Check out the glorious history of Black superheroes in film

Originally published at: Check out the glorious history of Black superheroes in film | Boing Boing


Blankman is a work of art


Not sure if 1994’s M.A.N.T.I.S. counts since it was a TV show rather than a movie but it did include a two-hour movie pilot produced by Sam Raimi.

The premise was basically “Black genius billionaire philanthropist paralyzed by cop during L.A. riots, builds an Iron Man suit and fights evil forces conspiring to oppress the Black community.” I remember feeling like the idea had potential but the execution was pretty cheesy and the series ended up getting cancelled before they even finished airing the first season.


Yeah, among other issues I felt that it fell into the common trap of a superhero having too many powers/gadgets/resources which ended up making him less interesting. For example his car had holographic camouflage, it could fly, and also work as a submarine. Which maybe is fine if the show is focused on the adventures the guy has with his magical car (like Knight Rider) but that wasn’t even the guy’s main thing.


I just looked it up on Wikipedia to refresh my memory and learned that in the unaired series finale the main characters get killed by an invisible dinosaur. So it sounds like the show not only went totally off the rails but also suffered from the limitations of a 1990s TV budget (“Do you have any idea how much a CGI dinosaur would cost us? It’s late 1994, we don’t have Spielberg money!” “Fine, we’ll make it an invisible dinosaur.”)


The old Doyouthinkhesaurus?


“Abar: The First Black Superman”

I wonder if the creators of the HBO series Watchmen took this movie as inspiration for Sister Night’s secret identity? But now that I think about it, how the heck did a Police detective have a secret identity?

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