30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

These days, we get to see more people in color in superhero outfits getting the attention they deserve. Back then, even black superheroes or heroes with color did exist. People hardly paid them any mind, and they weren’t given the attention they deserved. In this article, I’ll list down 30 black superheroes from both Marvel and DC, who I believe are some of the best heroes out there.

30. Bumblebee (DC)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Originally an ordinary scientist, Karen Beecher was the girlfriend of Mal Duncan, a.k.a Herald of the Teen Titans. She wanted her boyfriend to look good in front of the other members of the team, so she decided to make a bumblebee-themed super suite and stage a villain attack on the Teen Titans. She managed to escape without her identity being revealed. She eventually came clean with her actions towards the Titans.

Instead of being mad, the Titans were impressed with her skills and decided to extend an invitation to the team to her. She and her boyfriend accepted and moved to the Titans West team in San Francisco. When the Titans temporarily dissolved, she worked for S.T.A.R. Labs, where she created non-lethal weaponry. However, she and Mal rejoined the Titans when they decided to revive the team.

29. Lunella Lafayette/Moon Girl (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

A 9-year-old genius who is said to be the smartest character to exist in the Marvel Universe. She and Devil Dinosaur are partners in their comic book together. Before becoming a hero, she was a little genius who was bullied in school for frequently daydreaming. She is mocked with the name “Moon Girl” by bullies due to her qualities.

Devil Dinosaur ended up going to New York City to search for the Nightstone he and Moon Boy were fighting for. Unfortunately, the said stone had fallen into the hands of Lunella, who deduced that the stone was a Kree Omni-Wave Projector. She eventually met Devil Dinosaur, and the two started off their partnership there.

28. Cyborg (DC)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

A more popular member of the Teen Titans that I grew up seeing in Cartoon Network. His comic book version and history are darker than what was revealed in the television show. Victor Stone was born to two scientist parents who often used him to conduct their experiments. As he grew older, he learned to resent all the treatment despite having a heightened IQ because of them. He eventually started a rebellious phase after meeting Ron Evers but has not yet turned towards the life of crime.

In his parents’ lab, an incident caused his mother to die and Victor to be severely injured. His dad eventually transformed him into the Cyborg the fans are now familiar with. Not everything was easy for Cyborg. Due to the “upgrades,” he wasn’t welcomed into society. Cyborg finds comfort after joining the Teen Titans due to being around other “freaks” like him.

27. Mercedes “Misty” Knight (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Originally a member of the NYPD, Misty was very dedicated to her job, even losing her right arm trying to diffuse a bomb in the line of duty. She was brought to Tony Star, who gave her a bionic arm so she could continue her acts of heroism. After that, she left the NYPD and started a private investigation business called Nightwing Restorations, Ltd. With her friend Coleen Wing.

RELATED: 14 Best Hand-to-Hand Fighters in Marvel and DC

26. Vixen (DC)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

She was supposed to be the first African female DC superhero, but her comic, unfortunately, got canceled. Mari Jiwe McCabe grew up hearing stories about Tantu’s Totem. The Totem was said to be used to access the incredible powers of the animal kingdom. The Totem was supposed to be passed to Mari, but her parents got killed by her uncle before giving her the Totem. 

After some time, Mari moved to America and became an established Model in New York City. She eventually returned to Africa to retrieve the Totem and became the superhero, Vixen.

25. John Stewart (DC)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

It’s really not a surprise that there is a black Green Lantern. John Stewart was originally an architect and Veteran US Marine from Detroit. He was contacted by the Guardians to become a backup Green Lantern for Hal Jordan. John would occasionally take over the Green Lantern role whenever Hal had other duties to attend to, even fighting alongside the members of the Justice League. Eventually, he became the main Green Lantern when Hul decided to retire from duties.

24. Static Shock (DC)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Originally a character created for Milestone Comics, Static got incorporated into DC and became a part of the Teen Titans since the publication was shut down. Virgil Ovid Hawkins got drenched with a strange chemical during a gang war he got caught in. this caused his body to gain numerous electromagnetic powers. After discovering this change in his body, he decides to wear a costume and fight crime. Similar to Spider-Man, Static does not reveal his superhero identity even to his family.

Static Shock was widely popular to the point he was introduced as a kid-friendly superhero show called Static Shock. Several other DC heroes show up in the series to aid Static with his crime fight escapades. Older versions of him are also seen in other shows like Justice League Unlimited and Young Justice.

