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With Black Panther breaking a billion dollars at the box office, it’s time to show the world that Black comic superheroes don’t only come from Wakanda! With Luke Cage on Netflix and Miles Morales (Spider-Man), Cyborg, and Nick Fury solo films already in the works, I'm here to talk about some Black superheroes that don't seem like they will get their solo film in the near future, but should!
Most of the heroes and heroines on this list are extremely popular already, so why don’t they already have a solo film themselves? Here is my pick for the top 10 Black superheroes whose solo films would rock the box office!
10. Spectrum AKA Captain Marvel
Starting off our countdown is a woman who became the leader of the Avengers! It’s no secret that the name Captain Marvel has had its fair share of owners in the Marvel universe, but there was none like Monica. Lieutenant Monica Rambeau was working as part of the New Orleans Harbor patrol as a captain on a cargo ship when her life was changed forever.
While trying to prevent the creation of a superweapon, Rambeau was exposed to energy from another dimension. She soon gained the ability to manipulate energy to the point where her whole body takes on a form of pure energy!
Originally called Captain Marvel by the media, she has fought along the greatest superheroes of all time, including Spider-Man, Ironman, and any Avenger you can think of, eventually becoming the leader of the Avengers for a period of time. Since then, she has gone through numerous costume changes and names like Pulsar, Photon, and most recently Spectrum.
With super strength, speed and other abilities this powerhouse has single-handedly taken down baddies like the Grandmaster, Nebula, and Kang the Conquer. She has also taught both Thanos and Ultron the meaning of girl power fighting as an Avenger.
As a realistic and down to Earth person, she is a perfect candidate for the more serious, yet realistic loving style of comics that modern superheroes embody. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and as a leader, her ability to operate a team’s potential is hard to come by! As far as storylines go, she has so many to choose from, it’s hard to say what I would want to see. I’d probably go with that time she tore through a horde of vampires by herself.
Like a sprained ankle, boy he ain’t nothin’ to play with! Icon was the top hero for Milestone comics and when DC bought them out, he might have dropped in popularity, but he is far from out of the picture! He has recently appeared in the Young Justice series but has not been relevant for a long time. His origin story is similar to that of Superman’s, but at the same time, very different.
Far away from Earth, an alien named Arnus from the planet Terminus escaped in a life pod from an exploding ship. He crashlanded in the American south in 1839 and his ship altered his DNA to give him the appearance of the nearest life form, which happened to be a slave woman named Miriam Freeman. When the hatch opened up, he was a baby and she adopted the child as her own, naming him Augustus Freeman. The ship, however, had altered his biology more than he thought.
As he grew older he noticed he had superpowers and would use his powers to lighten the load of other slaves, all the while waiting for Earth’s technology to advance enough to fix his ship. He can fly, has super strength and speed greater than that of Superman, a healing factor and can shoot energy blasts. His race ages much more slowly than humans, so he's still around to this modern day. He would just tell people that he was his own son every couple decades to avoid suspicion.
After his wife died of cancer and unable to bear a son with her (because of his alien DNA) he moved to Dakota City, where he became a successful lawyer. One day, a group of kids broke into his house and out of fear, one shot him, revealing his power of invulnerability. He then gave them a cryptic message to not steal and to always do the right thing. A girl in the group named Raquel returned to him sometime later and convinced him to be the superhero known as Icon and to take her on as his sidekick known as Rocket. Together they fight crime as an iconic duo (see what I did there?).
Icon is basically the Superman of Milestone Comics. Currently, though, all Milestone Comics superheroes exist within the DC Universe. As part of the Justice League, he has gone toe to toe with the best and the worst! When he fought Superman, it was implied that Icon is stronger, through Superman admitting that Icon has hit him harder than anyone else. Because of his upper-class demeanor and intelligent way of talking, he is often called a “sell-out” or “Whitewashed.” He prefers to do everything by the book and can be a bit emotionless which is a counterpart to his upbeat sidekick who loves to take risks.
He would be a good addition to the DC Universe with his straight sense of justice. He would be a great role model character since the DC Cinematic Universe doesn’t really have any outside of Wonder Woman. Even though Cyborg is cool, he’s not fully matured yet, so Icon could easily step in and take that role. Besides, he is the most powerful Black man in the DC Universe! Why wouldn’t he be included in the movies?
As far as what I would like to see, his origin story is a bit complicated, so I would go straight into showing him fight any of the characters from the Big Bang that gave random people superpowers.
Now, this choice might come as a surprise to many people. His popularity has declined since the end of the animated TV show X-Men: Evolution, but this is the perfect reason he should be on the screen! If you don’t know who he is, Evan Daniels is a mutant from New York City. During puberty, his ability to grow projectile spikes and grow bone armor came out during one of his basketball games. His powers were difficult for him to control, so his parents gave him to his aunt, who was also a mutant, to take him to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Oh, and did I mention that his Aunt is STORM?
