Black Panther became the first black superhero when Marvel introduced him in 1966 but he was only the beginning.
Since his premiere, Marvel and DC have churned out a number of amazing black superheroes that embody black excellence.
I have compiled a list of some heroes that are ruling their world in both Marvel and DC.
Read below 👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽
DC created Vixen in response to Marvel’s 1966 debut of Black Panther. Vixen was introduced in 1981. Her real name is Mari McCabe, and she is an American businesswoman born in the fictional African nation Zambesi. By wielding her ancestor’s Tantu Totem, she can take form of any animal. The comic also draws influence from the Yuruba, Ashanti and Swahili cultures.
John Stewart is an architect, later " retconned " into a veteran U.S. Marine from Detroit, Michigan, who was selected by the Guardians as a backup Green Lantern to then-current Green Lantern Hal Jordan, after the previous backup, Guy Gardner, was seriously injured after getting hit by a car while trying to save a civilian. In some stories he is the love interest of Vixen. In recent comics and TV series, he is the first choice Green Lander over Hal Jordan and Kyle Ryner.
In 1975, Marvel created Storm, a literal goddess and its first ever black heroine. Ororo Munroe was born into a line of ancient African priestesses with signature white hair and magical abilities. Using the Earth’s magnetic field, she has the ability to control the weather both on and off the planet, making her an Alpha-Level Mutant, outranking most other heroes in the X-Men canon. Hal Berry made the character famous on-screen before a younger Storm was played by Alexander Shipping in subsequent Xmen films starting with Xmen: Apocalypse.
Black Lightning debuted in 1977 as DC’s first black superhero with his own origin and storyline. He hails from the fictional Suicide Slums, an allegory for modern inner cities and ghettos. With his ability to create electricity, he vows to better his neighborhood and fight for justice. He’s also an Olympic gold medal winner. Cress Williams portrays him in the CW Universe on-screen.
Black Panther was created in July 1966 by Marvel Comics by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. The character first appeared in Fantastic Four no. 52 (July 1966). Seeking to address the Death of black characters in comics, Lee and Kirby created T’Challa, a member of the royal family of the fictional African country of Wakanda. Wakanda was depicted as a peculiar mix of futuristic technology and traditional life, a dichotomy produced by the presence in the country of Vibranium, a rare and nearly indestructible meteoric ore. After the death of his father at the hands of the villainous Ulysses Klaw, T’Challa claimed the throne as well as the mantle of the Black Panther. Upon becoming the Black Panther, T’Challa was exposed to a mystical herb that enhanced his strength and agility to near-superhuman levels. Chadwick Boseman portarys him in real life in the MCU.
Lucas Bishop, first announced in 1991, was born in an alternate version of Earth (Earth-1191 in the Marvel Multiverse) where most of the X-Men are dead and mutant-hunting robots, called Sentinels, have taken over. Marking mutants as dangerous, they’ve placed them into “mutant relocation camps,” where Lucas was born. This mutant has almost all the superhero powers imaginable. The Character was portrayed on-screen by Omar Sy in Xmen Days of the Future past.
The only black superhero that predates Luke Cage in Marvel canon is the Black Panther himself. Cage, a Harlem native, debuted in 1972 and after a government experiment, he became completely indestructible. In his original Netflix series (played by Mike Colter), he’s even shown clad in nothing but a black hoodie and watching as bullets bounce off of him. In short, he’s doing it for the culture.
Batwing, secret identity David Zavimbe, is a Congolese-born superhero with an intellect and ability that rivals Batman. Introduced to the DC world in 2011, Batwing fights alongside both “Batman Incorporated” and the Justice League.
This classic Marvel hero debuted in 1973 as a badass vampire hunter with a complicated origin story. His mother was bitten by a vampire at birth, making him a hybrid with superhuman abilities and a mission to be the best vampire slayer out there. In 1998 there was even a movie made about him. He was portrayed by Wesley Snipes and the trilogy of movies he made came to have a Cult following.
I know you probably knew him from watching Spiderman :Into the Spider verse. This Afro-Latino teen was written into Marvel comic canon after being bitten by a radioactive spider and taking over Peter Parker’s Spider-Man mantle. He’s Brooklyn-born and after being abducted by S.H.I.E.L.D on his first night of fighting crime, he gained the approval of both the notorious Nick Fury and Spider-Woman. He also has a show on Disney XD that premiered in 2017. Who knows if he will replace Peter Parker in the not too distant future.
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