23. Patriot (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Also known as Eli Bradley. Eli comes from a long linage of heroes. Eli’s grandfather, in particular, Isaiah Bradley, was one of the 300 African-American soldiers to be used to create a new Super Soldier. However, Eli did not inherit any of his powers due to his grandfather fathering his mother before taking the Serum. Since he did not have superhuman capabilities, Eli used Mutant Growth Hormone pills to fabricate having abilities. 

22. Miles Morales (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

A Spider-Man other than Peter Parker. Miles Morales is a biracial teen who gets bitten by an Oz-enhanced spider that causes him to inherit spider-themed superhuman abilities. Miles realized that he had powers similar to that of Spider-Man, a superhero their neighborhood has looked up to. However, instead of trying to be a hero like Spider-Man, Miles chooses to remain like an ordinary teen while concealing his powers.

During an incident months after Miles got bitten, his family got attacked by Osborn. Spider-Man managed to rescue his family but unfortunately met his demise. Miles arrived late to the scene and was struck with regret and grief due to not being able to help Peter Parker despite having the ability to do so. Miles then chooses to become the next Spider-Man, continuing Peter’s legacy.

RELATED: Marvel vs DC Comics: Who Would Win?

21. Blade (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

His real name is Eric Cross Brooks, and he is a half-vampire due to the nature of his birth. While his mother was giving birth to him, a vampire, Deacon Frost, started feasting on her, passing enzymes to the unborn baby. This didn’t cause the baby to turn into a full vampire, but Eric did become a Dhampir. Unfortunately, his mother perished, leaving him under the care of the people in Madam Vanity’s brothel. 

Eric eventually grew into becoming a Vampire Hunter after meeting a veteran in the craft who decided to train him. Eric eventually started to use the name Blade to refer to his Vampire Hunting persona.

20. Storm (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Storm had a pretty tough childhood with her parents constantly moving around and bringing her with them. After her parents were killed in the middle of an Arab-Israel conflict, she eventually became an orphan. The incident also caused her to develop claustrophobia. Growing up, she became a skilled pickpocket and thief. During one of her pickpocket attempts, she meets Professor X, who invites her to become one of the members of the X-Men, a group of humans born with mutant abilities.

Through her journey with the X-Men, she honed her already powerful skills to control the weather and atmosphere. Her leadership abilities are nothing to laugh about either, as she acts as one of the group leaders when the mission calls for it.

19. Black Lightning (DC)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Jeff Pierce grew up in the poorest side of the Metropolis, also known as Suicide Slum. He is depicted as a schoolteacher who acquires electric-type superpowers from a belt he puts on to rid his area of crime. However, his story has been retconned several times because later retelling of his stories says that he was born with the ability to generate the electricity he uses to fight.

18. Bishop (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Bishop is a character from one of the futures in the Marvel Universe. The X-Men no longer exists in his time, but his grandmother has told them so many stories about them until her eventual death. A mission led Bishop back in the past where the X-Men were still alive. He later allies himself with them in order to stop Fitzroy. Eventually, he stays in the past and becomes a full-fledged member of the X-Men.

17. Batwing (DC)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

One of the many members Batman enlisted to help him fight crime worldwide. David Zavimbe is called Batwing, and he is the Batman Incorporated representative for the city of Tinasha. David and his brother Isaac were orphaned at a young age and were drafted as boy soldiers into General Keita’s army, also known as the Army of the Dawn. David and his brothers were considered prodigies among several other child soldiers.

At some point, David manages to kill Keita and escape the camp for a new life. He ends up becoming a policeman in Tinasha, where he can use his skills for law and justice. In another part of America, Bruce Wayne announced the Batman Incorporated plan. He wanted to put up Batman-like heroes in different countries worldwide. Soon after the announcement, he enlists David as a member of his new team.

RELATED: Marvel Legends vs DC Universe Classics: Differences and Which Ones are Better

16. Blue Marvel (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

He was a great asset to the United States as part of the military, and he was incredibly knowledgeable when it came to science. Adam was enlisted to become a project lead on an experiment to harness Ant-Matter. Unfortunately, both Adam and his friend Conner Sims were caught in an unexpected explosion of the reactor they were working on. Conner’s body disassembled into energy and could not stay in the realm of existence. Meanwhile, Adam developed stable antimatter and developed superhuman abilities.

Racism was a big deal in this universe, so Adam was forced to use a blue helmet and a costume that would cover his skin so he would be able to fight crime as a superhero.

