athousandsons  asked:

(1/2) I'm writing a superhero novel with a diverse main cast (two white guys, an Indian woman, a Latina woman, and her black girlfriend, and one of the white guys has a black ex-husband and adopted daughter), but I'm white, so I have some questions. My first one is about the black girl. A plot point in the story is that various people connected to the main villain are abducted and experimented on to give them metahuman powers. I want her to be one of these people.

(2/2) Both so that she can become a hero in her own right and to force her girlfriend, who leads the team of superheroes to deal with it. At the end of the story, she is safe and happy, after spending some time recovering. Would this be feeding into problematic tropes? My other question is about the black ex-husband of one of the white heroes. For a while, they are divorced due to plot reasons, and he is raising their daughter alone, and well. Is this a problematic trope about black fathers?

Black Superhero: Experimentation & Powers + Black Single Father

Several superheroes gain their powers due to experimentation, such as Luke Cage. Doesn’t make it right, but as long as you’re not singling out the Black girl and don’t put her through excessively harsh conditions compared to the non-Black people who are experimented on (aka the tortured/brutalized Black body trope and depending on their endurance Strong Black Man/Woman trope) or use the things she goes through for shock value, it should work.

As for the single father, I can’t tell if it’s the Black or white father raising the daughter alone. For one, is this father actually a single father (doing all or nearly all of the work when it comes to raising and supporting the child) or is he co-parenting the child with his ex (both still provide sufficient parenting and financial support)? There’s a difference.

Seeing as there’s no Black mother involved in the situation, the 1 (½) tropes I can spot are Absent Black Father (if the Black father has left the white one to parent without any support). The other ½ isn’t really a trope, more like Black single fathers are praised overall for simply being there for their children while it’s just an expectation for Black single mothers who are not credited for being good people in the same way for raising theirs (and are in fact shamed for being single Black mothers). 

The majority of that is audience perception which can’t be controlled, but just remember when writing, even if the Black man is painted as a good father, which is favorable, men are not automatically extraordinary for raising their children. No cookies for doing what you’re supposed to do, anyways!

~Mod Colette

I don't know what the deal is with black superheroes and electric powers

There are so many, Black Lightning, Storm, Black Vulcan, Thunder, Lightning, Static; its an odd theme. And it is not like they all have uniform powers; for instance Static has electro magnetism while Storm is weather control. Heck in my own original fiction there one of the first vigilantes was a black lesbian who used her knowledge as an electrician to create electrifying armor and punches. So I don’t think they are archetypes of a classic hero, given how different they can be. I don’t think it’s got racist connotations, but I am white so I am probably wrong. (Which is why to be on the safe side I haven’t used that vigilante I invented in a while)

I don’t know, just babbling because I am currently excited for the
Black Lightning show. Not really have a point though. @renaroo @majingojira you are much better at comic fu than me, do you know folks have any idea about this trend? (I am sorry if this starts discourse, I’m just interested in your knowledge)


My second favourite Teen Titans, luv her blackness on the outside but warmness inside…

Instagram l RedBubble

P.S. Don’t disturb Raven, she’s wielding some #BLACKMAGIC there.

Does anyone here know why there are so many black superheroes with the power of lightning or electricity. Not that I’m complaining (that power seems cool), but it’s such a super specific trope and I don’t know why it is

Black Superheroes and Electricity Powers

epperanalchemist asked: This is more an observation than a question, but any idea why it seems like so many african american superheros have lighting powers? Storm, Static Shock, Black lighting, and I think there are two more I’m forgetting. Like, is it concidence or is there a racist stereotype here that Im missing? (I ask because I was planning a superhero with lighting throwing abilities (alla Zeus, for example), and realized there’s a trend).

conqueror-worm asked: First, you all rock. Second, I’m writing a superhero story. My main character is an alien who crash landed here as a baby. She’s black though she’s an alien. Her super power is controlling electricity. I’ve seen a lot of posts/articles saying that a ton of poc have electricity related superpowers in movies and whatnot, and I was wondering if you all thought it was racist a trope? Or if it should be avoided? Thanks!!

