Black Superheroes You SHOULD Know Going into2024

Black Superheroes You SHOULD Know Going Into 2024 

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Article By Dr. K the Anime Bae 

 Since 1947 black characters have been gracing the pages of comic books. They’ve shown off incredible powers and great storylines and they’ve become incredible heroes. But is there such a thing as oversaturation when it comes to the superheroes  you should know vs the superheroes you do know? If you could get a group of people and ask them to name a black superhero off the top of their head, they would probably say ones like; Cyborg, Blade, Storm, Luke Cage, John Stewart, Bishop, Spawn, Black Panther, Icon and even Rocket. This would of course be because this group of characters typically get put in almost every comic storyline you could think of. They got pushed to the front, and some of them even had their own books and got immense shine. Well deserved, but oversaturated nonetheless. 

Going into a new year we should shed light on those superheroes that aren’t as known as the aforementioned. So I am going to give you some black superheroes you should know going into 2024, not just from Marvel or DC but from a few other comic book universes as well. So let’s really get into this topic and we are going to start off strong with a personal favorite: 

Livewire 

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Amanda McKee was created by Valiant Comics or Valiant Entertainment back in 1993 in the Harbinger series issue #15. She was created by Bob Layton and Joe St. Pierre. She is what is referred to in this universe as a Psiot. Meaning she’s a sub-species of humans with psychic or mind-based powers. But we can get more into the exact specifics at a different time. On top of being a Psiot she is also a technopath which means she is able to control machines with her mind. Any and all of them, there is no limit. She was working with the Harbinger Foundation before she went out on her own to become a hero.

She has also been part of two teams, Unity and Secret Weapons. In addition to her Technopathy she is an expert martial artist, an expert weapons specialist and she has genius level intellect which puts her in the same head spaces as some of Marvel and DC’s smartest characters. She has a lengthy list of appearances between ‘93 and present day and she’s definitely worth the read. If there is any black superhero you should know going into 2024 it is definitely Amanda McKee aka Livewire. 

Queen Kijani 

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All hail your majesty Queen Kijani of Tombuto! Now, while many people have heard of the Witchblade anime, not many people know of the Witchblade comic series. The Witchblade is an ancient and sentient gauntlet. Usually only worn by or takes possession of women. There have been many users of the Witchblade including the Queen here. While her husband Askia Mohammed controlled the land and the riches, Queen Kijani controlled the power. She was able to instill fear in enemies of her country without the use of the army that was about 3,000 strong. But on top of handling the power she was also kind and took in outsiders under her tutelage because she felt that her culture should be shared. Her handle on the gauntlet was unmatched and was only limited to her imagination.

Her first appearance was back in 2005 and she was created by Ron Marz and Marc Silvestri. While most of the women who operated the Witchblade didn’t have powers on their own, Queen Kijani was a skilled hand to hand combatant. And to say she is not one of the black superheroes you should know going into 2024 would be a complete and unjustified understatement.


Iya Nehanda

Black Superheroes

If Marvel does nothing else, it’s creating a black comic book character attached to the legacy of another black comic book character and making that character a breakout star. Here we have Iya Nehanda or just Nehanda aka Black Panther. Now, Nehanda’s first actual appearance is in King Thor #4 back in 2016. Before that she was a carving in Mighty Thor (Vol. 3) #7 and a ghost in Black Panther (Vol 6) #14 back in 2017. She has several creators including Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Now with the formalities out of the way, Nehanda was the Black Panther of the 11th century. She learned magic when she was young and defeated her father’s illegitimate son in ritual combat to not only become the Black Panther but the second ever Queen of Wakanda at the tender age of 20. One of her accomplishments as the Black Panther was being the second since Mosi to step outside of Wakanda to solve a world threat and she ended up joining the Avengers of that time, being teammates with Thor.

One of the other amazing things about her is that in a battle where Thor had been injured, his hammer Mjolnir took itself to Nehanda and she was able to wield it and win that battle almost all on her own. She was also the Black Panther and Queen to create the Dora Milaje. At that time the Dora Milaje included one member from each tribe and sometimes she used them so that she could take a break. With the magic she knew, she placed a glamor spell on one of them and went to do what it was that she wished to do, which is pretty clever on her end. She ended up ruling for 50 years, never produced an heir, defeated everyone in ritual combat and became part of T’Challa’s spirit council. If that’s not someone to know, it would be extremely difficult to tell who is. 

Alitha

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This next one is huge. I mean, historically huge. We all know the Green Lanterns. In fact, John Stewart is a majority favorite when it comes to this particular group of heroes. The history of the Green Lanterns has been written and re-written a couple of times, mostly for an extended narrative. But this recently released character trumps everything we’ve known about the Green Lanterns thus far. Alitha is not only a Green Lantern but she was the first Green Lantern ever. Period.

There is a group of Green Lanterns known as the Seven. They were the first Green Lanterns in the history of Green Lanterns. They are the ones who started it all and Alitha was the absolute first among this group to receive her ring. She was a gladiator from Galactica which preceded Apokolips and New Genesis. Her world was torn apart by war but she stood out to Maltusian who had gone to the Guardians with his creation of the Green Lantern rings. Because of her courageous decisions that put her people on the right path and in the right direction away from war, she was the first chosen by these newly created rings and she and the Seven were sent to battle Volthoom. She first appeared in 2017 in Green Lanterns #18 and she was created by Sam Humphries and Robson Rocha. And to be perfectly honest, they did an amazing job with this character and she is definitely a black superhero you should know going into 2024. 

