In recent years the super hero genre has become more racially diverse. What was previously dominated by Caucasian heroes now features a wide array of characters of varying origins. This has translated into the television adaptations of the various comic books that were first created decades ago. As a result 2018 has seen the rise of numerous colored heroes and villains in various superhero movies and series and this is Rookiepencil’s list of top 10 Black heroes of television in 2018.
First on our list is a daughter of the dragon……Misty Knight. Created by Tony Isabella and Arvell Jones Knight, she first appeared in Marvel Premiere #21. In the comics she was a former police officer for the NYPD who along with Colleen Wing formed the crime fighting duo which would come to be known as the “Daughters of the dragon”.After losing one of her arms to a bomb attack she receives the iconic prosthetic arm which many have come to identify her by from Tony Stark.
Misty makes her first appearance on the small screen in the premiere of the MCU Netflix series Luke Cage.She is portrayed by actress Simone Missick and serves as the co-protagonist of the show along side Luke Cage.
Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby the Super hero known as Guardian first appeared in Star Spangled comics #7 published in 1942. In the comics his real name is Jim Harper a police officer in Metropolis’ Suicide slum. He took to vigilantism in order to get to the criminals he could not apprehend as a cop. Guardian has appeared in the CW series Supergirl though not as Jim Harper but rather another iconic Dc comics character….Superman’s pal Jimmy Olsen. He is played by Mehcad Brooks.
Tyrone Johnson a.k.a Cloak and his counter part Tandy Bowen a.k.a Dagger were created by Bill Mantlo and Ed Hannigan .First appearing in Peter Parker the spectacular spiderman #64 they would go on to spawn their own comic book series and eventually wounded up with their own live action television series on Freeform. After been abducted and forcibly experimented on by the criminal chemist Simon Marshall, Tyrone and Tandy developed superhuman abilities. Waging war on crime they became the superhero duo Cloak and Dagger. Cloak is played by actor Aubrey Joseph.
Wally West first appeared in comics in 1959’s Flash #110. Since then the character went on to replace Barry Allen the Flash himself in Dc’s main lineup. Created by legends John Broome and Carmine Infantino Wally West started out as the teenage nephew of Barry’s then girlfriend Iris West. He acquired powers after having a freak accident very similar to Barry’s own. The character has had many appearances in various animated movies and shows including Young Justice. He first appears in the second season of the CW’s flash and later on in Dc’s legends of tomorrow. He is played by Keiynan Lonsdale.
Well he’s not exactly firestorm right now but what the heck give it time…I’m sure they’ll be bringing him back soon in one of the Arrowverse shows. Any way Jefferson Jackson first appears in the second season of the CW’s Flash. He is initially a mechanic who later fuses with Martin Stein the creator of the Firestorm Matrix in order to become firestorm. He would go on to join the legends but lose his powers after Martin’s death.
The character first appeared in 1978, debuting in Dc comic’s Firestorm the nuclear man #1. He was created by Garry Conway and Al Milgrom. He is played by Franz Drameh
Created by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake Mr Terrific makes his first appearance in Dc’s Specter vol 3 #54. In the comics he is Micheal Holt a remarkably gifted genius who basically picks up and retains skills it takes others lifetimes to develop.By the time he becomes a superhero he already has 14 PHD’s. In the arrowverse he is Curtis Holt a bronze medal olympic athlete, co founder of Helix dynamics alongside Felicity Smoak and a vigilante in Star City. Initially an employee for the then Palmer technologies he stumbles upon Olivers secret and helps the team as tech support. He later moves into the field. He is played by actor Echo Kellum.
A character created for the Arrowverse John Diggle has no history prior to Arrow season 1. He later appears in the comics after DC’s rebirth. In the show he first appears as Ollie’s bodyguard but later begins to help Oliver after Ollie reveals to him that he is the hood. Along with Felicity and Ollie they form team Arrow. Throughout the course of the show he has taken up the mantle of the green arrow a few times actually but when Ollie is around he is Spartan a Star city Vigilante and a close friend to Oliver Queen.
Created by Gerry Conway and Bob Oksner, Mari Jiwe Mcabe made her debut in the pages of Action comics #521. She first appeared on the small screen via the cw seeds animated web series Vixen. She then featured in season four of arrow with Megalyn Echikunwoke who voiced her in the animated web series reprising her role. Another incarnation of the character would appear in the second season of CW’s legends of tomorrow.
This time been played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Amaya Jiwe was a member of the Justice Society of America,plucked from her native world war 2 era by the legends she would go on to join the team and become a regular on the show.
Luke Cage a.k.a Powerman was created by Roy Thomas, Archie Goodwin and John Romita Sr. He first appeared in #1 of Luke Cage, Hero for Hire in 1972. He and the hero known as Ironfist would form the crime fighting duo known as “Heroes for hire”. An ex-convict imprisoned for a crime he did not commit he voluntarily undergoes an experimental procedure which renders his skin completely indestructible.
He first appears on the small screen in 2015 through the Marvel/Netflix series Jessica Jones and would go on to star in his own live action series which is currently in it’s second season. He is currently been played by actor Mike Colter.
Last but certainly not least is Jefferson Pierce a.k.a Black Lightning. Created by Tony Isabella and Trevor von Eeden, Jefferson made his debut in 1977 within the pages if his self titled Black Lightning #1. School Principal by day and superhero by night Jefferson continues to go face to face with the meanest of the criminal underworld.
He first appears on the small screen through the CW’s Black lightning which recently wrapped up it’s first season and has been renewed for a second season this October. He is played by actor Cress Williams.
So there you have it , our top 10 black heroes of television in 2018.
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