Originally not wanting to join the X-Men, he comes around after one of his friends betrays him with their hidden mutant powers. Eventually, his powers grow to the point where his spikes have the ability to burst into flames as well. Unfortunately, this is at the same time when he left the X-Men to protect a group of underground mutants called the Morlocks.
He has a bright fun-loving attitude but can easily get serious when provoked or when his friends are in danger. He is extremely protective of the people he cares for and just wants mutants to have the same rights as everyone else. So, what makes this skateboarding teen perfect for the screen? He’s a blank slate! That’s right, he didn’t, and barely does, exist in the comics!
He was created specifically for the show and eventually made his way into the comics for a few cameos, while still letting his relation to Storm be canon. With Marvel basically doing what they want to with origin stories and timelines in the MCU, it would be refreshing to see this troublemaking teen appear now that Disney has acquired the rights to the X-Men from Fox.
There aren’t many teen black superheroes in their roster and since I have a feeling that we might actually see Riri Williams in the Ironman suit, this is a great character to have a coming of age story with. Since there isn’t anything to choose from in the comics, they can have an original story, while still paying reference to a character some people will know. He’s a wise-cracking runway that not only deals with prejudices but also what it means to grow up as a mutant in a public high school. Seriously, it’s like he’s just begging to be on screen!
Later she told Mal and the Titans what she did, and they just gave her a full membership. Talk about quick beginnings. Bumblebee’s popularity has only grown in recent years as she has appeared much more often than her boyfriend. Not only was she in Teen Titans, but also Young Justice and several animated movies and a currently running web series.
She is a staple for black female DC fans because they really don’t have many of those. It would also be great to see a healthy relationship between heroes on screen (she currently married to Mal). She has plenty of stories to choose from, but I think this would work better if they gave her something original.
With the Teen Titans movie in the works, an original adventure of her own could be interesting. She has a lot of fans and could easily bring them some well-needed revenue. Plus, her tough yet fun attitude is hard to come by and makes her unique amongst most of the superheroes her age. She would be a great balance to Cyborg’s dark nature in the movies. I think a left-field move like this could shake things up in the right way for the DCU!
6. Misty Knight
Superpowers? Why would she need those? True, she may have a robot arm now, but she was kicking butt long before it, and honestly doesn’t need it. If we’re talking potential box office hits, I have to talk about this NYPD officer! Born and raised in New York City, Mercedes Knight graduated the NY police academy with honors and rose to the rank of Lieutenant quickly.
During her police days, she cracked many cases and became friends with Colleen Wing, who would later become Lady Samurai. Known as the Daughters of the Dragon, they took down larger and larger obstacles. One day, while at a bank, she encountered a bomb and, in an attempt to get rid of it, ended up losing her arm. The comics go back and forth between Tony Stark and Reed Richards as to who gave her the first bionic arm, but in any case, the reason is that she earned it for her heroism.
Refusing the desk job, the NYPD Chief gave her, she went into the private sector and as they say, the rest is history! She has great martial arts skills, detective skills and a great aim with a gun! As far as the screen, she already has appeared on Netflix’s Luke Cage. Always rocking the natural hair, she is like a bloodhound when it comes to hunting down bad guys. She also has an on and off again relationship with Iron Fist, but as to when we will see that in the Netflix series, only time can tell.
However, I believe she is way too big of a character to not have her own movie. Spy movies are growing in popularity again with movies like Red Sparrow, Mission Impossible 4, Atomic Blonde and Proud Mary, this is the perfect time for Marvel to hop in on the hype! Plus, I’m tired of seeing officers being just as useful as bystanders in the movies! She is proof that in the chaotic Marvel Universe, not everyone chooses to stand on the sidelines!
Now, I want to say that I want to see an origin story, but that would be a lie. She has so many great stories, that an origin story just won’t do her justice. I think they should start with the story of her chasing after Freezer Burn and 8-ball when she loses her arm for the second time. Not only does she get her revenge, but her second arm was officially made by Tony Stark, so this would connect her to the universe.
She could easily get a squeal with a great start and it could introduce the new Heroes for Hire, which Tony secretly asked her to make during Civil War. When she formed the new Heroes for Hire with Lady Samurai, it consisted of them, Black Cat, the new female Tarantula, Okra, Paladin, Humbug, and Shang-Chi. Eventually, it just dropped down to the core members of themselves with Black Cat and Tarantula. Those four together is what I want to see! It’s an all-female lead spy action thriller in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Marvel, what’s taking you so long?!?
5. The Falcon
This is one hero most people are really familiar with but don’t know his comic book origin. A New York kid, Sam adopted a small falcon. Raising it to hunt, he answered an ad in the paper that said some hunters needed a hunting falcon in the tropics. However, when he got there, he found out that they were actually Nazis working for the Red Skull. Becoming a servant with the rest of the natives, he encountered Steve Rogers, who he later found out was Captain America.