Josiah Power 

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Speaking of amazingly written black superheroes, Josiah Power is one of the best. He’s definitely not as known as he should be and that should change, especially coming into a new year. Josiah’s first appearance was back in 2002 in JLA #61. Created by Kurt Busiek and Tom Grummett, he exploded on the scene quite literally. He was a lawyer and during court his powers came about during a Metagene bomb explosion and it cost him his job. While not understanding his powers he went through experimentation at Star Labs and eventually learned to summon his power on his own instead of his powers emerging due to his emotions. When he ran into the Justice League during a raid at Star Labs, he had a conversation with Superman about what to do with his new powers and his new life. He slipped into a depression and decided to work through it on his own. Out of this came the Power Company.

A combination of his old skills and his newfound powers, the Power Company was a business of heroes for hire that was structured as a law firm with associates and partners. He has several different abilities but his main power is that he turns into a stone like giant. When this happens there is an aura of energy that forms around his body and he can project the energy or absorb more. A testament to his strength and power, when the Power Company was hired to handle a threat, Josiah joined them and ended up being injured so badly, to the point that he was in a coma.

When Superman and Hal Jordan found out about the situation, they were incredibly nervous. Hal Jordan commented to Superman that if someone could injure Josiah of all people, they would be in serious trouble even with Superman on their side and Superman couldn’t do anything but agree because in a separate conversation with Hal, Superman remarked that Josiah was one of the most powerful metahumans on the planet.  He has since recovered and lives with his life partner Rupert and he does still run the Power Company. Through all 20 of his appearances, the writing for Josiah Power has been amazing and should continue to be showcased. 

Colonel Mars

Next up we have a character that showed up from a surprising Kickstarter project back in 2016. From the minds of Greg Burnham and Marcus Williams, we were given the hero Colonel Mars of the Tuskegee Heirs. Colonel Mars is the original Tuskegee Heir and he is the one who builds the new team, trains them and assists them in their missions and different endeavors. He typically does take a backseat to the action but because he is the one who has taught and trained this team, underestimating his skills and more importantly, his hands, is dangerous for anyone. If you have not seen or read this story, you’re missing out for sure. Colonel Mars and the rest of the Tuskegee Heirs are superheroes you should know going into 2024, they have more stories to come so we should all buckle up and get ready. 

Ninja-J

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Winding down with another entry from Valiant Comics, we have Roger Thorpe aka Ninja-J. What is so great about this superhero is the mystery surrounding him.He is part of the MI-6 Ninja Program and sometimes he works with a partner. He is a world class martial artist with extensive training from the military in armed and unarmed combat. Ninja-J’s main ability is that he is invulnerable which is activated by his Ki power. While there is only limited information on Ninja-J, what is available is well written and fleshed out and he should definitely be in the conversation of black superheroes. 

Gentle

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Last but certainly not least, we have Nezhno Abidemi aka Gentle. The mutant Storm decided directly to take under her wing so that she could have a hands-on approach to assisting him with his powers. He was rejected his entire life, even by his mother and when he ended up in Wakanda after his powers manifested, Storm made it her personal mission to get him to Xavier’s school so that he could learn to control them. However, before he left he ended up being covered in vibranium tattoos. This was due to the nature of his powers and allowed him to continue living somewhat normally without his powers killing him. During the events of M-Day he was one of the 27 mutants who kept their powers.

During the events of the Messiah Complex in which the first mutant was born after M-Day, he went toe to toe with a sentinel and was able to hold his ground. Through all of his adventures and under the protection of Storm, he ended up on Krakoa and was a candidate to become part of the X-men. His power is muscle-mass expansion which allows him to not only drastically change in size but also in strength almost instantly. He appeared back in 2006 in New X-Men (Vol 2) #23 and has several creators including Mark Brooks and has appeared in more than enough storylines to be considered one of the best mutants of color written. He is most certainly one of the black superheroes you should know going into 2024 if you didn’t know him already. 

In conclusion, you never know where a good black comic book character is going to come from. It could be from Marvel Comics, DC Comics or even Top Cow and Valiant Comics. What you do know is that if you look hard enough you will find these black characters that are worth your time and deserve the same attention we give to those who have been big in the comics since the 60s and the 70s because through all of the ups and downs of it all, these characters can only continue to get better. 

Dr. K the Anime Bae 

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@Witchblade22 (IG)

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Kaori Akari Nelson (FB)

As 2024 unfolds, we continue to celebrate the power and diversity of Black superheroes. It’s not just a story; it’s about embracing a culture rich in strength and identity. Whether you’re a seasoned Blerd or simply someone who loves seeing Black characters shine, The Blerd Shop is your ultimate destination. Offering a range of unique stickers and stylish apparel featuring your favorite Black characters, The Blerd Shop caters to all fans who want to keep this vibrant energy alive

https://www.blerd.com/blerdshop/

Head of Content // Blerds out about: Video Games, Anime, Comics, Cartoons, Movies

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