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10 Black female superheroes you should know

Updated: Mar 29, 2022

Black women have always been superheroes, in one way or another, they've just often gone unrecognized by the mainstream media. Here are 10 of my favorite badass Black female superheroes who hold their own in a male dominated universe. Some of them are well-known, while others are more obscure, but all of them deserve respect. So without further ado, let's get started!

Misty. Mercedes "Misty" Knight first appeared in Marvel Premiere #21 in March of 1975 - a whole year after I was born! But it wasn’t until 1991 when I first crossed paths with the former NYPD detective with the bionic arm in Deathlok #2. Misty’s hand-to-hand combat skills, especially her martial arts ability, is nothing short of sickening. I also love that she’s kicking ass alongside best friend Colleen Wing as the deadly Daughters of the Dragon. That’s something she has in common with my character, Alora Factor, and why she’s first on this list.

Storm. There’s no way I could compile a list without Storm. Born Ororo Munroe, Storm is the first Black female comic book character who totally enthralled me. Storm’s first appearance was also in 1975 in Giant-Size X-Men #1, but my favorite Storm is mohawked, punk Storm who first appeared in 1983’s Uncanny X-Men No. 173. Fans were shocked by the mane chop and I was, too, at first. But Storm with the mohawk was harder and edgier and I was here for it. As one of the most senior X-Men, Storm has experienced a lot in over 40 years and I’ve enjoyed her growth. If I have any gripes, it’s that Halle Berry and not Angela Bassett was cast to play her in the original live action X-Men films. In fact, I’m still pretty salty about it, but it’s not Ororo’s fault.

Captain Marvel. Okay, this is MY Captain Marvel, but let’s not get into that right now. Also known as Pulsar, Photon, Daystar, Sceptre, Lady-of-Light and Spectrum, Monica Rambeau is another former member of law enforcement turned superhero. Monica first appeared as Captain Marvel in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16. Since then she’s gone on to make multiple appearances under different names in different comics, but my most favorite arc for her was when New Orleans was being overrun by vampires and she teamed up with Black Panther, Luke Cage, Blade, and Brother Voodoo to rid her city of the bloodsuckers. Published in Black Panther #12-13 in early 2006, just shortly after Hurricane Katrina leveled much of the city, I can’t help but think that the vampires were a metaphor for all of the military contractors who descended on the city proclaiming themselves a necessary part of the recovery and rehabilitation. Gotta love disaster capitalism.

Shuri. Everyone’s favorite badass little sister, Shuri is a favorite of mine for her prowess with technology. I love a fellow Blerd. Shuri first appeared in Black Panther #2 in May 2005. To be honest, I missed a lot of the debuts from the early aughts because my kids were little and I didn’t have as much time to read, but I started diving back into comics in 2006, starting with Black Panther. I think Shuri’s true brilliance as Wakanda’s chief science officer and as a warrior, especially when she eventually becomes the Black Panther, is better articulated in the books than in the movie, but we’ll see how that changes after the death of our beloved Chadwick Boseman.