Anonymous asked: Hi! I love your blog; I’ve been reading through it voraciously, and have found it tremendously helpful. I’m writing a story about people born with powers (metas); my MCs are a white teenager and a black teenager. I originally wrote the white teen as having electromagnetic control, but then I realized there’s a prominent black comic book hero — Static — who has the same power. Would it be appropriation to do this? Are there any ways to mitigate it? Thanks! 

The reason I’m concerned is because there are parallels between the white teen and Static; they both decide to use their powers to be superheroes (actual superheroes don’t really exist in this setting), they both fly by levitating ferrous objects, they’re both comic book nerds, etc. This power has a narrative purpose, but if I give it to the black teen instead, I feel like I might be pandering. Would lampshading help? Thanks!

Hi all.

So this is indeed a trope that a lot of people have noticed. Even TVtropes has taken note with their “Electric Black Guy” trope page. They actually explain the trend here:

In 1977, DC Comics revealed their first headlining African-American superhero with Black Lightning. However, due to numerous controversies and licensing disputes, in the many many adaptations of the DCU he has often been used via Captain Ersatz. This eventually developed into a consistent pattern in which Black superheroes had electricity-themed powers.

In short, this trope is when you mix the black person with Shock and Awe.

From my understanding, this trope is not one engraved in racism (at least not in itself) but is indeed a trope. Black heroes are typecast into roles with electricity powers because it’s what people have seen again and again, thus a “natural” inclination. Much like when people place marginalized characters into the roles they’ve always seen them in because it’s what they know, this is the same concept minus the explicit racist stereotyping roots.

And in regards to the parallel between the existing hero with electromagnetic powers; these powers don’t belong to Black characters, therefore it can’t be “appropriative.” There are plenty of superheros with electromagnetic powers that aren’t Black and their writers never had a need to lampshade their work.

I’m definitely hoping for more roles outside of Black characters = electricity, and I do know there are, and if you’ve got a unique Black character with electric powers who isn’t essentially a copy of one before them, great. However, most folks would like diversity even within Black characters with powers and not just a defaulting to the electricity trope.

~Mod Colette

Powers do not belong to any specific group or ethnicity and therefore this does not account as appropriation. Appropriation would actually be more like giving your white character dreadlocks like Static or making him speak in African-American Vernacular English just for the sake of making your character “cool” or “edgy”. 

These are obvious signs of appropriation, but are also easily avoided by not making those choices for your character. You do not need to worry about appropriation in this case, but do be mindful of any cultural appropriation from this trope that may influence your character. 

~Mod Najela

Which comic hero would the companions cosplay as?

-This was a WIP and accidentally got posted, hence a couple of small edits -

“ Hey! What’s this?” Deacon walked up to Sole holding up their cosplay costume. Damn, that thing survived the nuclear blast and raiders? Unbelievable. “It’s a cosplay costume” “ A what?” “ Well people would get together and dress up as their favourite comic book heroes for example. “ You mean there was basically some sort of community that had people who were good at disguises in one place?“ “Ehm… well disg-”  “WE’RE DOING THAT!”

Deacon:  Deadpool

Hancock had an argument with Deacon over who’d get to be deadpool. Hancock almost won because his face resembled the mutilated one of Wade Wilson the most. Deacon spent a day in character before Hancock handed it to him… after all Deacon threatened to keep it up otherwise.

Originally posted by madebyabvh

Hancock:  Rorschach

Originally posted by metal-up-your-ass-bitch

This meant Hancock had to go look for another idea. He eventually went with Watchmen’s Rorschach. A vigilante with his own sense of right and wrong. Given, he didn’t agree with all the character did or said but that’s appearantly the point of cosplay too; being someone else for a lil’ while.

Preston: black panther
Preston was adviced by Sole to opt for Captain America. A national hero, altruistic and strong. Who saves those who cannot save themselves and doesn’t distinguish between race or creed to save them. He agreed at first but then read about black panther. Also a strong leader with the same strong morals and he kinda liked seeing a black superhero in a powerful position. 

