With Black Panther poised to shatter box office opening, there’s no doubt Hollywood execs are frantically trying to discover the next breakout black superheroes to spotlight in a feature film.
I decided to come up with a list of five viable black superheroes. There’s some obvious choices, but some you might find surprising to see miss the cut.
I kept John Stewart out since DC sounds like he’s going to be in the mix for the Green Lantern Corps film alongside Hal Jordan. Here’s my list. Let me know what you think.
Triathlon — A creation of Kurt Busiek and George Perez during one of the most acclaimed periods of the Avengers, Delroy Garrett was a disgraced Olympian who refocused his life and became a hero with the Triune Understanding. Little did he know his abilities were stolen from the hero 3D Man.
Triathlon would be another character that would benefit from an introduction in another film before his solo film. He’s the kind of character that could have a nice redemptive arc that would connect with audiences. The best part about him is he’s a blank enough slate that Marvel Studios could have more freedom with him than some other characters.
Static — Virgil Hawkins was a regular high school student until he got exposed in the Big Bang. Static was arguably Milestone’s flagship book and he earned a TV series that lasted three seasons. It’s a little too simple to call Static the black Spider-Man, but his sense of humor and family drama did create some similarities. Considering so many young black children rallied around Black Panther, a younger black hero might have just as much impact as an aspirational character.
Rocket (and Icon) — Raquel Ervin attempted to rob Augustus Freeman’s house, but ultimately ended up encouraging him to be a superhero. As his partner, Raquel took the identity of Rocket with a belt that gave her kinetic energy abilities.
Rocket would be a fresh take on the superhero genre as Rocket would be teaching Icon how to be a hero. One of the core aspects of the Milestone series was Rocket having to help Icon see the plight of inner city kids without being labeled a sell out. With such a focus now on being woke, this could make for a fun and socially relevant film.
Sam Wilson — when Captain America’s super serum was stripped from him, he needed someone to take his place. Falcon reluctantly took up the shield to become the next generation Captain America.
Based on Nick Spencer’s run, this film could thoughtfully examine a black man trying to inspire others while dealing with racial prejudice and social media outrage. Of all the viable options for Marvel, this could be the most topical and likely to strike a chord beyond the standard superhero film.
Captain Marvel – Monica Rambeau has the sad distinction of being the only female black Avenger. With the ability to tap into the electromagnetic spectrum, Rambeau is one of the most powerful Avengers.
DeWanda Wise is part of the Captain Marvel cast and while her role hadn’t been identified, it’s likely as Rambeau. Given the major role the black female geek community had in hyping Black Panther, Marvel would be foolish not to be consider tapping into the very fertile black female moviegoer market ready to see a full-fledged hero reflecting them on the big screen.