15. Cloak (Marvel) 

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Originally a scared teen from a poor South Boston neighborhood, Tyrone Johnson had a chronic stuttering disability. Tyrone and his long-time friend Billy witnessed the shooting of a clerk at a nearby store. When the robbers fled the scene, Billy decided to run as well in fear of getting wrongly suspected. The Nearby police ordered Billy to stop while Tyrone tried to convince them not to shoot. However, due to his disability was unable to get the message across. Billy eventually died after getting hit by the police.

Tyrone was struck with fear and guilt over his friend’s death, so he fled to New York City. In Manhattan, he considered robbing Tandy Bowen, but the girl was victim to another robbery before he had the chance. Tyrone managed to stop the robber and return Tandy’s purse, and the two runaways became friends. The two have stuck together ever since. When invited to take shelter by strange men, the two get kidnapped to become test subjects for a particular drug.

The two of them managed to survive the drug and fled with another prisoner. While on the run, Tyrone found himself engulfed in peculiar darkness and grew a strange hunger. However, his new form was at ease as long as Tandy was nearby. On the other hand, Tandy was now glowing with a brilliant light. Tyrone found out he could absorb the thugs running after them in his darkness while Tandy could strike them down with daggers. They then began calling themselves Cloak & Dagger, two heroes in a war against drug crimes.

14. Synch (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Everett Thomas wasn’t given much attention or much background, to begin with. He is a mutant who s a certain aura that allows him to synch with other superhumans nearby. Through synching, he can briefly gain any power and ability of his target.

13. Aqualad (DC)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

The second person to take up the name Aqualad was Jackson Hyde. Jackson apparently has tattoos that appear on him once he is in contact with water and has since tried to hide this from everyone he knows, including his girlfriend. Entity tells Aquaman that he needs to find Jackson before another group finds out about his abilities. Eventually, Jackson learns about the nature of his abilities and his origins. His father tells him the truth about how Mera had given Jackson to him. He also tells Jackson about the Atlantean chest that must be opened once Jackson discovers his own powers.

However, before the chest is opened, they are attacked by Siren and her Death Squad. Aquaman comes in the nick of time and manages to get them to safety, and Jackson begins his journey as a new superhero.

12. Ultimate Nick Fury (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

You’re probably more familiar with the Nick Fury from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who may or not have received the Super Soldier serum, but his comic version apparently did. Ultimate Nick Fury was an unwilling participant of the Super Soldier Program, but unlike captain America, the Serum only gave Fury above normal strength and agility but not to the extent of the other Super Soldiers. His aging was also reduced thanks to the Serum.

In this Ultimate version of Fury, he is the general of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the head of the Ultimates, a reimagined version of the Avengers.

11. Cecilia Reyes (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Cecilia Reyes is a Puerto Rican mutant who was born in Bronx, New York City. At a young age, she witnessed her father’s death. The incident ignited her will to become a doctor so she could save lives. By the time she managed to become a doctor, she had discovered her mutant powers and was shortly contacted by Professor X to join the X-Men. However, Cecilia refused, wanting to remain a doctor in her current hospital.

Three years later, it seems she couldn’t run away from using her abilities. Several incidents kept happening around her and the hospital she works in, causing the board to eventually fire her for their own safety. With nowhere else to go, Cecilia turns to the X-Men and ends up joining them.

10. Luke Cage (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Luke Cage, or Power Man, starred in his own comic series called Luke Cage, Hero for Hire. Before gaining his ability, Luke was accused and imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. During his stay in prison, he was subjected to an experimental procedure that gave him superhuman capabilities. He was eventually freed and became a hero for hire. Eventually, Luke joined the New Avengers and even became a leader of the reformed supervillain group called the Thunderbolts.

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9. Shuri (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

I’m willing to bet most of us are excited to see Shuri as the Black Panther in the MCU if it ever happens. But if it doesn’t, then at least we still have the comics. Shuri is the Princess of Wakanda and the sister of Black Panther, T’Challa. Since Shuri was little, she had always wanted to become the Black Panther. She even went to compete for the title but was unable to reach the ring before her brother defeated their uncle for the title.

8. Orpheus (DC)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Becoming a hero was never part of the plan. In fact, Gavin King had wanted to become a pro dancer and singer. Unfortunately, this dream got him bullied by his peers on more than one occasion. So, King started to learn martial arts in order to defend himself properly. Eventually, later into his teenhood, King became a pro dancer he had always dreamed about and started touring around the world like he always dreamed about.

While he was touring, his world expanded, and he got to learn about how other people suffer from famine, poverty, and several other problems. He eventually started wanting to become a hero to these people. He was then scouted by an organization that gave him special training and technological support for a superhero costume. He later started to operate under the codename Orpheus. He then returns to his city, where he decides to become an entertainment producer who happens to fight crime on the side.

7. Darwin (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Being a mutant is facing a life full of rejection. Armando Munoz is no stranger to being rejected due to his abilities. He was always looked different from other kids, he was bald, had super long limbs, and his eyes seemed to change. His father even abandoned him and his mother at a young age. In addition, his mother has been blaming Armando for their situation.

One night when their house was on fire, Armando carried his mother out without being affected by the smoke. This caused scientists to want to experiment on him. The boy was then told he was a mutant and was given the codename Darwin. His mother still continued to reject him despite being saved by him. Eventually, Darwin was recruited to join the X-Men.

6. Black Goliath (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

William Barrett Foster was a biochemist who worked for Tony Stark’s Baltimore factory. He helped fellow scientist Dr. Hank Pym who grew 10 feet tall due to a serum. Later he moved to the development section of Stark International, where he was developing on removing the side effects of the Pym Particles. He went as far as testing the experiment on himself and found out that he managed to duplicate Pym’s powers without the side effects.

After failing to win back his ex-wife, Foster decided to live a life-fighting crime. He eventually tried his hand in joining other hero groups and aiding them in their battles.

5. Ironheart (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Riri Williams is a certified child genius who originally hoped to create armor and weapons to help out superheroes. She successfully managed to make a prototype version of the Iron Man suit, which she used to fly around and stop a speeding truck on her way home. Tony Stark found out about this and decided to visit and later endorse her dream of becoming a superhero.

When Tony fell into a coma by the end of the Civil War, Riri chose to continue Ironman’s legacy and took on the new alias Ironheart.

4. Monica Rambeau (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Monica was born at an age when blacks were heavily discriminated against. She worked as a Harbor Patrol Lieutenant but couldn’t raise her rank to captain even if she was qualified for the job. She promised to help Professor Andre LeClare retrieve an energy-draining device that was stolen from him. Rambeau decided to destroy the device instead of handing it over to the other people trying to get it. This incident gave her superpowers.

She now has the ability to convert herself into any form of electromagnetic energy. She was eventually given the title Captain Marvel by her own captain. She ultimately became a trusted alley of the Avengers, eventually becoming the group’s chairwoman.

3. War Machine (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

One of Tony Stark’s closest friends that he trusts with the Iron Man armor. Through their friendship, he became Tony’s personal pilot and confidant. When Tony Stark had a drinking problem, Jim Rhodes donned the Iron Man suit till he eventually had his own suit and adopted the alias War Machine. At one point in his career, he was turned into a cyborg by Tony because he lost his limbs during a terrorist attack. However, he regained his humanity when his mind was successfully transferred to a clone body.

2. Falcon (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

Sam has always had an affinity for birds since childhood, even training pigeons during his youth. When he was a teen going through his rebellious phase, his father got shot, and his mother got killed on separate occasions. Despite their tragic deaths, Sam continued to strive to become a good person. He meets Captain America and Redwing during his adulthood, a falcon he develops a strong bond with. Sam later becomes the superhero Falcon after getting convinced by Captain America to join him.

After Steve Roger decides to retire as Captain America, he trusts Sam to become the next Captain America. Sam eventually lives up to the role and becomes the Avengers leader.

1. Black Panther (Marvel)

30 Best Black Comic Book Characters (Marvel & DC)

T’Challa is from the highly advanced country of Wakanda. He also serves as their King and protector, Black Panther. As a young prince, he was already taught about his duties towards Wakanda and their Vibranium. While he was a young man, he was sent to travel and study in America, where he would adopt the alias, Luke Charles. He eventually returned to Wakanda to perform his duties as the next King.

During the ceremony, to decide who would become the next Black Panther, he anonymously challenged his uncle, standing in as the King. When they learned the challenger’s identity, his uncle happily stepped down to allow his nephew to rule.

  • Tisha Apolinario is one of the writers in Fiction Horizon. She has been writing about anime, games, and movies since 2017. If she isn’t writing, she’s probably on a quest somewhere in the Forgotten Realms or completing her Pokedex entries. Before writing full-time, she used to host anime and game conventions as a sideline.