Tag: DC Comics

‘Black Panther,’ ‘Black Lightning,’ ‘Luke Cage’ Highlight Rise of Black Superheroes

Image via variety.com

by Daniel Holloway via variety.com

Diversity is on the uptick in comics-inspired TV and film. When “Luke Cage” exec producer Cheo Hodari Coker declared at his show’s San Diego Comic-Con panel last year, “The world is ready for a bulletproof black man,” the crowd erupted in cheers. So did the internet. “Right before I said it, I knew what I was feeling,” Coker later told Variety. “I had said variations of it during the day. It was coming from an emotional place, but I didn’t think it was going to reverberate the way that it did. But I’m glad that it did.”

The “Luke Cage” panel came in July on the heels of widespread protests sparked by the killings of unarmed black men by white police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota. When the show premiered in September, it became the first live-action series about a black superhero since 1994’s “MANTIS.” Now it’s getting some company. Next season the CW will premiere “Black Lightning,” based on the DC Comics superhero. And next year Marvel will debut “Black Panther,” the studio’s first feature with a black hero in the lead.

Social, political and business trends have converged to put black superheroes at the centers of burgeoning television and film franchises after years of being relegated to supporting status. Dan Evans, VP of creative affairs at DC Entertainment, cites the emergence of black superheroes on-screen as part of a larger trend in television and film. “There’s so many examples now, from ‘24’ to ‘The Fast and the Furious’ to ‘Creed,’” says Evans, whose office door features an oversize image of Cyborg, the black teen hero who will play a key role in the upcoming “Justice League” movie. “We’ve seen again and again that if you tell a good story with these characters, people will come.”

In superhero comics, the first appeals to underserved minority audiences came with the debuts of Black Panther (1966), Luke Cage (1972), Black Lightning (1977) and others. “These black superheroes emerge parallel to the changes in American race relations in the late 1960s with the emergence of the Black Power movement,” says Adilifu Nama, author of “Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes.” The movement’s push for equality and representation rippled through popular culture. “It wouldn’t be very sensible to think that these demands for diversity would only be in the realm of lunch counters and bus transportation.”

To read full article, go to: ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Luke Cage’ Highlight Rise of Black Superheroes | Variety

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

African-American Comics Company Milestone Media Reteams with DC to Revive Its Black Superheroes

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… Icon!comic movies7

Or is it Hardware rocketing through the skies, or Static Shock surfing on his big, floating garbage lid?

These three Black superheroes soon will return to a comic book store near you. If all goes well, cartoons, television appearances, movies and toys will follow.

That is the message that Milestone Media and DC Comics has been leaking out, by dribs and drabs, all year long.

hardware-comicIndustry professionals Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle, Dwayne McDuffie and Michael Davis planned Milestone in the early 1990s as an independent, African American-owned and controlled comic book. It launched instead as an imprint of one of the “big two” publishers, with a special arrangement between Milestone and DC. It was hailed as a pioneering event in the comic book world.

Milestone would have total creative control over its comics, retain the copyright to all of its characters and have the final say on merchandising and licensing deals, according to the deal. Marvel and DC, the Coke and Pepsi of the comics industry, had dabbled in creator-owned projects before. But a deal of that size and scope was unprecedented.

The arrangement was “very unique in that it allowed Milestone access to a complete system of distribution and promotion while still maintaining a great deal of independent control over the content of the books,” Jeffrey A. Brown, Bowling Green University professor and author of BlackSuperheroes, Milestone Comics, and Their Fans, said to Urban News Service.

maxresdefaultThe agreement “proved beneficial to both DC and Milestone,” Brown said. It “facilitated the Static Shock animated series,” which ran for 52 epi
sodes on the WB Network from 2000 to 2004. It also “kept the characters alive with occasional appearances in the DC Universe after Milestone closed down.”

