My upbringing revolved around Phil LaMarr’s voices. He brought to life both John Stewart’s Green Lantern and Virgil Hawkins’ Static. Both characters were characters I could identify with as a young black man. That is no small feat back when there was limited black representation in animation. We can’t forget Hermes from Futurama, Black Manta in Harley Quinn, and his amazing work on Samurai Jack as the titular ronin. Check out Vanity Fair’s breakdown of Mr. LaMarr’s more noteable animated characters below.
Phil LaMarr voiced a number of video game characters that jumped out at me over the many years I have been gaming. The one that surprised me the most when he started speaking was Vamp from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots. He took on the role of Aquaman in both the Young Justice cartoon and the Injustice video games. And last but certainly not least, Sam B from Dead Island. In that game, Phil asked us the all important question…
Who do you voodoo, bitch?
Once you know the cadence of Phil’s voice you can pick it out anywhere. That’s the fun for me. I always get a kick out of hearing his take on a character. I normally say “Hey, that’s Phil LaMarr.” to no one in particular when I clock his voice. It’s always a treat when he voices a super black character as well. His brief appearance in the Harley Quinn cartoon as Black Manta was a “Hey, there he is!” moment.
Check out his range below.
The bottom line on Phil LaMarr
I have been a fan of this man since his stint on Mad TV. He is immensely talented, hilarious, creative and relatable. It’s always good to see a successful person who you can identify with. I know black nerd very well, and Mr. LaMarr is one of the best.
And if Mr. LaMarr ever reads this, just know your Green Lantern inspired me to create Super. Black. Thanks for representing.
Don’t forget to follow the legend on Twitter @phillamarr.