Are there even any Black Super Heroes? This question came up on a lazy Friday as a group of friends sat together comparing Superman, Iron Man, Batman and the various other Comic book superheroes. Save for the character “Storm” in X-men, we could not immediately think of any. After much research, we found a few. There is “Black Panther”, the first black superhero to ever appear in mainstream American comics. There is also Marvel Comics’ “Black Goliath”, an African-American dude who superpowers allowed him to increase in size to gigantic proportions. We found that he even had his own comic book at one time and ran 5 issues in 1976 but he sort of died in a Civil War or something like that. There are quite a number of other African Characters featuring in DC and Marvel Comics… Vixen, Freedom Beast, Dr. Crocodile, Shango,…. the list is tiring and monotonous… a lot of wild animal references to their names, lot of villains, a lot of pre-colonial gods,… and I still couldn’t recognize any name I had heard about before besides “Storm”. Anyways, with the Lagos Comic-Con 2013 just around the corner, ever wondered what Nigerian super heroes look like? I really do not know, but here are a few of them I found while surfing the web (Yes, they exist!):
Super Naira man (Stardust Comics):
One of the more traditional superheros. Super Naira Man is the Naija equivalent of the Man of steel. This dude is a mild mannered reporter and superhero that flies around Africa to help the oppressed and save the day… Not very original, I know, but who says you have to reinvent the wheel every time?
Princess Zahara of Spider stories (Elite Comics):
This tribal-marked super woman is a fearless warrior with a magical staff that helps her stay out of trouble.
Aisha (Pandora Comics):
Ever heard of AISHA? She is one of the popular creations from Pandora Comics… they are the ones responsible for the popular Street Soccer Comic. She may not have super powers, but neither does Batman!. She’s the Nigerian Lara Croft, an all-naija crime fighter battling powerful but mysterious criminal forces on the streets of Lagos, Nigeria.
It’s a pretty tall order identifying our local comic book heroes since Nigeria (and perhaps Africa) does not yet have a mainstream established comic industry (there are a lot of independent stuff going on though). If you are undecided about the upcoming Lagos Comic-Con event, plan on attending this October so you get to support our local comic artists and maybe even meet some of our super heroes in person 🙂