Milestone’s comic book line launched in 1993 and went on hiatus in 1997 after giving readers hundreds of individual issues. Why did it shut down? “The various titles published by Milestone had a very dedicated fan following but the glut of new publishers over-saturated the market,” Brown said.

Despite rapid expansion, the American public’s interest in comics waned in the late 90’s, partly due to fascination with the still relatively new internet. Dozens of comic book companies and thousands of comic-specialty retailers went bust.

Now, thanks to television, social media and stronger story lines, comics are in another growth phase. The number of shops has risen and other distribution channels have emerged and improved. You can buy individual issues at comic book stores, digital comics for your tablet — via Amazon or ComiXology — and graphic novels are now seen as a legitimate genre of literature.

Continue reading “African-American Comics Company Milestone Media Reteams with DC to Revive Its Black Superheroes”

David Walker Creates Solo Series for DC Comics’ Powerful Black Superhero Cyborg

Cyborg, the techno-powered teenage superhero, is rising to the ranks of peers like Superman and Batman by headlining his own comic book series. But what makes him different from other mainstream superheroes? For starters, he’s black.

A freak accident turns Victor Stone into the half-human, half-robot hybrid hero with Herculean strength and mechanical telepathy. In spite of his of abilities, Cyborg has a complex life dealing with the challenges of being different both as a black male and as a superhero.

David F. Walkerthe award-winning journalist and author who penned the series of black private-eye and vigilante Shaft, is the writer bringing Cyborg’s story to life. We caught up with Walker to get the scoop on the cultural impact of the prolific comic book publisher DC Comics and spearheading a leading storyline for one of the greatest black superheroes ever to exist.

The Huffington Post: Who is Cyborg, and how did he gain his powers? 

David F. Walker: Cyborg is Victor Stone, who first appeared in the pages of a series called The New Teen Titans, back in 1980. Vic is a young African American man who was nearly killed in a laboratory explosion, only to have his life saved, and his body restored through the use of advanced cybernetics. Vic is somewhat unique, in that he doesn’t have an alter-ego, and Cyborg isn’t so much of persona as it merely is his state of being — the result of this devastating accident that almost took his life. The technology that is used to keep him alive makes him look more like a robot, gives him incredible strength, and allows him total access to the Internet by way of the computer implanted in his brain.

What sort of significance do you think it means for Cyborg, a black superhero, to officially have his own series? 

There simply aren’t that many black superheroes with their own series, which leaves a rather large cross section of the comic-reading audience under-represented. I go to conventions, and I see incredible numbers of women and people of color in attendance — in some case making up the majority of convention attendees — and yet that is not reflected in the mainstream comics on the shelves. Cyborg having his own series is a step in the direction of greater representation, which is significant for quite a few reasons. Perhaps the most significant reason is that it helps to activate the dreams of young black people. Lack of representation becomes a form of oppression, sending a message that there is no place for black people or women or the LGBT community in these fantasy worlds that serve as a metaphor for the lives we live, and an escape for the horrors of everyday life.

What traits make Cyborg an interesting hero?

I could say that it is the fact that he is more machine than man — that he can fly, and possesses superhuman strength, and that his brain has the most advanced computer in existence plugged right into it — but that’s not what makes him interesting. What makes him interesting — what makes all heroes interesting — are the flaws and weaknesses that remind us of their humanity.

What things can we look forward to in the Cyborg solo series?

Obviously, there will be action. This is, after all, a comic book, and action drives a large part of the American superhero comic genre. So, we will see Vic facing various threats, from cybernetic-aliens looking to hijack his tech, to super villains we love to hate. But the thing that I think many people are looking for, and that I hope to deliver, is the development of Vic Stone as a character. Cyborg has been around for 35 years, and we’ve seen bits and pieces of his life, but he has always been a co-star in team books like Teen Titans or Justice League, which means there is only so much of his story that can be told.

What elements do you think make for a great superhero comic?

