Alright y’all, it’s time for another installment of badass superheroes! As Marvel and DC produce more and more movies, there seems to be a noticeable trait among the starring heroes. They’re all straight, white, able-bodied men with apparently NO history of true “imperfections” like mental illness – or if they do display it, it’s something to be “overcome,” and not a facet of themselves that should be accepted. Well, we’ve covered the issues of always being straight, always being able-bodied, and the lack of acceptance around mental illnesses. Now it’s time to focus on gorgeous and powerful heroes that aren’t white and deserve to stand in the limelight!
T’Challa – Black Panther – Marvel :
A brilliant strategist and member of the Royal Family of Wakanda, T’challa not only took on the helm of King, but took on the role of The Black Panther, when he believed that the Winter Soldier murdered his father. He had his big screen debut first in Captain America: Civil War, and is set to star in his own solo film, aptly named Black Panther! He’s portrayed (extremely accurately if I’m being honest) by Chadwick Boseman, and I can’t wait to see where he takes this character next!
Xi’an Coy Manh – Karma – Marvel :
This Vietnamese badass is related to one of the most notorious criminals of her time, General Nguyen Coy. Blessed with mutant powers, more specifically the ability to gain control of anyone’s mind (and in some portrayals, gifted with more physical psionic abilities), Xi’an took on the name of Karma, and eventually graduated from student to faculty member at the Xavier Institute For Gifted Children, where she continues to fight crime and protect the innocent. Not only is she an extremely powerful superhero, but she also claims the throne as one of the first major comic book characters to be openly out as a lesbian. She deserves every bit of credit for being a complete and total bamf!
David Alleyne – Prodigy – Marvel :
David had always been known for his intelligence, but when his mutant abilities appeared and he realized he could absorb the knowledge and skills of those around him, he feared that same intelligence was a farce. He was recruited into The New Mutants at the Xavier Institute, where he honed his powers. Not only is he a fantastic hero but after joining the Young Avengers, readers learn about David’s bisexuality – as well as his crush on The Hulkling.
Renee Montoya – The Question – DC :
This former detective not only had a same-sex relationship with Batwoman herself, but she saw the many injustices done on the streets of Gotham. Determined to help and fend off a cult called The Religion Of Crime, she became the vigilante known as “The Question, and soon joined Batman: Incorporated! This badass cop-turned-superhero has appeared (briefly) on television during Season One of Fox Network’s Gotham, but she deserves so much more than the five minutes of screen time they gave her! I would DEFINITELY sit down to a movie, or even a t.v. series, centered around Renee Montoya.
Riri Williams – IronHeart – Marvel :
This prodigal genius was attending M.I.T. by the age of fifteen years old. Tragedy struck early in Riri’s life when a drive by shooting took the lives of her best friend and step-father. Determined to focus on her studies, Riri challenged herself to build a replica of Iron Man’s suit for herself, but the challenge turned into a quest to help others. After stopping a couple of inmates from escaping the New Mexico State Pen, Tony Stark opted to help Riri achieve her want to be a superhero. After Tony fell into a coma post-civil-war, Riri became Ironheart and utilized the assistance of an A.I. guidance system based on Tony Stark himself! I would kill to see a live action version of Riri Williams flying around in her IronHeart suit!
Despite what the media constantly tries to convey, there ARE superheroes that aren’t straight, aren’t able-bodied, aren’t always able of mind, and aren’t white, and these are a small handful of exceptional examples! Representation is important. Let me say that one more time for those who didn’t hear me in the back…Representation. Is. Important. Anyone and everyone from all walks of life deserve to see that happen for them, and promote representation for others. Did you ever come across a superhero (whether it be real or fictional) that you were able to relate to? Let us know! As always thanks for reading!