RANKED! The 10 Coolest Black Superheroes You Wish You Could Be
Have you ever been treated like a criminal because of the way you look? If you’re a person of color in America, the answer is most likely yes. The chances of these incidents leading to violence or death are disturbingly high. Police are 2.5 times more likely to kill black men than white men, according to the National Academy of Sciences. Driving while black is no urban legend; it’s a national crisis. George Floyd’s killing galvanized real-life black superheroes to say the violence has to stop.
In their honor, we’re celebrating the rich pantheon of black superheroes. This list includes African princes, half-vampires, and at least one secret agent. Oh yeah, and one weather goddess too. They may not all wear capes, but every one of these supes kicks major butt. Here’s our definitive ranking of the coolest black superheroes.
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Cover photo: Marvel Studios
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10. Falcon/Captain America
Anthony Mackie is one of those actors that steals the scene even if he’s playing a minor role. He brought the high-flying superhero Falcon to cruising altitude with his star turn in the MCU, and we can’t wait until he takes flight again as Captain America in his upcoming Disney+ TV series.
Steel’s rename is John Henry Irons, and of all the Supermen to wear the cape after Kal-El bit the dust fighting Doomsday, none had the staying power of John. Though Shaq tried his best to bring this metallic hammer-swinger to the silver screen, we’re hoping Steel’s next cinematic outing won’t have us all groaning "Shazam."
8. Miles Morales
Miles Morales is half-black, half-Puerto Rican and all web-slinging superhero. We loved Spiderman: Into The Spider-Verse, both for Morales’s epic heroic arc, but also for the fresh take on the somewhat stale superhero genre.
It’s easy to forget how instrumental Blade was in setting the stage for the MCU’s success, but we won’t ever forget our badass half-vampire. We loved the Wesley Snipes movies, but are also stoked to see the new depths Mahershala Ali will bring to the character.
While T-Challa usually gets top billing, his genius kid sister Shuri has donned the black cat’s uniform in the comics. We’d love to see this quick-witted brain get a chance to bear her claws on the big screen because actor Letitia Wright is definitely ready for her closeup.
5. Luke Cage
Luke Cage’s super strength and unbreakable skin make him a force to reckoned with, which is why actor Mike Colter was the perfect choice to portray the big guy on screen. While it seems the Marvel/Netflix miniverse is no more, we’d never doubt Power Man’s ability to stage a comeback.
Ororo Munroe is more popularly known by her superhero handle, Storm, so-called because of her ability to control the weather and the fact you don’t want to piss her off. Lightning may never strike the same place twice, but sexy and powerful Storm will always have a special place in our fantasies…we mean, our hearts.
3. Agent 355
Y: The Last Man is one of our favorite weird comic books, and though Yorick Brown is the titular character, badass black superspy Agent 355 is the real hero. We’re so pumped to see this comic adapted to TV and can’t wait for Lashana Lynch to bring this character to life.
Before selling his soul for one of the most badass power sets ever, Spawn was a black veteran named Albert Frances "Al" Simmons. If you’ve never seen the '90s cartoon or read the comics, make sure you rectify that mistake before it’s too late.
1. Black Panther
It should be no surprise that Wakandan King T-Challa, aka the Black Panther, is our superpowered GOAT. No less than award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates writes for the Black Panther comics, so you know T-Challa is the real deal.