- Black Panther
Black Panther is the first Black hero to hit the mainstream. He’s been around since the 60s, but this year he’s making his live-action film debut in “Captain America: Civil War” and will have his own film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
- Martian Manhunter
This alien, actually named J’onn J’onzz, currently appears on CBS’s “Supergirl,” fighting alongside the Girl of Steel to defend Earth from extraterrestrial baddies. He’s one of the better characters on the show and certainly epitomizes Black/Martian Excellence.
- Luke Cage
This Marvel hero possesses superhuman strength and unbreakable skin, and recently appeared in Netflix’s “Jessica Jones.” He’ll appear in his own Netflix series later this year, which is sure to make a lot of fans happy.
This immortal Egyptian priestess accompanies time-traveling crimefighters on CW’s “Legends of Tomorrow.” After seeing her tell off a bunch of 1950s racist housewives, this woman has proven her mettle as a hero and a an advocate for social justice.
Black Panther may be the first mainstream Black Hero, but Falcon is the first African-American hero in the mainstream. This Marvel hero first debuted on-screen in “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” and will continue to appear in future MCU films.
Ray Fisher will portray Cyborg in DC Comics’ Extended Universe films, and had a brief cameo in Batman Vs. Superman. If you’re a fan of “Teen Titans” or “Justice League” comics, you’ll be happy to see him on the big screen for once.
- Nick Fury
Everyone knows that Samuel L. Jackson plays Nick Fury in the MCU, but did you know that Marvel comics now portray the character, who was traditionally white, in Jackson’s image? Black Nick Fury is just that amazing.
- Wally West
You may be thinking “Wally West? The red-headed white kid?” Not anymore. Keiynan Lonsdale portrays this speedster on CW’s “Flash,” and although he’s not running at inhuman speeds yet, fans know that will change soon.
- Miles Morales
Miles is a Black/Hispanic teen who takes over as Spider-Man after Peter Parker’s death in the Ultimate Marvel universe. He’s appeared in the animated Ultimate Spider-Man series, but there don’t seem to be any feature film appearances for him anytime soon, which is a real pity.
Wielding a magical amulet that grants her the abilities of the animal kingdom, Vixen appeared in her own animated web-series as well as the live-action “Arrow” and could potentially have a live-action series in the near future.
Black geeks rejoice! It looks like the big-shots in Hollywood have started to realize that heroes exist in a myriad of skin tones and racial backgrounds. As a lover of all things super-heroic, and a Black girl, I have to say, it’s about damn time. We’ve been waiting.
The move toward more racially diverse casting for TV and film heroes is in full effect, and here are a few of my favorites that are finally getting the credit they deserve.