Black History Month is a time to commemorate black heroes and achievements, which is why it is so important to display comics that highlight the achievements and empowerment of black characters, from superheroes to real-world civil rights leaders.

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There have been black creators and heroes in the comic book industry from the beginning. Matt Baker was a star in the Golden Age of Comics and was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame, while Jackie Ormes, considered the first black woman to work as a cartoonist, created several original comic series of her own. Popular Static shock The animated series is based on a character from Milestone Comics, a full line of superheroes that featured black heroes. While these classics from the past deserve recognition, this list will illustrate 10 empowering comics currently in print that you can read right now.

10 Far Sector – About a new Green Lantern named Jo Mullein

This series by four-time Hugo winner NK Jemisin, and with stunning art by Jamal Campbell, is about a new Green Lantern, Jo Mullein, who is stationed on a world in one of the most remote sectors of the galaxy.

The City Enduring is a planet completely covered by a sprawling city where three different alien species fight in a tenuous balance of power. When a murder occurs, Jo is tasked with solving the mystery of who is responsible, but those in power will do their best to stop her. With her own unique ring and informed perspectives for life on Earth, and for life as a black woman in the US, Jo can bring new eyes to face these issues while wielding the power of a Green Lantern’s light. .

9 Black Panther: a nation under our feet, rich in African symbolism and philosophy

When the acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates began writing Black Panther In 2016, he merged his existing fanbase (which followed his political essays on race in America) with the comic book fandom. Working with artist Brian Stelfreeze, Coates’ story begins with a democratic revolution taking place in Wakanda, a revolution whose leaders include an old friend and mentor to the Queen Mother.

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This comic is a clever piece rich in symbolism and philosophy, infusing a story about super-powered fighters and supernatural threats with discussions relevant to Central Africa and the African Diaspora. Even the subtitle of the series, A nation under our feet, references Steven Hahn’s Pulitzer-winning story of black political struggles in the American South.

8 Black – Imagine a world where only blacks can get super powers

Kwanza Osajyefo Black, Tim Smith 3, Jamal Igle.  Black Mask Studios

Black is a standalone comic from Black Mask Studios that raises an interesting question: what if superpowers were real, but only blacks could get them? Set in the real world where white supremacy has been woven into power systems, the comic follows a teenager whose powers are activated and who is hunted by the police after he survives shooting him and his friends.

Written by Kwanza Osajyejo with art by Jamal Igle, Tim Smith 3, Robin Riggs, and Derwin Roberson, this comic does not waste time on subtlety as it has a statement to make and no intention of being misunderstood. The sequels include Black AF: America’s Bride, Black [AF]: Widows and orphans, Y Black AF: Devil’s Tint.

7 Excellence: serves as a celebration of black excellence

Excellence.  Image Comics.

In this modern fantasy tale, the Aegis is an order of black wizards, invisible guardians who use their magic to help others. Spencer Dales is the son of one of the greatest leaders of Aegis, and now he takes steps to enter the order, but he soon realizes that there are some serious problems with Aegis that he cannot ignore.

Created by Brandon Thomas, Khary Randolph and Emilio Lopez, Excellence is a comic that is as clever as it is fun, and one that lives up to its name as a celebration of black excellence. Combining the best elements of superhero narratives, Harry Potterand stories about coming of age, weaves an original and unforgettable story.

6 Reginald Hudlin’s Black Panther – Oversaw T’Challa to repel an attempt by Western powers to overthrow his country

There have been a handful of incredible writers and artists over the years who have expanded on the lore surrounding Black Panther and Wakanda. For example, writer Christopher Priest created Dora Milaje. Yet many fans cite Reginald Hudlin as the writer whose contemporary multi-dimensional stories turned T’Challa into the modern sensation that fans around the world know and love.

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Hudlin’s career oversaw T’Challa to repel an attempt by the Western powers to overthrow his country, his marriage to Storm of the X-Men, and the rise of Princess Shuri when she surpassed her older brother. In fact, Shuri debuted in the first story of Hudlin’s career.

5 Power Man & Iron Fist – Force heroes to confront their shared history

Power Man and Iron Fist # 2. 2016.

One of the great comic book duos of all time is comprised of Luke Cage (AKA Power Man) and Danny Rand (AKA Iron Fist). In this David F. Walker and Sanford Greene series, the two former Avengers return to their roots by working as street-level heroes, meeting old friends, battling fearsome enemies, and reconnecting with their community.

This is a perfect book for fans old and new alike. It’s full of heart, forcing the heroes to confront their shared history. Things will never be the same again, but there is still no way to escape the weight of the past.

4 Bitter Root – A fantastic story set during the Harlem Renaissance

Set during the Harlem Renaissance, this winning Eisner comic follows the Sangerey family, a group of monster hunters. While the men of Sangery have historically encountered monsters up close, the women in the family were root workers using magic and herbs (although seeing as we’re in the 1920s, you’d better believe these old gender roles are being challenged).

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Created by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene, this genre-bending story will blow readers away with its rich characters, fantastic writing, vibrant art, and incredibly relevant themes, all of which come together to ensure success. comic. It will stay with your readers long after they have left you.

3 LaGuardia – A pregnant Nigerian woman smuggles into an alien plant in an immigration story

The guard

Written by Nnedi Okorafor and drawn by Tana Ford, this sci-fi comic is set in an alternate version of New York, where LaGuargia is known not only as the International Airport, but as the only Interstellar Airport in the United States. The protagonist, a pregnant Nigerian named Future Nwafor Chukwuebuka, smuggles an alien plant named Letme Live in a powerful and relevant story about immigration.

As Future prepares to give birth, she becomes embroiled in a fight that is reshaping the world her son will enter. Eisner and Hugo Award Winner, The guard It is the kind of book that leaves a mark on your mind and heart, and that you will want to read again and again.

two Niobe – Follow a half-elf named Niobe Ayutami on her fantasy adventure

The vast majority of epic fantasy stories seem to recreate the same European-inspired medieval tropes in the JRR Tolkien lore. The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Niobe It includes all of the dwarf, orc, and elf fantasy magic fans adore, while also bringing in supernatural elements from other cultures (and revitalizing some classic concepts that haven’t always aged well).

Written by Sebastian A. Jones and Amandla Stenberg with art by Ashley A. Woods and Darrell May, this comic follows a half-elf named Niobe Ayutami in a classic fantasy adventure. Hunted by a vampire, Niobe flees for her life and plunges into a world of magical creatures, gods, and the devil. This book explores what it means to live between worlds, pushed in different directions, as Niobe reinvents herself in the ultimate manifestation of the hero’s journey.

1 March – Follow Congressman John Lewis’s march with Martin Luther King, Jr.

march-book-one

No list of empowering comics would be complete without March. The late great Congressman John Lewis wrote a three-volume autobiography about his time marching with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and decided to do it in comic form.

Working with Andrew Audin and Nate Powell, Congressman Lewis opened his comic with a famous event on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where police approached the peaceful black protesters. On the first page, someone turned to Lewis and asked if he could swim. Lewis said he couldn’t. The man replied, “Well, neither do I. But we may have to.” This scene sums up the Civil Rights Movement and Lewis’s long and hard work in the fight for justice, learning to swim because sinking and drowning were unacceptable.

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