Melanin Monday: Six Sensational Black Superheroes You Should Know

Hey, hey all you wonderful Heroes and Travelers out there it’s Monday, and that means another Melanin Monday post!! For those of you just joining us, Melanin Monday is a  bi-weekly post series that I started for Black History Month, where I talk about Black and Brown skinned characters in anime, manga, video games, etc., but you guys loved it so much I decided to continue it!

As a Black woman and self proclaimed nerd it really means a lot to me when I see positive images of my people in media. There are so many hurtful stereotypes and images about Black and brown skinned individuals out there and it breaks my heart, so I decided to throw some positive energy out there by combining my love of my brown skin and my love of all things nerdy… two things that have never been mutually exclusive in my heart. I am and will always be a Black Nerd… or Blerd!  So, for this week’s Melanin Monday post I’m spotlighting six spectacular Black superheroes!!


Black Lightning- Jefferson Pierce

Okay, so I definitely spent a great deal of time deciding whether I wanted to include Static Shock or Black Lightning  on this list… and as you can see I went for the latter… next time Static! For those of you that don’t know, Black Lightning was DC’s first main series Black superhero, so it’s only fitting that he be the first hero on this list! Jefferson Pierce is a gold medal winning Olympian and metahuman with the ability to generate and magnify electro-magnetic energy. Tired of seeing his community ravaged by crime and corruption, Pierce decided to take on the Black Lightning name in order to protect and serve! Oh, and let’s not forget that his daughters also joined him in the superhero business as masked heroes Thunder and Lightning!


Vixen- Mari Jiwe McCabe

So if you’re like me you’ll remember Vixen from the Justice League Unlimited animated series where she was the unwitting participant in the ill-fated, Green Lantern/Hawkgirl/Vixen love triangle… but, if that’s all you know about this phenomenal female hero you are missing out! Vixen’s powers originated from an ancient Ghanaian warrior named Tantu who asked Anasi the Spider to create a totem that would allow its wearer to take on all the abilities of the animal kingdom. The totem has since been passed down from generation to generation until Mari took possession of it and became the superhero, Vixen! With the totem as a conduit, Vixen can tap into and harness the powers of any creature that has ever lived on the Earth, of course she is not limited to one ability at a time, having been shown to wield multiple abilities concurrently. She also has the ability to communicate with animals and take on their  likenesses!


Icon- Arnus (Augustus Freeman IV) 

Superman wasn’t the only extraterrestrial to crash land on our little blue marble, before the man of steel crash landed in Smallville there was another equally important arrival… Arnus aka Icon! When his ship crash lands in the middle of a cotton field in 1839, young Arnus takes on the appearance of the closest sentient being, which just so happened to be a slave woman named Miriam, who took the young Arnus in and raised him as her own. While he is technically a part of DC’s Dakotaverse, Icon alongside his partner, Rocket have fought with and against a number of DC comic regulars. Icon has caused a bit of debate among fans as his crisp upper crust mannerisms have lead folks to call him a sellout, but that kind of thinking severely undermines the importance of diverse heroes of color in mainstream media…especially from one as influential and iconic (no pun intended) as Icon!

misty knight

Mercedes “Misty” Knight

Those of you that watched the Netflix original series Luke Cage should already be familiar with this strong woman! Misty Knight is a former NYPD officer who lost her arm in a bomb explosion only to have it replaced by an enhanced bionic arm courtesy of Tony Stark (aka Iron Man)! With her new arm a thirst for justice, Misty started up her own PI firm working alongside several of Marvel’s A listers, such as Luke Cage, the X-Men, Spider-Man, Iron Fist and many more. While she didn’t possess any superhuman abilities prior to her accident, her vibranium bionic arm does endow her with some degree of enhanced strength, which coupled with her extensive martial arts and police training makes her a more than capable of handling herself in a fight!

spider man

Spider-Man- Miles Morales

We all know about Peter Parker and his stint as everyone’s favorite webslinger, but let’s not forget Miles Morales from the Marvel Ultimate comics! Miles is a Black/Hispanic teen that took up the Spider-Man mantle after the death of long time hero, Peter Parker. Though he was at first reluctant to take on the title of resident webslinger, he has since accepted his new role despite his young age! While his origin story and powers are similar to that of Peter Parker, Miles does have a few additional powers the original Spidey didn’t have, such as, the ability to camoflauge himself and a venom sting that allows him to paralyze foes. Though he’s still learning to come into his own as a hero, he’s still a badass in his own right… and did I mention I am in love with his suit!!


Crimson Avenger- Jill Carlyle

The Crimson Avenger mantle has been held by three different individuals in the DC comic universe, the most recent being former lawyer turned spirit of vengeance, Jill Carlyle. After she loses a case that sets a guilty man free she decides to take justice into her own hands… with the help of two Colt pistols previously owned by the first Crimson Avenger, Lee Travis. Unknown to Jill, the guns are cursed so that anyone that uses them to exact revenge is also cursed, and must forever hunt down and kill anyone that has taken innocent lives! Not to mention she also possesses the powers of intangibility, phasing, and teleportation. Armed with her twin Colt pistols and an ever bleeding bullet hole on her chest and virtual immortality, this warrior of vengeance is a force to be reckoned with!