I may get in trouble for saying this, but superheroes are the modern equivalent to the gods of ancient mythology. These are power fantasies and morality tales that are meant to help us better understand the way we live our lives, and give us an escape from both the mundane and horrific that we face on a daily basis. A great superhero comic is brimming with the same things we deal with, only exaggerated to the most wild of extremes.

Continue reading “David Walker Creates Solo Series for DC Comics’ Powerful Black Superhero Cyborg”

Mehcad Brooks Cast in CBS’ “Supergirl” as Jimmy Olsen

Mechad Brooks Supergirl

Days after CBS found its “Supergirl” in actress Melissa Benoist, she has found her love interest. Mehcad Brooks has joined the cast as James “Jimmy” Olsen, Variety has confirmed.Jimmy, based on the DC Comics character, is an attractive photographer at CatCo, the media company where Kara Zor-El works as an assistant to Cat Grant (yet to be cast). Recently, Jimmy has been living and working in National City, though the reason is still a secret.

In the “Superman” comics, Jimmy was close friends with Lois Lane and Kara’s cousin, Clark Kent.

RELATED POSTS:

“Supergirl” is executive produced by Greg Berlanti (“The Flash,” “Arrow”) and Ali Adler (“Glee,” “The New Normal”), and hails from Berlanti Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. Berlanti and Adler penned the hourlong pilot.

Brooks is best known for his roles in “Necessary Roughness,” “True Blood” and “Desperate Housewives.”

article by Elizabeth Wagmeister via Variety.com

CW Network Announces Animated Black DC Comics Heroine “Vixen” Series

The CW network has enjoyed major success with the hit show “Arrow” and the spin-off series “The Flash.” “Vixen” will take place in this same DC Comics universe, which differs from what can be found in the comic books. The announcement for the show was made earlier this month at the Television Critic’s Association press tour. Arrow producer Mark Guggenheim will serve as the executive producer for the series.

The story centers on Mari Jiwe McCabe, a descendant of an African warrior named Tantu. Tantu asked Anansi the Spider to create a totem that would grant the powers of the animal kingdom to whoever wore it. The powers were to only be used to protect those in need and Tantu became a hero. The totem was passed down his family line until it reaches Vixen.

McCabe grew up in a small village in the fictional African nation of Zambesi, M’Changa province. After her family was killed by her uncle as a result of the Tantu Totem, McCabe moved to America to become a model in New York. After becoming a popular star, McCabe returned to Africa and took back the Tantu Totem from her uncle and thus became the Vixen. The character debuted in 1981, and she has been a part of the Justice League and the rouge Suicide Squad.

The Vixen series will are on the CW’s Seed offshoot, which is the online portion of the network. Appearances from the Arrow and the Flash are expected according to a promo shot. There has not been an announcement on which actress will voice the character.

article by D.L. Chandler via blackamericaweb.com

Black Captain America Leading Comic Book Diversity

Diverse Superheroes

WASHINGTON (AP) — For decades, comic books have been in color, but now they truly reflect all the hues of American society.

The new Captain America is black. A Superman who is suspiciously similar to President Barack Obama recently headlined a comic book. Thor is a woman, Spider-Man is part-Puerto Rican and Ms. Marvel is Muslim.

Mainstream comic book superheroes — America’s modern mythology — have been redrawn from the stereotypical brown-haired, blue-eyed white male into a world of multicolored, multireligious and multigendered crusaders to reflect a greater diversity in their audience.

Society has changed, so superheroes have to as well, said Axel Alonso, editor in chief at Marvel Comics, who in November debuted Captain America No. 1 with Samuel Wilson, the first African American superhero taking over Captain America’s red, white and blue uniform and shield.

“Roles in society aren’t what they used to be. There’s far more diversity,” said Alonso, who has also shepherded a gay wedding in the X-Men, a gender change from male to female in Thor and the first mainstream female Muslim hero in Ms. Marvel.

The change to a black Captain America is already having an impact outside of comics.

Continue reading “Black Captain America Leading Comic Book Diversity”

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
%d bloggers like this: