Happy Women's History Month! As we appreciate all the women that have sacrificed their lives for equality, the freedom to own their artistic expression and the right to be themselves, I decided that all women (and men) should be aware of all the black female superheroes in the most recent years. Why do you think this is important? Well, if you ask anyone to name a black female superhero they will probably say Storm from X-Men. So in an effort to promote the versatility of black female superheroes, I've complied a list of a variety of heroes that have appeared in various comics in the past 50 years.
My personal favorite is Misty Knight. She is strong, beautiful and she is all about justice and runs her own detective agency similar to another female superhero, Jessica Jones. She lost her arm in a bomb explosion and Tony Stark also known as Iron Man built her a cybernetic arm.
What I enjoy the most about these superheroes aren't just limited to their superhuman strengths, but their backgrounds and upbringings were an important factor that helped mold them as individuals. These women were doctors, scientists, public servants and some even possessed magic. Not all of them were mutants, some just wanted to use their positions to change the world like a lot of everyday women we are celebrating this month!
Previous to Debrii's debut on the New Warriors Reality TV show, there is very little known about her past. She was recruited by the studio to add "spice" to the show, in hopes of increasing the ratings.
Debrii's appearance was not only startling to Terrax, but the New Warriors as well.The clutter and dust she'd kicked up proved to be the exact cover Terrax needed to escape. When Ashley, the show's producer introduced Debrii as the Warrior's newest member, there was instant conflict. However, in the small town of NuPonder, Debrii was able to manipulate sheets of metal to create a robotic Terrax which she used to help the New Warriors in the battle against robots modeled after history's greatest thinkers.
After a battle against Corruptor, Ashley tells the New Warriors that the show has been put on hiatus, and that they're a Mid-Season Replacement with an order of six episodes (in short, telling them that the show has been canceled). After that news, Nova takes Debrii home. For reasons unknown, when the Warriors resurfaced again, with the show apparently saved from cancellation, Debrii was not present on the team roster.
Regina and Rosetta Morgan are twins that began their crime fighting career in a very unlikely way. Their father, Mr. Morgan, is a upper level criminal/mobster that was encountering resistance from the super hero of the streets, Falcon; Sam Wilson that would grow to become a heated rivalry. This would be the ember that would start the wildfire known as Ladyhawk. Mr. Morgan would finally find success and end the battling between himself and Falcon when he killed Falcon. His daughters were witnessed the act and decided then that they had to do something. Before they could though, their parents would divorce and the girls would be separated. One would stay with their father and the other would leave with their mother. This would only hinder then slightly as they would shortly regroup and join forces creating the costumed crime fighter known as Ladyhawk. They trained regularly and became very skilled martial artists and mastered many different weapons. They even created shurikens shaped like falcons in remembrance of the fallen hero. On top of that they based their costume design on one of Falcon's very first costumes.
Once done they started their war on crime. During their time fighting crime they even joined the team the New Warriors. The quite almost as soon as they joined, finding that they we better fit as solo warriors. As a rule they never went on field together. They wanted the public to believe that it was only one girl, not too. That also meant that if one was no longer able to preform as Ladyhawk, the other would take over. Even though they had a plan set in the event that this happened they never thought it would happen. During a heated battle Rosetta was badly injured, nearly dieing. She would be paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. This would change the situation a bit. Regina then took over full-time duties and Ladyhawk, while Rosetta stuck to her computer knowledge to aid her sister any way she could. Shortly after the incident they found that the attack on Rosetta originated from their father Mr. Morgan. It was then that they focused their rage on their father and his downfall.
An exceptional gymnast, Tamika Bowden was under consideration for the Olympics when she lost the use of her legs due to gym equipment sabotage ordered by gangster Big John Buscelli in retaliation for her father Dennis's refusal to join his criminal organization. Dennis, a former Hydra weapon designer, created an exoskeleton to allow her to regain her strength, speed and agility. Dedicating herself to toppling Buscelli's criminal empire, Tamika, as Wildstreak, accompanied her father in undermining Buscelli's activities wherever she could find them. One lead brought them to Florida, where she worked alongside the Thing and Psi-Lord against Dreadface, an alien menace allied with Busclli's rival Manny King. Back in New York, she subsequently worked with demi-god Thunderstrike in exposing one of Busclli's gun smuggling operations, although their efforts were disrupted by a more murderous criminal opponent, Sangre.