So that’s my list, were there any characters that you though should have been on the list that weren’t? Someone on the list that you think shouldn’t be? Let me know what you think in the comments section. If you like what you see, like this post or follow Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! As always THANK YOU FOR READING!!

25 thoughts on “Melanin Monday: Six Sensational Black Superheroes You Should Know

    1. YAY! Success, the goal of these posts is to inform folks about outstanding Black characters, so seeing that you are going to look up info on Vixen gives me such a feeling of accomplishment!!

    1. I’m so glad you liked the list!! Me too! He is such a cool hero, it’s a shame that he often gets overshadowed by Static! Though I will admit that I was a Static fan before I’d even heard of Black Lightning 😛

    1. Thank you!! I’m so glad to read that you were able to discover a few new Black superheroes! There was one entry on this list that I wasn’t familiar with prior to writing this post too!!

      LOL villains tend to be cooler than heroes so I can definitely see the appeal. They just kind of do their own thing!

  1. The Miles Morales Spider-Man looks really cool. I’ve never heard of that version, but I’m more of a D.C. And Dark Horse fan so that’s probably why. Nicely written post

    1. Oh, he’s awesome! I really wish they’d give him a more prominent role in Spiderman media, but what are you gonna do…

      Oh really? I have to admit that I’m more of a Marvel fan, but over the years, DC has been growing on me.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my post and I’m glad that you enjoyed it!! 🙂

  2. I really need to watch Luke Cage! It’s on my list, but that list just keeps growing.

    I was really happy with how Civil War did Black Panther. I detest the “token POC motif,” and I feel like media is rightly moving away from that at least in terms of making us real people with legitimate back stories. There’s still a long way to go (and it’s kind of ridiculous it’s taken this long to get where we are), but I at least like to see progress 🙂

    1. I second that shout for Black Panther. The comic is a thing of power, and he stole Civil War for me the same way Vision did with Age of Ultron.

      1. I was SO happy that did him proper in Civil War. That was an excellent movie just overall. Marvel just knows how to do the ensemble super hero movie to a tee. Age of Ultron wasn’t my favorite of the movies, but I loved Vision, too, and the dialogue in all of their movies is so on point.

      2. LOLOL everyone is asking for Black Panther! There was a reason he wasn’t included on this week’s list, since he may show up on another post later. But, I wanted to spotlight lesser known Black heroes this time around… but, I promise, I’ll include BP in another post.

        I totally agree, BP was one of the standouts in Civil War and I can’t wait to see his standalone film next year, it’s gonna be awesome!!!

    2. you absolutely must! I loved Luke Cage, though there are a few folks that weren’t so as enthusiastic about it.

      Yes! Black Panther and Spidey were the two break out stars of Civil War and I can’t wait to see Black Panther’s standalone film!!

      I totally agree about the token POC motif, it drives me nuts, but I also see it as a stepping stone for characters of color, so I don’t completely condemn the practice. But, like you said, the media is making huge strides in the way they portray POCs and I for one like the way the current trends are going.

      1. I can’t believe how many people complained about Spider-Man being a POC. And the worst part is they tried to justify it by saying, “The characters weren’t originally written that way!” Um…because back then there would never be a person of color written into a super hero role *smacks forehead* Black Panther is getting a standalone film?? Ahh that’s awesome! I can’t wait to see that. The actor they cast for that role is so perfect.

      2. LORD YES! Poor Miles got so much hate in the beginning and even now I see the odd hate comment online. SMH people need to get with the program, change is here to stay!

        Heck yeah he is and Chadwick Bosemanis super fine LOL! Plus he attended my alma mater so I have nothing but love for the guy!

      3. I got into an argument with a (now former) friend about Idris Elba playing James Bond. All of their arguments are so freaking weak, and they jump through hoops in an attempt to not sound racist. We’re not going anywhere :p

      4. Oh my God! I was so blown by that! Can you believe they said he was too street! What does that even mean!? That man should be Bond!

        Hell Yeah! They better get used to seeing us around!

      5. Oh we KNOW what it means >:( I love how they have euphemisms for their nonsense. “Street,” “thug,” ugh (did not mean to rhyme lol). There’s this awesome meme that goes “We’re just going to get angrier, louder, and browner,” and I’m like “Yup!”

      6. Hell yeah we do! When I read that street comment, I was like… Idris Elba, suit and tie Idris Elba? gorgeous ebony king, Idris Elba?! hot cup of coffee, Idris Elba?! That distinguished Black man is too street to play James Bond…what the whole fuck!?

        OMG the memes!! But, that’s an accurate statement! LOL

  3. Awesome post! I’ve always wanted to get into Miles Morales Spider-Man, and this may be the call I needed to look into it. I’ve also heard of Misty Knight and have been wanting to know more about it. Keep it up with your Melanin Mondays!

    1. Awww thanks Panda!! You have too, he’s such a cool character and I really like the direction they took with him, I just wish he had a more prominent role outside of the comics.

      Misty is one of my favorite female heroes! She is such a badass and I really hope Marvel is going to do more with the character, either through the Netflix series or maybe a cameo in the Cinematic Universe.

      Yup yup, I will definitely try and keep the momentum going with these Melanin Monday post!! 🙂

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