Saturday, August 18, 2012

Over 100 Black Female Superheroes!

(Yes, I'm once again pandering to popular search items for this blog. People want black female superheroes, so I'm delighted to deliver.)

It's not my best work, but I'll always be proud of writing Captain Confederacy, the first black female superhero to have her own series* from a major publisher, Marvel's Epic division:

I forget how I came across the following fanvids, but discovering that Captain Confederacy is included makes me feel right chuffed.

Here's an interview about my comics: SHETTERLY CAPTAIN CONFEDERACY & CHARITY

It probably will never happen, but I'd love to do more with those revamped public domain characters someday.

And here's an interview with Vince Stone (‘Captain Confederacy’ artist) | "Lessons learned from Star Trek? Be open to different experiences, be tolerant of others and if that doesn’t work – launch photon torpedoes!"

* Marvel's Monica Rambeau, their second Captain Marvel, was the first black female superhero who had her own comic from a major publisher, but it was a one-shot special issue released to secure Marvel's trademark on the name:

Still, she should've been in the Avengers movie. Just sayin'.

ETA: Strange factoid: two of the first black female superheroes were sound-alikes, Bufferfly and Bumblebee.


  1. I was never thrilled with Monica Rambeau -- the writer who did the best with her was Warren Ellis, an opinion which pains me for various reasons -- but apart from her, Marvel only has Storm and Misty Knight to speak of as Black female heroes who've appeared in multiple series and been handled by many different creative teams. All the others I'm aware of were minor characters who never got very far.

    (DC might actually have done slightly better on that score, but neither company has much to brag about there.)

    1. Most black female superheroes, like most superheroes, suffered from blandness, so you would have to give Rambeau a personality transplant to make her a star, but hey, it's comics. Radically improving her would be easy.

      While I like the look of the latest Captain Marvel, I wish they'd done the same shtick with Rambeau instead.

      My general take on Marvel and DC until the mid-'70s or so is DC was better with gender and Marvel was better with race.

    2. "Personality transplant" is pretty much how I'd describe the Warren Ellis version of Monica Rambeau in Nextwave. It actually worked with her backstory better than anything previously done with her.

      Your comparison of Marvel and DC on race and gender matches my subjective impression as well. I must add that I don't think Stan Lee was any kind of sexist in real life, but his choices in how to present female characters were firmly rooted in his understanding of "this is how female characters are depicted in comics." In retrospect it was a very narrow conception, but he was a product of a specific milieu.

      (Kirby I would submit was by contrast an innate revolutionary; show him any defined boundary of how things were supposed to work and he'd try to figure out how to bust it down.)

    3. Yeah, I'd say Stan the Man was a well-meaning man of his time, but Jack the King pretty much got the idea that women can be as strong as anyone. By contrast, it sounds like at least one of the important DC editors was more than a little racist--Marvel had the Black Panther in '66 and the Falcon soon after, but DC didn't have any black superheroes until, what, 1970? I know Marv Wolfman and Len Wein and others of their generation were fighting for years to get some color into DC.

      Hmm. Just realized that Kirby not only brought one of the first black heroes to DC--Vykin--he also brought one of the first truly kickass women, Barda. Hmm. I'm not thinking of any black female superheroes associated with him, alas.