Have you ever stopped to wonder why do black superheroes have black in their name? Whether you like it or not, using Black as a superhero adjective is a thing in pop culture. Prominent heroes like Black Lightning or Black Mariah, down to lesser-known heroes like Viking The Black, suffer from this legacy stereotype. In some cases, like Black Panther, a story element defines the name choice. In many others, it’s an identifier for the hero or villain.
It’s almost like a flare, alerting a reader to the race of the hero. Using Black as an adjective for characters can be a positive, informing Black and Brown comic book fans of a potential hero or villain to follow. On the opposite end, it could a way to “other” certain heroes. Putting them in a category away from other characters.
Why do Black superheroes have black in their name: Using Black as a Superhero Adjective
In this episode of Super. Black. we answer the question “why do black superheroes have black in their name?” It’s not as simple as “Because ____”. Black is used as an adjective to inform fans of the hero or villain’s race. Very rarely does the “Black” in their title refer to any kind of power set or personal trait, other than the color of their skin.
Join me as we discuss the trope of using Black as an adjective for superheores and villains.
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