MIT’s Admissions Video Features Black Superhero Riri Williams aka “Ironheart”

Marvel Comics superhero RiRi Williams aka “Ironheart” (photo via blackamericaweb.com)

article via blackamericaweb.com

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is known for creating innovative videos to inform applicants about when admissions decisions will be revealed. This year’s video featured Marvel Comics character Riri Williams—a African-American teenage superhero, highlighting the importance of representation.

From Digital Trends:

This time around, the short film features Marvel Comics character Riri Williams — the teenage girl who briefly served as the new Iron Man before becoming the armored superhero Ironheart — as she studies at MIT, assembles her armored suit, and takes it for a test flight to deliver admissions letters. Titled “Not all heroes wear capes — but some carry tubes (Pi Day 2017),” the video references MIT’s tradition of sending out the admissions letters in tubes, and delivering them on March 14, a date also known as Pi Day.

In the video, MIT student Ayomide F. takes on the role of Williams, who was introduced in the May 2016 issue of Invincible Iron Man. A 15-year-old engineering prodigy attending MIT, Williams built her own suit of Iron Man armor from equipment she stole around campus and caught Tony Stark’s eye after apprehending a pair of escaped inmates while wearing the armor. In Marvel Comics lore, she eventually filled in for Tony when he became sick and took the name Ironheart as her superhero nickname.

Watch the video below.

Source: MIT’s Admissions Video Features Black Woman Superhero | Black America Web

Nafessa Williams and China Anne McClain Join DC’s ‘Black Lightning’ Pilot for CW

Nafessa Williams and China Anne McClain (photos via shadowandact.com)

article via shadowandact.com

Nafessa Williams and China Anne McClain have joined the previously cast Cress Williams in The CW’s upcoming DC Comics pilot “Black Lightning.” Cress Williams plays the title role (real name Jefferson Pierce), while Williams and McClain have signed up to play his daughters, Anissa and Jennifer Pierce – one a 20-something, passionate and quick-witted, who balances the demands of medical school with her job teaching part-time at her father’s school; and the other is an independent, outspoken scholar-athlete with a wild streak of her own.

In the DC comics, both daughters follow in their father’s footsteps and become superheroes themselves, known as Thunder and Lightning.

Thunder and Lightning (image via DC comics)

Initially set up at Fox TV, the Warner Bros/DC Comics project “Black Lightning” was moved to The CW, where it received an official pilot order. Fox put the project in turnaround after deciding not to proceed with a pilot. The move to The CW actually makes sense, as other Greg Berlanti superhero series (“The Flash” and “Supergirl”) are all currently at The CW. Recall “Supergirl” spent its first season on CBS, but it never really quite caught on with that network’s viewers, and so was shipped off to The CW.

Berlanti is collaborating with Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil on the live-action series based on the Black Lightning superhero – one of the first major African American superheroes to appear in DC Comics.

To read more, go to: Nafessa Williams and China Anne McClain Join CW’s ‘Black Lightning’ Pilot – Shadow and Act

Mara Brock Akil & Salim Akil’s DC Comics Drama ‘Black Lightning’ Gets Pilot Pickup at CW

“Black Lightning” via DC Comics

article via eurweb.com

Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil (photo via eurweb.com)

DC Comics drama “Black Lightning,” from executive producers Mara Brock Akil and husband/producing partner, Salim Akil (“Girlfriends,” “The Game,” “Being Mary Jane”) has moved from Fox to The CW with a formal pilot order, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Greg Berlanti, who produces several other DC properties for the CW (“Supergirl”, “The Flash”, “Arrow”) is also executive producing the project.

“Black Lightning” was one of DC Comics’ first major African-American superheroes when it debuted in 1977 from creators Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden. Should the drama move to series, it would be one of the first broadcast shows to feature an African-American superhero as its lead, joining Netflix drama “Luke Cage,” which hails from Marvel Comics.

The hourlong drama will center on Jefferson Pierce, who hung up his suit and his secret identity years ago. However, with a daughter hell-bent on justice and a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend Black Lightning.

“Black Lightning” marks the first pilot pickup to come from the Akils’ overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. It was originally set up at Fox in September following a multiple-network bidding war.

Source: Mara Brock Akil & Salim Akil’s DC Comics Drama ‘Black Lightning’ Lands at CW | EURweb

This Pioneering Comic Shop Owner Gets Her Own Marvel Cover | Colorlines

Colorlines Screenshot of (L to R) the variant “Invincible Iron Man #1” comic, feat. (L to R) RiRi Williams and Ariell Johnson; and a picture of Ariell Johnson, taken from Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse’s Instagram on October 25, 2016.

article by Sameer Rao via colorlines.com

Ariell Johnson, the founder of Philadelphia’s Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, is the only Black woman to own a comics shop on the East Coast.  Johnson opened Amalgam Comics to tremendous fanfare in January. Now, her important contributions to geek culture and entrepreneurship for women of color has been immortalized in the most appropriate way possible.

