but Spyke’s story ended with the show (I would make a joke here but I’ll let you guys work it out). In the show, Spyke is a relative to Storm (see #5) and has the mutant ability to grow bony spikes out of his body. The main reason the creators created Spyke in the first place is because they couldn’t see Bishop, the only male Black X-Man at the time, as a teenager and thus made one up. He wasn’t that interesting in the earlier seasons but later on he gets a story arc where he goes through further mutations causing him to develop a non-retractable exoskeleton and can now light his bones on fire (I don’t even know). Honesty, he’s just another reason why X-Men: Evolution is such an awesome show.
#8 – Aqualad (Kaldur’ahm)
So for those of you who don’t know, there has actually been two people who has has the identity of Aqualad: Garth and Kaldur’ahm. The later being best known for appearing in the Young Justice cartoons. I honestly never cared for Aqualad in season 1, but in season 2 he actually gets a really good back story. His father is the villain known as Black Manta and he joins him in season 2, resulting in most of the Young Justice team to see him as a traitor. While I won’t spoil anything here for those who hasn’t seen the show yet, it just made me more interested in the series and makes me even more ticked that this awesome show didn’t get a 3rd season. But I’m not here to rant, so let’s go to…
#7 – Falcon
Falcon is the very first African-American in Marvel comics as well as had a history with Captain America. He might as well be Captain America’s sidekick (yes, I know he had Bucky). He also have appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Currently, he is Captain America in the All New Captain America title. I read issue one free on YouTube here and it’s ok, but the character itself has always been pretty cool.
#6 – Black Panther
Black Panther is probably one of the best known Black superheroes in comics and I see why. Not only is he the very first African superhero in American comics, he’s also probably one of the coolest. T’Challa is the king of the fictional African nation Wakanda, a nation that is known for it’s advanced technology thanks to the abundance of vibranium (wow, another unbreakable fictional metal). While T’Challa has no superpowers, he is very athletic and acrobatic as well as weapons made of vibranium. Due to his popularity, he has been a popular member of the Avengers. He’s also will appear in his own movie as well as several other future Marvel titles like Captain America: Civil War, so I personally can’t wait.
#5 – Storm
Storm has been an X-Men staple since Giant-Size X-Men #1 in 1975 and actually married Black Panther (but they’re now divorced). Storm debuted along other well-known X-Men such as Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, Colossus, and…Wolverine -_-. Anyways, out of those she’s definitely the strongest as she has the power to control the weather itself. She even has the best back story of the group (with the exception of maybe Nightcrawler) as she was even treated as a goddess back in Africa where she was born due to her mutant abilities to control the weather.
#4 – Green Lantern (John Stewart)
There are over 3600 Green Lanterns as the Green Lantern Corps is an intergalactic police force with a total of 6 human Lanterns with the most famous being Hal Jordan but there’s also Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Alan Scott, Simon Baz, and John Stewart. John Stewart is an architect and U.S. Marine and thus his constructs often resemble guns and mechanical objects. You might have also seen this character star in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons as they needed a Green Lantern on the team and while it would usually be Hal Jordan, they needed to add diversity so they added John Stewart instead. On the show, he’s a very interesting character and even had a little romance with Hawkgirl who replaced Aquaman.
#3 – Cyborg
Booyah! Most people knows Cyborg from the Teen Titans where he started off. In the 80s, Cyborg was created to be a member of the (at the time) New Teen Titans which is the team that inspired the 2000s cartoon series Teen Titans. This cartoon is ultimately where most people learned about the character and where I first encountered him. While I have wanted to find some way to read the 80s Teen Titans as I heard they where great, I know him mostly from the cartoon where he’s a really interesting character. In the show, his main conflict is his humanity and how human he is as half of him is machinery. I really liked that, the question on whether or not he’s still human, even with him being half robot, can add some conflict. Although as fans of the show knows, Teen Titans is about 50% serious and 50% humorous. This comes from his relationship from Beast Boy as Beast Boy is mostly the clown of the team and Cyborg, while having his funny moments, is a bit more laid back and thus can add some conflict between the two, but humorous conflict not deep, character development conflict.
Nowadays he’s upgraded from being a Teen Titan to a founding member of the New 52 Justice League written by Geoff Johns. I’ve recently found out that all of the New 52 Justice League comics is being uploaded to YouTube for free reading so I’ve been reading New 52 Justice League like there’s no tomorrow and is currently on #20 (yeah, I’m really behind). He’s also currently on Cartoon Network on the cartoon Teen Titans Go! Um…yay?
If you want to start reading these comics, you can see New 52 Justice League #1 here and just keep reading from there.
#2 – Spider-man (Miles Morales)
Now for those of you who doesn’t read comics, Miles Morales is a Spider-man in the alternate Marvel universe often referred to as the Ultimate Universe. In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Peter Parker dies and Miles Morales takes Peter’s place as the new Spider-man. This character is fairly new, being created in 2011, and already has a huge fan following and is a very well developed character. I’ve only read the first 3 trade paperback copies (consisting of the first 15 issues) but I already feel like I really know and absolutely love this character. He’s unusually young for a superhero and as such it’s enjoyable to watch him in his discovery on how to be a good Spider-man. To be 100% honest, I actually like Miles Morales better than present day Peter Parker. Due to how new this character is, there’s not really anything I can talk in depth about without spoilers so while I’d like to continue talking about him, I suggest you guys check this character out for yourself.
#1 – Static
Yes Static, I’ve talked about this character in several previous posts. Static was created by Milestone Comics which is a now discontinued comic book company that was created by several African-American comic book writers who felt that minorities where being misrepresented by mainstream American comics. Static was created by Dwayne McDuffie and was the most successful character made by the company, but that term is used loosely. The company ended and the Milestone universe merged with the DC universe bringing Static along with them. Static probably would’ve fallen into comic book obscurity if it wasn’t for the Static Shock TV show that aired in the early 2000s. If it wasn’t for this show, few people would probably have heard of the character and I’d probably would ever have been introduced to him.
While he’s had trouble selling comics as his latest title New 52 Static Shock only got 6 issues (Maybe I should review it) and while I’d be lying if I said I didn’t understand the cancellation, I still really love the character. His character has often taken risks in his comics and has been successful, talking about controversial subjects and being a great role model. But on top of that, he has really unique powers as electromagnetism manipulation can be a really cool power when given to the right writer and if DC decided to re-release a new Static Shock title (as well as maybe a Blue Beetle title :3) I will definitely be one of the first people to not only buy it but possibly review it. You hear that DC!? Get Static Shock back! And this time give him an appropriate writer.
So I’m done with my Ant-man Character Bio and was originally going to post it today until I remembered what today was, so It’ll go up next week. But while you guys wait for that, I was debating on which character to do a Character Bio on first. I love all three of these guys and know their history fairly well and while I probably will do a Character Bio on each of them, I’m just curious which bio you guys would like to read first: X-23, Blue Beetle, or Static. As always, if you have a request for a Character Bio then simply comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Peace XD