Friday, February 1, 2019

Black Superheroes Month VII: Black to the Future

It’s Black History Month and I have free time, so let's revive Black Superhero Month!

There's a whole goddamn blog to be written about their marriage, I'm sure
For those of you not in the know, every year (well…almost) I release spotlight blogs on various black comic book superheroes during the month of February. There is a common, but understandable, misconception that there aren’t very many black superheroes in the medium of comic books. The truth is there have been quite a few over the years (though still not enough, especially women) but most of them were either hastily created, created with racist or ignorant intent, or otherwise were not given a proper showcase in the books and thus all fell to the wayside. Obviously, there are heavy hitters such as Black Panther and Storm, but there have been a lot of black superheroes who have lacked that level of notoriety. Even the big ones may have backgrounds you didn’t know. For example, did you know that Falcon, steadfast member of the Avengers, used to be a pimp because Marvel Comics used to be really racist?

Also, did you know that Barry Allen the, *groan*, Flash has a black granddaughter? Or that there’s a black martial arts master who can easily defeat Batman in a fair fight? Or that Marvel once created a Batman rip-off who used a skateboard as his primary tool for crime fighting? Or that one of the most important classic Teen Titans member was literally just a random kid with no powers who also single handily beat-up the literal Angel of Death? Because all of those things are true and they’re awesome (um, sometimes).

Originally, I did this just for fun but during my long hiatus I’ve come to realize that there is some value to these profiles as a possible resource for others. Relatively recently I found out that my favorite writer, Rob Bricken (who, by the way, was my primary influence for starting this blog) apparently used my write-up on Triathlon as part of his research for his article “Every Member Of The Avengers, Ranked” for io9 back in 2015, presumably because there simply weren’t a lot of places to find collected information about the character. Which is fair. That guy sucked. But anyway, I think that the effort to compile information and commentary on those type of second tier comic book characters on the internet for all to accidentally stumble across is a pretty worthy venture.

Michael Jai White as "Bronze Tiger" on Arrow was brilliant casting
Almost everything else about the character was insultingly wrong
Also, I decided to write for this blog again almost solely because of this year’s first entry.

Anyway, if you’d like to take a look at the previous years’ additions click here, though I’m increasingly dissatisfied with them and secretly hope no one ever reads them again. Next time, for our big return to Black Superheroes Month, we’ll be looking at one of my all-time favorite comic book characters…who I only found out was black this past year.

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