Steve urged him to take on the costumed identity of the Falcon and together they defeated the Red Skull. He’s been a key member of the Avengers for a very long time and has even taken over as Captain America for a period of time. He’s been fighting alongside them, usually as a lead, but he also has joined up with the Defenders from time to time. As far as abilities go, everyone is aware of his flight suit. But what he is missing in the movies is his telepathic link with his bird Redwing.
This power was given to him by the Red Skull after he used the Cosmic Cubes to link their minds. This power grew wider to give him the ability to mind link with any bird, giving him the power to see through millions of eyes in the sky at once. It’s too late for an origin story, but I would like to see him battle any of the secret Hydra agents or Dr. Karl Malus.
And his current suit in the comics was given to him by the Black Panther! I’m trying to see my brother in some vibranium! The reason he’s so high on this list is that he’s definitely earned it in the cinematic universe already.
4. John Stewart AKA Green Lantern
The myth, the man, the legend. As a child, when I thought about the Green Lantern, it was John Stewart that first came to my mind. I didn’t even know the original Green Lantern was white until I was 14! The reason is largely due to the success of the animated series Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. In these two series, John was the Green Lantern and not Hal Jordan.
Originally based on the actor Sydney Poitier, this marine from Detroit gained the powers of the Green Lantern Core after the Guardians hand selected him as Hal’s back up after Guy Gardner (Hal’s original back up) was hit by a car. Little did they know that the potential they had seen in him would flourish so fast and so broad. Even though he and Hal had a rocky start, there is nothing but respect between the two Lanterns.
With his power ring charged by his amazing willpower, he has lead countless missions for the Core and the Justice League. A natural born leader, he always puts the well-being of others before his own, which can sometimes get him into trouble. He was and always has been a great role model to those around him and his straight lace sense of right and wrong makes many fans flock to him.
This veteran is exactly what the DC Cinematic Universe needs. He’s a balanced character that is hard to get wrong. His presence would easily make any movie better off of nostalgia alone. Plus, since he’s a Green Lantern, this opens up the Justice League to fight several of the Green Lantern’s Core’s enemies that have threatened Earth. I would love to see them battle a classic villain like Sinestro!
It’s hard to think of a story to start with him. I would suggest his origin story, only because DC could use a redo on the Green Lantern. Besides, when it comes to the three Lanterns from Earth, John is the fan favorite. In the past, he’s had a relationship with a few heroines, but ultimately marrying another Lantern named Katma Tui-Stewart. So, we have a plot, a fan favorite character, and a love interest. Why doesn’t he have a movie again?
Do you know how hard it is to not put her as the number one spot? When people think black superheroes, I guarantee it’s not a man they think of! She needs no introduction! If you don’t know who Storm is, then superheroes just aren’t your thing! Storm has not only been a main character in the X-Men series but a staple in comics across the globe! Arguably the most popular Black superhero of all time, the fact that she doesn’t have a solo film should be a crime! The only reason she isn’t number one on this list is that with Disney acquiring Fox, I truly believe they might already be working on a script for this amazing African.
I don’t really think I need to tell her origin story, but I’ve done one for everyone else, so you know I have to explain hers! Ororo Munroe comes from a long line of blue eyed, white haired priestess that practiced magic. Her mother, a princess of a Kenyan tribe, married an American teacher and ran away with him to give birth to her in Manhattan.
When she was six months old, they moved to Cairo, Egypt and, at the age of five, a plane crash destroyed their home, killing both her parents and leaving her buried under rubble. This experience traumatized her and made her claustrophobic. Homeless, she was taken in by thieves and became one of the best. However, when she attempted to pickpocket Charles Xavier (Professor X), she was unsuccessful.
Sensing her power, he decided not to tell her and let her discover it for herself. She suddenly felt a pull in her spirit to travel south. After almost dying in the wilderness from starvation and dehydration, her powers emerged in her time of need. On her journey south, she rescued a young prince T’Challa (Black Panther) from some kidnappers and they instantly fell for each other. However, his duties as a prince prevented him from going with her. Finally reaching her home village, they taught her how to use her powers responsibly and she was revered as a god. Sometime later, Professor X summoned her to help him and the X-Men fight Krakoa and she has been with them ever since.
A caring and loving person, she is definitely the “mom” of the X-Men. She loves teaching others as well as laying the smack down on anyone who would threaten them. I’ve already talked about her nephew on this list and I honestly, he would be as important in the Marvel Universe without her. At the pinnacle of major superhero status, she is by far the most well known Black superhero ever created. Her mix of love and fierceness is what makes her so special.