Johnson appears on a store-specific variant cover for Marvel’s “Invincible Iron Man #1,” enjoying a meal with another Black woman trailblazer: RiRi Williamsthe new Iron Man. The comic goes on sale next month, with this alternate cover being available only at Amalgam.

Johnson told ABC News that her colleague Randy Green spearheaded the project. “When the email went out about potential variants for stores, he was really excited and took it upon himself to work out the [details],” she said. “I knew what it was supposed to look like, but having the actual art in front of you is so much different. It’s really exciting.”

“When you are a person of color, you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel to find someone you can identify with. I always felt like I was watching other people’s adventures,” she said to ABC News. Had she not been introduced to X-Men character Storm, she said, “I might have grown out of my love for [comics].”

To read full article, go to: This Pioneering Comic Shop Owner Gets Her Own Marvel Cover | Colorlines

Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil Team Up With Greg Berlanti for ‘Black Lightning’ Superhero Series at Warner Bros. TV

DC Comics super hero Black Lightning (image via shadowandact.com)

article via shadowandact.com

According to DC Comics Universe lore, Black Lightning (real name Jefferson Pierce) – created by Tony Isabella and Trevor von Eeden, first appearing in “Black Lightning #1” (1977) –  is a super-hero with the ability to generate and control lightning. Originally he was a high school principal and Olympic-level athlete who became a vigilante to take down organized crime in Metropolis’ Suicide Slum.

Eventually he would become a member of Batman’s team of Outsiders for many years, although he retired briefly to become secretary of education underneath president Lex Luthor. Returning to crime-fighting, he has also been a member of the Justice League. His two daughters operate as the super-heroes Thunder and Lightning.

And now a live-action series based on the superhero is set to come to your TV screens – The CW specifically – in a collaboration between Mara Brock and Salim Akil and Greg Berlanti, the man behind all of the CW’s DC universe series.

Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil will write and executive produce the series with Berlanti Prods.’ Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, for Warner Bros. TV (recall the Akils inked a 3-year deal with Warner Bros. after exiting BET last year; “Black Lightning” will be their second project under the new deal; the first, announced a week ago, will be a comedy series titled “Documenting Love” which will center on a modern-day power couple navigating life, love and family.

To read full article, go to: Mara Brock & Salim Akil Team Up With Greg Berlanti for ‘Black Lightning’ Superhero Series – Shadow and Act

New Jersey Educator Naseed Gifted Launches STEM Comic Book, “P.B. Soldier”

Naseed Gifted (photo via blackenterprise.com)

article by Samara Lynn via blackenterprise.com

Nat Cummings is a talented computer hacker using his skills to pay his college tuition. A covert operative, he is well-versed in hacking, hand-to-hand combat, blade combat, and stealth.All is well with Nat until he is listed as a
n International Terror Threat,­ Code Red.

The newly formed government/paramilitary organization called The Establishment gives him a simple choice, either work with them to become a highly trained assassin or be terminated. Nat is the protagonist of a new science fiction comic book series, P.B. Soldier. The series not only promises an exciting story of an African American antihero, but it is designed to teach STEM skills.

P.B. Soldier is the brainchild of PBS Media, an independent comic book publisher founded by Naseed Gifted.

Gifted is not only the comic’s writer and creator he is a long-time math teacher, was an engineer, and is currently an administrator for the Pre-Academy division of the New Jersey Public Schools system.

Today, PBS Media is launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $8,500 for the production of episode 3.0, the sixth installment of a 13 book arc. Funds will go toward payment to line artist and colorist Abel Garcia, and the actual production of the book, including printing and distribution.

A portion of proceeds will go to the Central High School Pre­Engineering Academy in Newark, New Jersey, where Gifted has taught and led for the past 13 years.

To read full article, go to: New Jersey Educator Launches STEM Comic Book

“Bad Feminist” Author Roxane Gay Becomes 1st Black Woman to Ever Write Marvel Comic Book

Zenzi, in green, a revolutionary in Wakanda, the home of the Black Panther. (Photo via Marvel Entertainment)

Zenzi, in green, a revolutionary in Wakanda, the home of the Black Panther. (Photo via Marvel Entertainment)

article via theroot.com

Roxane Gay is set to write a new Marvel comic book in the World of Wakanda, which delves into the lives of the women of the Black Panther comic book series universe. It will be released in November, the New York Times reports.

The Purdue College professor and “Bad Feminist” scribe will team up with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates who has written his Black Panther series set in the fictional African nation.

Complex reports that the new series will involve several black women as writers and illustrators in addition to Gay. Alitha Martinez is the illustrator, and Yona Harvey and Afua Richardson will co-write and illustrate, respectively, a special “backup” story that will appear in the series’ debut issue.

Gay’s story will feature two members of Black Panther’s all-female security team—Ayo and Aneka—who fall in love. Harvey’s first story will revolve around Zenzi, a female revolutionary introduced in the first issue of Coates’ Black Panther series.  “It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever done, and I mean that in the best possible way,” said Gay to the Times.

Coates recruited both writers because he thought it important to have a woman’s perspective. “The women in Black Panther’s life are very, very important,” he said.

Read more in the New York Times and Complex.