Superheroes: Urban Style

Okay, here’s my chance to speak on something I’m really passionate about: comic books. Yall can call me a lame if you want to but comic books have always appealed to me as a Black man. In the Marvel universe for example, mutants (X-Men) had to deal with racial discrimination, forced segregation, hatred and lynch mobs. Marvel even addressed internal conflicts within the marginalized mutant community, between the mutant lower-class (the Morlocks) and the mutant bourgeois, as well issues of multi-racial children, miscegenation and mutants who “pass” for human; all situations that we as Black people deal with on a daily basis. Creator Stan Lee has even admitted to modeling Professor X (the leader of the X-Men) and Magneto (the leader of the Mutant resistance) off of the Civil Rights activists Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, respectively. anckBut one thing that has always bothered me as a child was the lack of Black characters in the Marvel universe. There was your occasional Bishop, Storm or Blade but there weren’t many prominent Black superheroes, and certainly no teams of Black heroes (like the X-Men or the Avengers). So when I heard about Urban Style Comics I immediately got excited. Creator Andre L. Batts, started USC back in 1992 to compete with mainstream comics because there weren’t enough positive Black role models or superheroes in the comic book industry. In the USC universe, there are several Black superheroes with great powers, who celebrate African history and fight for justice in the Black community. For example, take the character profile for Jihad, A.D.

Jihad is an ex seal skilled in military hardware and hand to hand combat. Jihad has the ability to outsmart his opponents, on skills alone. He has been to hell and back several times and always comes out on top. With the death of his family and loved ones, Jihad A.D. has a permanent mission, “TO TAKE DOWN IMPERIALISM”.

Jihad is one of many characters in the USC universe including Queen Sheba, Dreadlocks and Nubian X – all champions of justice and Black liberation. Please check out the website and support this growing phenomenon. For more information on Black Superheroes, visit The Museum of Black Superheroes (my only critique is that Harriet Tubman is not featured in the museum).

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Published on March 23, 2007 at 9:18 am. 8 Comments.
Filed under art,black culture,black image,entertainment,positivity.