Through the years she’s faced countless enemies, gone through multiple changes (like the vampire phase that gave her the famous mohawk) and has basically been one of the characters that held Marvel and the X-Men at their high status. I can’t begin to describe what this powerful woman means to black people around the world. She’s been in countless movies, TV series and video games. If Marvel doesn’t give her a solo movie soon, I might just lose my mind.
Her origin story is a beautiful story of the struggle for a girl that had nothing who became treated as a god. To see that played out on the screen would be nothing short of several Oscars. Seriously, Disney, I’m counting on you!
What’s your spirit animal? I bet you 10 dollars it’s not all of them! So is not the case with Mari McCabe. Coming in at number 2 is a woman who I think would be the best choice for DC right now. Originally born in the fictional African country of Zambesi, during the day she is not only a model but a fierce businesswoman. And by night, she uses the power of a totem passed down through her family for generations to summon the attributes of any animal she wants at will!
She can soar like a falcon, charge like a rhino, swim like a dolphin, run like a cheetah, and the list goes on and on. One of the few people to be able to cut Superman, she has not only been a part of the Justice League and the Birds of Prey, but she was also briefly a part of the Suicide Squad after a drug lord killed all of her friends and co-workers and she went on a rampage.
There is only one drawback to her powers: the longer she uses a specific totem the more she becomes like that animal. Even though as soon as she stops, she snaps back to normal, her stories can have an interesting dynamic as you watch her try to tame the beast within.
The story I want to see from her is her origin story. Not only does she deserve a proper introduction, but her origin story is interesting as well. She is the daughter of her village’s priest and was next in line for the possession of the Tantu Totem. After poachers kill her mother and her jealous uncle kills her father, she runs away to America as a child. It is not till she is a grown woman that she returns to her village and takes back what is rightfully hers.
With sly comments, a slick attitude and oozing with confidence, she would be a perfect offset to whatever DC thinks they're doing with their cinematic universe. She has a large enough fan base in the DC comic world (I hate saying “DC comics” because “DC” stands for “Detective Comics”, but that’s how everyone says it) to come out and support her. She has been in many of their animated series like Justice League and two of their live-action series Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.
However, I think DC needs to stop playing around and give everyone what we really want! Plus, if you enjoyed seeing Wonder Woman shoulder slam into a tank, you're going love to see her charge through a building like it was made out of glass!
1. Static Shock
Do I really have to explain this one? Like really? I seriously have to type an explanation for this? Fine. If you’re a fan of comics or Saturday morning cartoons, you know who Virgil Hawkins is. Arguably one of the most popular black comic book characters in recent history, Static has been a staple for DC ever since they took over Milestone Comics.
However, his popularity skyrocketed with the success of his animated TV show! I personally didn’t know he existed before the TV show and I’m so happy that I know him now! His mother, a first responding medic, was killed when he was 10 by a stray bullet from a gang riot. Later in high school, after an altercation with a bully of his, one of his friends at the time invited him to go to the docks with him.
To his surprise, his friend gave him a gun to shoot his bully who was rumored to be there. Not wanting to kill, he tossed the gun into the water in secret. Unfortunately, a gang war broke out anyway and a stray bullet exploded several barrels of experimental chemicals and this event would later be known as the Big Bang. Becoming what is known as a "Bang Baby", he gained electrostatic powers and rides around on a metal disc while blasting villains with powerful bolts of electricity. Still in high school, he tries to balance his school life and his superhero life.
With some of his former bullies becoming super villains, he always has his hands full keeping his powers secret from his dad and older sister. He has a rose gallery of villains comparable to that of Batman and Spider-Man! What makes his stories special, is that can be as light-hearted as getting ready for the big dance and jump to something dark like dealing with homelessness or gun violence.
This is something few heroes can do, and I really don’t want to see anyone else on the screen more than Virgil. He collects comic books, plays video games, and is an extremely realistic person. His best friend is a genius white kid, which makes for some interesting dynamics when it comes to race because his best friend’s dad is actually a racist, but yet they see through the BS and are practically inseparable.
Literally, any of his stories would be good for the screen, but if I had to choose, I would go with the time he convinced a super-powered homeless girl that people cared about her and in the end got her the help she needed. It's a good story because he can't defeat her with violence and instead decides to do the right thing by listening to her problems and becoming her friend. Not many heroes saving the day with peace anymore.
He handles some of the most realistic problems today in the Black community. Being a teen, his lingo and puns are on point and well-timed, making him extremely likable. His fans have waited and waited and seeing him in Young Justice gives us hope that someday Virgil will get the respect he deserves.
He’s defeated the JLA when they were under control by the Brainiac and recently has gotten a position on the Teen Titans roster. This, however, just isn’t his style. Regardless of which, he could possibly do for the DCU what Black Panther did for the MCU if done right. And I know tons of people reading this remember the theme song by Lil’ Romeo.