Friday, February 23, 2007
Favorite Fictional Black Characters
For Black History Month I thought I would do something completely silly and list some of my favorite fictional black characters. These guys and gals made an impression on me and shaped my view of African Americans for good or ill. Just to be clear, I’m choosing Sci-Fi and Fantasy types of characters otherwise the whole list would be taken up by roles played Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington and Pam Grier. I know I’m missing plenty folks but seeing as how I want to get this out before the end of the month… In no particular order.
Punk Storm: the first X-men comic I read was Uncanny X-men #173. In it Ororo flips out shaves her head into a Mohawk. I grew up with the wild, punk Storm, that’s how I always picture her.
Sinbad’s Black Lightening: On a Saturday Night Live skit mocking the death of superman, Sinbad played Black Lightening, who crashes the solemn dignified ceremony. “I’m Black Lightning. Me and Superman were like that” as he hangs back around the food table eating Buffalo wings. As a college kid I thought, finally somebody gets it. “Man, I’m Black Lightening” (I wish I could find a clip or picture of this of this)
Uhura: OK this is obvious; of course a geeky guy like me would find her memorable duh!
Dr. M’Benga: since we’re on Star Trek, I should mention the good doctor M’Benga. He only appeared on two episodes of Star Trek but I really liked this guy for some reason. Maybe because he was a normal, well-spoken, intelligent Blackman, I remembered him. There weren’t that many on TV back in the day.
Fat Albert: Hey hey hey, this was the animated character that taught the other Cosby kids and me that there is nothing wrong with being bi-racial. What great message for a 7yearold!
John Stewart Green Lantern: long before the Justice league cartoon I was a big fan of this guy from the comics. He’s my favorite Green Lantern, ‘cause John gets the job done and gets the girl without all the angst stuff that the other GLs spew.
Zula: In some ways the opposite of Conan, who he adventured with in Marvel Comics’ Conan the Barbarian, Zula was of Royal blood and reluctantly educated in the ways of sorcery. He was the equal of Conan in battle and was the last of his tribe. Plus, he had a cool Mohawk. (I’m seeing a theme here).
Zoe: Firefly and Serenity created many memorable characters but none more memorable than rip-roaring; ex-career military turned privateer Zoe Washburne. She’s Tough as nails, cool as ice, and gave many a nerdy white guy hope.
The Duke of New York, “What did I teach you…?” If you don’t know this pre-chef role by Isaac Hayes, shame on you.
Mr. Glass, We always have folks teaching us how to be heroes. Well, now finally we have someone who really gave us a lesson in what it means to be the ultimate villain.
More than Honorable Mention:
Static Shock: good superheroic fun
Blade: the first successful Marvel Comics movie franchise.
Dr. Stephen Franklin: My favorite character on Babylon 5
Foxy Love: She makes me laugh… a lot
Geordi La Forge: I always rooted for this guy to get laid
Lando Calrissian: for the hilarious pseudo rant in Chasing Amy.
M’Shulla : 1st interracial kiss (and relationship?) in a mainstream color comic
Teal'c: Large and in charge
Frozone: everything about the Incredibles was awesome including Frozone