Black History Month 2018 will be a time of cinematic history as BLACK PANTHER is set to conquer the global box office. Chadwick Boseman made his debut as T’Challa in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. Director Ryan Coogler and Marvel Studios will now introduce the world to Wakanda, the mythical African nation, T’Challa’s family, allies and enemies.
The success of BLACK PANTHER could lead the way for more black heroes and villains to leap from comics.
Anthony Mackie plays Falcon and Don Cheadle is James Rhodes/War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Mike Colter plays Luke Cage and Simone Missick is Misty Knight in Marvel’s Netflix series. Halle Berry and Alexandra Shipp power Storm in X-Men films.
As we celebrate Black History Month here are more Marvel black heroes you should know about that could be soaring to the screen.
Monica Rambeau was a harbor patrol officer until alien technology gave us the power to turn her body into pure energy. Monica was the first woman to hold the code-name Captain Marvel and led the Avengers in that role. Monica became Photon as part of Nextwave. Monica now goes by Spectrum as part of the Ultimates. In the upcoming CAPTAIN MARVEL film, Carol Danvers will play the title role but fans are hoping Monica will be part of the cast given the comic ties between the female heroes.
In Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, Miles became Spider-Man after the Peter Parker of that universe died. Even when the Ultimate line ended, the fan-favorite Miles was so popular he survived to join the main Marvel Universe in his own solo series and as part of the Champions.
Jericho Drumm wields supernatural and mystical powers. The Haitian born hero was a psychologist in America when he came home, made a vow to his dying brother to carry on the family’s connected to black magic. Drumm was even powerful enough to replace Stephen Strange as Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme. Drumm is a member of the Unity Squad in Uncanny Avengers.
Eli Bradley is a founding member of the Young Avengers. Isiah Bradley was an alternate Captain America kept secret. Bradley was one of survivors of secret experiments to recreate the Super Soldier program in TRUTH: RED, WHITE & BLACK. This hero’s service to his country was classified but he became a legend and inspired his grandson Eli. The younger Bradley claimed to have inherited powers via a transfusion but was actually using mutant growth hormone. Eli was convinced he could still be a great hero even without super powers.
Nezhno Abidemi is a Wakandan like Black Panther. This young mutant can increase his muscle mass giving him super strength. The powerhouse is a pacifist who became a student at Xavier’s. Gentle is now a member of the brand new X-MEN RED, a team led by Jean Grey.
Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen were runaways exposed to an experimental drugs giving them powers. The duo became vigilantes known as Cloak and Dagger. Originally created in Spider-Man comics, the fan favorite heroes starred in their own series, allied with the X-Men, Runaways and Secret Defenders. Tyrone could teleport, become intangible and access the Darkforce Dimension trapping his enemies there. Aubrey Joseph plays Cloak on the Freeform series.
The first black Marvel hero to hit the big screen was this supernatural warrior. Eric Brooks gained powers in the womb of his mother when he was transformed into a vampire. Eric has all the powers of a vampire but none of the weaknesses and became known as he Daywalker. Wesley Snipes embodied absolute vigilante badassness as the vampire hunter in three movies.
Dr. Bill Foster is a gifted biochemist who worked for Dr. Hank Pym (aka the first Ant-Man and Giant-Man) and became a supersized superhero – the second Giant-Man, later Black Goliath and just Goliath. Foster was a Defender, Champion and scientist in the famous Project Pegasus. Laurence Fishburne will play Foster in the upcoming ANT-MAN AND THE WASP but will we see him in costume or go big as Goliath?
BLACK PANTHER opens February 15. Here’s hoping the success of the latest Marvel hero will inspire a generation of creators and see more heroes like the ones above join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.