When Laura and her twin sister were born, their parents were under extreme mutaphobia as American citizens and decided to kill Laura's twin sister, Goblyn, under the belief that she was a mutant. Laura protected her sister by opening dimensional portals and sent her to the realm that would later be called Liveworld. Laura would soon grow up to be an autistic girl that was isolated from society and in hope for her autism to be cured, her parents sent her to the New Life Clinic, which was unknowingly run by a mentally unstable villain called Scramble.
Laura under extreme prejudice and fear within the New Life Clinic soon escape but was caught by another villain called Bedlam and was forced to join the villainous team Derangers. During her first fight with the superhero team Alpha Flight, she swapped places with her sister who she ad called her Goblyn. After the battle with Alpha Flight, Laura and Goblyn pledged their allegiance to Alpha Flight and became members of their secondary team Beta Flight under the belief that the two were the same person.
Flint is one of the team members of Stormwatch when it was being manipulated by the evil Weatherman. She realized her commander was immoral when she was sent on a property destruction mission as a measure of revenge in enemy territory. While Flint herself was not commanded to kill, her teammate Rose Tattoo was; to kill the first 223 people she sees, no matter how innocent.
Flint is essential to the 'Wildcats/Aliens' crossover. After the entities infiltrate Stormwatch headquarters, she is able to make it to an escape pod and crashland on Earth. This provides vital warning and allows a team to return and rescue the survivors.
Despite Flint's durability, she is scarred by the aliens blood.
The young woman who would come to be known only as shard in the years to follow was born in an alternate time line some eighty years into the future. She was born at a time when mutants were an enslaved people her parents had fled from Australia in their youth right before it was bombed and she and her brother Bishop were born in a mutant concentration camp where they were branded for being mutants.
Her parents soon died either shuffled off into other camps or during the Summers Rebellion. They were raised by their only surviving family member their grandmother. She was given the name Shard as a child because she was so fragile.
After they finally gained freedom and their grandmother died she and bishop lived on the streets as thieves for awhile. On the streets they became embroiled with local gangs and almost ended up killed. She and her brother managed to get the attention of the XSE who offered Bishop membership. He agreed but with a condition, Shard would join as well.
Raquel Ervin was born in Paris Island, the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhood in Dakota. Although she is only the sidekick of the title character, Icon, she is the actual protagonist of the series. She yearned to become a writer ("just like Toni Morrison"), but lacked the motivation. That is, until she met Augustus Freeman IV, a corporate lawyer who was secretly a stranded alien with superhuman powers. This occurred while she and her friends were robbing Freeman's home. Raquel convinced Augustus to become the superhero Icon, and to take her on as his sidekick, Rocket. While in costume, she wore a belt Icon fashioned out of his escape pod's inertia winder, which allowed her to manipulate kinetic energy.
Anissa Pierce is the daughter of Jefferson Pierce, the hero known as Black Lightning. She was a medical student and did very well in school and her father didn't want her to ruin that by becoming a vigilante. She respected his wishes and waited until the night she graduated before putting on her costume (and blond wig) and becoming Thunder.
Rosabelle Mendez was New York University student, who was kidnapped by Maxwell Lord, then sold to Wildebeest Society. Steve Dayton as Crimelord was obsessed with experimentation which led to the creation of the technology that turned Rosabelle into the cat-hybrid by the Wildebeest. The new Wildebeest Society began their own genetic alterations with animals and humans to make a suitable host for the true Wildebeest. By altering the humans/animals they experimented on their bodies would become strong enough to withstand the force of the true Wildebeest. All the experiments died except one and that was subject X-24/ Pantha. She managed to free herself and escape but would return to exact her revenge on the people who created her.
