It's no secret that white male leads have dominated comic books since --- well forever. In the '60s, Marvel and DC finally started to put a change to that with the addition of super-powered people of color, which led to some of today's biggest names in comics. But it still wasn't enough. Eventually the lack of diversity led to the onset of Milestone Media in the '90s, where Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle crafted several intriguing characters. With an increasingly active black nerd, or blerd, community, new black characters are being created every day --- primarily through independent publishers, though Marvel has also kickstarted a focus on one of its most notable black characters --- but more on that later.
To celebrate Black History Month, ComicsAlliance is running down our list of 20 Great Black Comic Book Characters. Our list considers old staples as well as some new favorites, including a certain katana wielding badass, space explorers and of course, plenty of superheroes.
Just a few scant hours ago, Marvel’s Netflix Luke Cage cast a key villain, and already the Hero For Hire has a major new ally to balance the scales. Simone Missick has been cast in the role of Marvel’s Misty Knight, a super-powered detective in her own right, and potentially our first link to Netflix’s Iron Fist series.
Monica Rambeau is on her fourth superhero codename. In the pages of Mighty Avengers she's Spectrum, having previously gone by Captain Marvel, Photon and Pulsar. The Captain Marvel identity now belongs to Carol Danvers, also on her fourth codename after Ms. Marvel, Binary and Warbird. Her first codename now belongs to Kamala Khan, the fourth Ms. Marvel after Danvers, Sharon Ventura and Karla Sofen.
But Carol is actually the third woman (and seventh character) to call herself Captain Marvel in the Marvel Universe. The second woman was Phyla-Vell, who was the fourth Captain Marvel after she was the second Quasar, before she was the first Martyr, before she saved herself the trouble of another codename by dying. Oh, those women! They never know who they are!
The power of cosplay at New York Comic Con: Our own Chris Sims spotted three cosplayers dressed as Misty Knight, Hawkeye and a slightly afro-challenged but nonetheless resplendent Luke Cage on the convention floor...
With the massive box office success of The Avengers (the film has earned more than one billion dollars at box offices worldwide), Marvel Studios has accomplished an extraordinary feat in franchise building; it has created a shared cinematic superhero universe based on the characters originally created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee...
What's interesting about a comic like Heroes for Hire, Marvel's new series about Misty Knight coordinating street level heroes, is that it doesn't really have the same baggage other classic franchises do...
If you've been following my work for a while, you probably know that above almost everything else, I love comics where super-heroes fight animals, and none quite so much as when they throw down on nature's perfect killing machine: The Shark...
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