Krypto-Knight Comics

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Comic Book Black History Week

February in the United States is Black History Month. I would be negligent not to acknowledge the black writers, artists, creators, heroes, villains and supporting characters that have helped make comics fun and exciting. This week we will be making the theme of our contest Black History.

It is quite easy for anyone of any race to view another as inferior. It is almost human nature to view ourselves as superior to others even in arenas outside that of race. Among heroes, however, that should never be the case. All humans are equal and deserve the same respect and dignity as any other. Our view at Krypto-Knight Comics is one of equality. We appreciate people from all backgrounds, races and cultures. The difference in backgrounds and skin color bring life to our planet and provide variety for us to enjoy. The human race is like a box of crayons with new colors being added regularly. When we work in harmony with all the different colors we can create beautiful things.

Black and African-American comic book characters are just as good and evil as any other. They bring character and life to the universe and have proven to be the favorites among comic book fans. Let us share a few of ours.

Who cannot ignore the total coolness of Black Panther. An African king and member of the Avengers not only is quite intimidating to villains but he is well respected by his fellow heroes for his honor and ethics. As an honorable king he cares for his people and he has a cool costume too!

Storm, powerful mutant and member of the X-Men, is without doubt one of Marvel's most famous black heroes. As former leader of the X-Men and weather master, she has proven to be a force to reckon with among villains. Few are able to withstand her fury when it is at its peak and it can be frightening if you are on the receiving end of it. Her marriage to Black Panther makes for a great alliance!

Powerman, Luke Cage, is not the kind of guy you want mad at you. When it comes to playing games, he doesn't! His role in the Marvel Universe has become ever more involved over the last decade and a renewed interest in the character is a nice thing to see.

Among the most powerful of all black comic book characters is John Stewart, Green Lantern. His strong will for justice and his upright ethics have made him a perfect choice to wield a 'green ring'. He knows how to use it too! His reputation for what is moral and his desire to protect life far exceed the boundaries of earth. His reputation is known throughout the galaxy as an honorable, yet powerful, Green Lantern. His demonstration of leadership has been evident in his role on the Justice League animated series. John Stewart is definitely among our favorites!

Other heroes that also deserve attention include The Falcon, Spawn, Black Lightning, Bishop, War Machine, Mace Windu and many more. Which black superhero is your favorite? We would like to hear from you!

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  1. This is a tough question as I love the War Machine character, but that probably has more to do with the suit than the character, and I love the human side of the storyline in Spawn, and his suit doesn't hurt any. But I think I have to go with Green Lantern, Jon Stewart from the Mosaic series. That series really demonstrated how many different people can work together and become a single unified group helping one another if they have someone (Jon Stewart) that shows them there is a better way. Granted his methods aren't always the most preferred and he is a little crazy and doesn't want to be there at all, but overall he comes through and essentially completes the Guardian's experiment.

  2. Black History Month is a great theme for this week's games, and it's a good chance to think about some very memorable characters. In my response to one of this week's first games, I identified the Black Panther as my personal favorite.

    First of all, to the best of my knowledge, T'Challa was the first black superhero, having debuted in Fantastic Four No. 52 in 1966. He has been a mainstay of the Marvel Universe ever since, appearing in his own series multiple times, as well as appearing in team books.

    Second, like Storm (now his wife), he is a character who has a heritage related to his race but who nevertheless transcends pop-culture clichés. T'Challa is an African head of state whose country, Wakanda, reflects Africa's tribal traditions while also boasting an advanced technology based on the large deposits of vibranium found there.

    Third, T'Challa is a fascinating character. As established in the comics (notably during Steve Englehart's Avengers run), he is a loner by nature, but he has nevertheless worked effectively as a team member--not only in the Avengers but also, for a short time, in the Fantastic Four. And as Carroll pointed out, he is well-known for his strong sense of honor.

    And of course, he has given us a rich variety of stories. His adventures have ranged from the socially relevant (including battles with the Sons of the Serpent and even the Ku Klux Klan) to the fanciful (including the discovery of King Solomon's treasures). For me, though, Don McGregor's seminal Jungle Action epic (12 parts and an epilogue) in which Erik Killmonger's forces attempted to take over Wakanda remains a high point. "Panther's Rage" explored the nature of political revolution in riveting detail while dealing with other profound themes (such as the nature of religious belief in Jungle Action No. 13).

    There are many strong black heroes in comics, but the Black Panther is in a class by himself.

    --Drew Davis