Karen Beecher met Mal Duncan when he was in the Teen Titans original team. They worked together on developing the Gabriel Horn, and it was during this project that they fell in love.
Because Karen felt that the Titans did not appreciate Mal, she went back to the drawing board and came up with the Bumblebee's uniform and equipment. She broke into Titans Lair: a move which led the Titans to believe that she was an enemy.
Her true plan was meant to give Mal a chance to flex his powers and look good in front of the other titans, but Mal's teammates defended him, this ended when Bumblebee escaped, with her identity still intact. Karen learned how much Mal's friends respected and cared for him. Karen revealed her identity to Mal and also to the Titans, and she apologized for her actions. Eventually, Bumblebee joined the Teen Titans, she was a member until the group disbanded.
Karen took night classes in physics, computer technology and political science.
Misty Knight's a highly-decorated police officer, those former days on the force jarred to a halt when she lost her right arm to a terrorist's bomb. Tony Stark arranged for her to receive a bionic prosthetic replacement limb in recognition of her bravery. Against taking a desk job for the police, she resigned and became a private investigator, with her friend Colleen Wing. While trying to stop the villain Emil Vachon in Hong Kong, Colleen was almost raped but Misty Knight was able to save her. The two then setup Knightwing Restorations Ltd, nicknamed the Daughter of the Dragon, and often dealt with cases nobody else was willing to resolve.
Cecilia was born into a poor family in a bad neighborhood. She has Puerto rican heritage. When she was just six years old, she witnessed her dad gunned down and killed. She held him in her arms as he died. Cecilia made a vow that one day she would do something. Reading her brother's science textbooks that night, she knew that she wanted to become a doctor, so that she could help other people. Thanks to her stubbornness, Cecilia spent nineteen years studying and made her way out of her poor neighborhood and went to medical school, eventually becoming an intern doing her residency at Our Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Bronx - all the while keeping her mutant powers a secret. During her time trying to become a doctor, Cecelia hadn't had a date for three years and hadn't kissed someone in four and a half years.
She was approached by Professor Xavier, who invited her to come to his school, train her powers, and then go on to join the X-Men, but Cecilia could not accept herself as a mutant. She didn't want to be involved in mutant affairs in any way; she wanted to save lives as a doctor. The Professor left, promising to keep her status as a mutant secret. For all her early life she was afraid people would discover she was a mutant.
Nubia (1973) was initially depicted as a twin to Diana (Wonder Woman) when she was formed from black clay. Nubia possessed a magic sword created by Mars, a Greek god who sought to destroy Wonder Woman, which was the only weapon on Earth that could counteract Diana's magic lasso.
Nu'Bia (1999) was later re-imagined as an Amazonian warrior with 3,000 years of combat experience providing her expertise in both hand-to-hand combat as well as with hand-held weapons. As an Amazonian warrior she also possesses immortality, superhuman strength, durability, stamina, agility and enhanced intellect.
CAPTAIN MARVEL / SPECTRUM
Monica Rambeau was a lieutenant in the New Orleans police force. While trying to prevent the creation of a dangerous weapon, Rambeau is exposed to extra-dimensional energy and as a result she can transmute her body to energy and back again at will.
Rambeau, now known as Captain Marvel, can transform herself into any form of energy within the electromagnetic spectrum including cosmic rays, gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet radiation, visible light and electricity. She is invisible and intangible in many of her energy forms, she also has the ability to project these energies from her body while she is in human form, usually in the form of energy blasts from her hands.
Vixen is an African female superhero who has the ability to tap into Earth's morphogenetic field that allows her to mimic the abilities of any animal, by simply focusing on its specific abilities and drawing them directly from the field. Using her Tantu Totem, a mystical totem said to be created by the African god Anansi the Spider, Vixen is able to control her powers.
Her many powers include the ability to spit venom like a spitting cobra and to acquire the strength of a rhinoceros beetle (about 65 tons), the constriction of an anaconda, the wall-crawling ability of a spider, similar to Spider-Man, the speed of a cheetah and the flight of a hawk.
What are some of your favorite black female superheroes?