Black women characters are often overlooked, oversexualized, and written as one-dimensional compared to their male and white counterparts. In entertainment and literature, we see few Black women characters that have depth, reflection and development. Obviously, there are some exceptions, but the numbers do not lie. A 2014 study shows, “11% of all female characters were Black in 2014, down 3 percentage points from 2013 and down 4 percentage points from 2002.”
We decided to explore the comic book world and discovered strong black women leads in several CB series.
No spoilers, we promise.
Michonne from The Walking Dead, is a kickass character with depth who bears two katana swords. Her skill in combat against the walkers is flawless, and her movements are fluid with her lethal blades. Michonne is recognized as a cold woman, but as we learn more about her past we see that she processes her losses in a profound way. She perseveres tremendous adversity and gives others the strength to do the same.
2. VIXEN of Justice League of America
You have probably seen her linked up with (the black) Green Lantern in DC Comics Justice League Unlimited cartoon television series. But did you know she has her own comic book? Rich in African roots, Vixen is a fierce fighter and wields the power of animals. Her personality is full of sarcasm, boldness and vibrancy! The CW network released a webseries based on Vixen in 2015, you can watch here.
Niobe is a new character from Stranger Comics, Niobe: She is Life. This comic was co-written by actress and social activist, Amandla Stenberg. Niobe is about a human/elf hybrid who bears a prophetic calling on her life to save the world of Asunda. This tale is full of sheroism, romance, self-discovery, all while she seeks to save the world from the Devil Himself.
Amarosa is butt-kicking character from Action Lab Entertainment’s Fight Like A Girl. This comic is about a young girl who is on a quest to save her brother from impending doom. In order to save his life, she is put through nine difficult trials. On her journey to save her brother, she battles self doubt, and uncertainty, but discovers beauty in her strength.
5. MOON GIRL
Marvel’s Moon Girl or Lunella Lafayette is about a bright girl living on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan. She was teased by her classmates. They called her “Moon Girl” because she always spaced out during class. Lunella is obsessed with the Kree and discovers a device that allowed the past to invade the present. Even though she is a child, she is brilliant and quirky! Check out her comics here.
We briefly spoke to the Dean of VixenVarsity.com, and she gave us her BWC suggestions. Among her suggestions and favorites were Vixen, Michonne, Amarosa, and one we did not mention, Princess Adrienne.
“Princess Adrienne saves herself after being locked in a tower by her father. Who needs a stinkin' boy to come and rescue her? Not Princess Adrienne,” she says. Dean is also the creator of BlackComicsMonth.com and has a hashtag on Twitter, #BlackComicsMonth.
Dean reminds us we possess the power of representation, “Create your own comics, don't let anyone tell you what you can and can't do. It's your story, tell it!”
That’s right, it’s our story and we will tell it.
Rachael Edwards is an artist of many forms from Baltimore, who blogs, styles folks & uses too many commas. Follow her on Twitter: @rachael_firefly