Originally posted by marvelgifs

Sturges: Iron Man

As technically Savvy as Iron Man he liked the idea of someone building his own empire based on it. He recreated the fusion core and managed to make a relatively realistic cosplay. As far as staying in character went; he was capable of geting the philantropist part down, sure, but playboy came a little bit more difficult to him. Regardless he tried to flirt with many others and actually… got better at it? Hm…

Originally posted by romvnov

MacCready: Hawkeye

Aiming. Sniper’s got respect for this dude. Besides an assassin with a heart gave him hope that he could one day make up for all the time he spent with criminals, helping them instead of those he should’ve helped. 

Originally posted by skylerlockerbie

Cait: Harley Quinn

Same fighting drive, wit, a little unpredictable and… just cause why not, luv? Also want, take, have was way more of a villain lifestyle anyway. Plus, a bat wasn’t such a bad weapon,and she was clearly comfortable with her body too. Her kinda girl. She blatantly refused to call anyone ‘puddin’ though.

Originally posted by bride-of-the-north

Nick: Phil Coulson

Style, leadership, idealistic: perfect match. The suit and sense of sarcasm were a plus point to him; no weird costumes and easy to get into character. He figured he’d be great friends with this man were he real. He stays in character but uses everyone’s real name. Figures Coulson also knows the men behind the masks.

Originally posted by passdasalsa


Femme fatale in charge of her own destiny, who gets under everyone’s skin? Check. Ok, the catsuit was something she had her doubts about but it helped her get in character. She remarked that some people would start telling her more stories if she was dressed up like this all the time. Her original choice was Lois Lane but she passed because of the lack of an actual proper costume. 

Originally posted by penguin-hoodie

Curie: Poison Ivy

Curie chose poison ivy because she too studied nature and biology. She could only dream of one day knowing as much about which plants in the current world were toxic and which could heal. She wasn’t entirely in character though; Curie really missed her vicious side.

Originally posted by harleyquinnsquad

Danse: Masterchief

Danse had issues getting into the whole cosplay thing. Until Sole brought up Halo. Danse modified some old power armor and asked Sole more of the story line. A defender of mankind, using technology to defend and protect their own. No matter match possible!

Originally posted by maurohq

Glory: Storm

Glory liked her style but also liked the idea that she too was considered less for something she had no control over. Storm was shunned by some because of her mutant abilities, but she drew strength from them. From nature. Glory considers herself human, as much as a child of nature as any other person even if she came to this world in a different manner than humans. Plus: Storm’s a badass, a literal force of nature. What’s not to like?

Originally posted by tchillax

Strong: The Hulk

This was all Sole’s idea. Strong had no idea who the Hulk was supposed to be but Sole convinced him that he pretty much was the Hulk anyway when she handed him shredded dark blue/purple pants. And told him they would make it easier to find the milk of human kindness.

Originally posted by chaptertwo-thepacnw

Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes

Adilifu Nama

Super Black places the appearance of black superheroes alongside broad and sweeping cultural trends in American politics and pop culture, which reveals how black superheroes are not disposable pop products, but rather a fascinating racial phenomenon through which futuristic expressions and fantastic visions of black racial identity and symbolic political meaning are presented. Adilifu Nama sees the value–and finds new avenues for exploring racial identity–in black superheroes who are often dismissed as sidekicks, imitators of established white heroes, or are accused of having no role outside of blaxploitation film contexts.

Nama examines seminal black comic book superheroes such as Black Panther, Black Lightning, Storm, Luke Cage, Blade, the Falcon, Nubia, and others, some of whom also appear on the small and large screens, as well as how the imaginary black superhero has come to life in the image of President Barack Obama. Super Black explores how black superheroes are a powerful source of racial meaning, narrative, and imagination in American society that express a myriad of racial assumptions, political perspectives, and fantastic (re)imaginings of black identity. The book also demonstrates how these figures overtly represent or implicitly signify social discourse and accepted wisdom concerning notions of racial reciprocity, equality, forgiveness, and ultimately, racial justice.