- Ultimate Nick Fury (Marvel Entertainment)
Nick Fury is the most unique member of the black comic book character pantheon, because when the character was first introduced in the ‘60s he was white. Then, in 2002, Marvel launched The Ultimates, a modern retelling of the Avengers’ origin. In this new universe, every Marvel character was given a makeover.
Modeled after Samuel L. Jackson, this Nick Fury is far more world-weary than his pasty counterpart. And because he’s become a movie star, an entire generation of fans have grown up knowing only this version of the character. That’s a step in the right direction.
Less ‘60s superspy, today’s Fury is more of a government figure, with an entire army of S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers ready to follow his every order. It makes for a far more compelling and proactive character. Not content to sit back and pull the strings, Nick Fury is always in the middle of the fight, guns blazing.
- Falcon (Marvel Entertainment)
Falcon is Marvel’s first African-American superhero, and ever since his debut in 1969, the character has grown in popularity with each passing year. Originally introduced as Captain America’s sidekick, the Falcon soon became a fixture in Cap’s solo title, with the name of the book itself eventually changing to Captain America and the Falcon.
Where’d the Falcon come from? There was a man named Sam Wilson, who had his mind melded with a falcon named Redwing by the Red Skull while he was using the cosmic cube. Not only can he communicate with Redwing, he can also “see” through the eyes of nearby birds and fly, thanks to the use of a winged harness.
Falcon might not have found his own voice in the form of a long-running solo series, but as a part of Cap’s supporting cast, he’s indispensable.
- Blade (Marvel Entertainment)
Much of Marvel’s success as a blockbuster media company today has to be credited to Blade. It’s easy to forget that in the mid-to-late ‘90s, the House of Ideas was completely bankrupt, and none of its characters were finding any success outside of the comic books, which were selling horribly at the time anyway. Then, New Line took a chance on a Blade movie in 1998, and the superhero genre has never looked back.
Created in 1973, Blade was only a moderate success in Marvel’s old-school horror line, his only real selling-point that he was among the most prominent black stars that the company ever produced. It wasn’t until the character’s movie trilogy hit theaters that he became much more than that. Thanks to those films, Blade’s a star. His films helped usher in a new wave of vampire action movies and comics that pre-dated the trite Twilight era we’re currently trapped in.
Armed with an array of weapons and intense super powers, Blade blasted onto the big screen in gory fashion, courtesy of the great performance by Wesley Snipes and the vision of directors like Guillermo del Toro. That mixture of horror and action brought Marvel back into the mainstream, and proved that audiences will always gravitate to an interesting character, no matter the race.
- Storm (Marvel Entertainment)
As the X-Men’s resident weather goddess, Storm is one of the most important members of Marvel’s merry band of mutants. Notably, Storm’s inner-strength and personality are grounded in her Kenyan roots, which Marvel has whole-heartedly embraced since her debut. Her heritage is a huge part of what makes her tick, and to Marvel’s credit, the company has always treated her ethnicity with respect and dignity.
Storm’s powers have grown more and more powerful over the years, to the point where her ability to control the weather now rivals that of Thor and the other gods of the Marvel Universe. Though she has the power to destroy towns and cities with tornadoes and hurricanes, she’s always been a composed hero, always looking for a peaceful solution first. Still, if she needs to kick ass, she will.
At no point was that more true than in the ‘80s, when she got herself a punk rock overhaul, complete with a leather costume and stylish mohawk. Since then, she’s taken on a larger role as a leader of the X-Men, and was even briefly married to the Black Panther, before he annulled the whole thing behind her back. Not a good idea. This is a woman who can shove a tornado down your throat.
- Black Panther (Marvel Entertainment)
Sometimes, you get it right the first time. Black Panther was one of the first black mainstream comic book heroes to ever hit shelves and he’s still the best. In 1966, during the American Civil Rights Movement, Black Panther took readers by storm. It was a year after the assassination of Malcolm X, and two years before the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.—the introduction of a black superhero, while insignificant in the scope of national politics, was a big step forward for the community.
Hailing from the fictional country of Wakanda, the Black Panther brought a new kind of pride and strength to the comic book world. His grace and nobility were in stark contrast to the tights and colorful personalities of his contemporaries. More than just a token character, Black Panther was a dignified warrior with a lush mythology and a rabid fanbase.
Over the years, the Black Panther has played a large role in the company’s various crossover events and blockbuster miniseries, while also helming critically-acclaimed solo stories. With Marvel pumping out more movies every year, it’s only a matter of time before Black Panther makes his silver screen debut
Article Remixed from http://www.complex.com