Characters like Black Panther, Cyborg and Luke Cage have shown us that black people are also capable of saving the day so isn’t it time we begin to see the other side of the coin? The sad truth is that as much as we don’t see enough of black superheroes in films, comics or TV black super villains are even more rare. We don’t want some basic thugs either we’re talking about imposing characters that can stand toe to toe with the likes of Darth Vader or the Joker. Therefore, we’ve decided to put together a list of some of the best depictions of black super villains that we’ve seen across TV, film and comics.
As a Spiderman villain Tombstone pales in comparison to the likes of Venom, Green Goblin and Kingpin. However, in the Spectacular Spiderman animated series we saw a rendition of Tombstone that was nothing short of awesome. He was intelligent, charismatic and quite frankly, badass. Tombstone defeated the web slinger multiple times both in combat and in wits and he did it with style. It’s a real shame the series was cancelled and now it’s unlikely we’ll see such a fantastic depiction of the character.
2. Afro Samurai
Although Afro Samurai is the central character of the manga and anime he is most certainly not a hero in fact, he’s not even an anti-hero. Well then, name one truly heroic feat that Afro has accomplished? People have lost parents, siblings and friends as a result of his actions and what has he done to atone for these crimes? The Afro Samurai universe is a worse place because of his actions. Afro may not evil, like many other villains he has his own selfish objectives and is willing to sacrifice anyone or anything to achieve them.
3. Papa Midnite
Midnite is an immortal crime boss/voodoo priest Born in the 18th Century Jamaica. He and his sister Cedella were trained in the dark arts by their parents and Midnite and eventually Midnite began to use his powers for financial gain. A slave named Cuffee led a rebellion against his master using a special powder that deflects bullets given to him by Midnite. However Midnite’s powder failed to work and most of the slaves were killed. Cuffee and a few other survived and sought revenge against Midnigt. They made him kill his sister and Cedella who inturn cursed Midnite with immortality and insomnia. Midnite is now cursed to remain awake as long as whites remained dominant over people of colour.
Technically, Apocalypse is grey but since he’s Egyptian we included him on the list. It’s not easy to relate with Apocalypse he’s ruthless, power hungry and possesses godlike powers. However, the four part ‘Rise of Apocalypse’ miniseries shows a more sympathetic side to the character. His parents abandoned him as a child because of his skin colour, the Pharaoh of Egypt had his adopted family murdered in an attempt to kill him and the love of his life dumped him when she saw his true appearance. The world has shown him no mercy so he shows no mercy to the world. Speaking of the cold world we live in, following on form Exodus and Gods of Egypt we’re going to have another pure blood Egyptian in Oscar Isaac playing the character in the upcoming X-men apocalypse film.
Although we’ve limited this list to four there are a number of other black super villains across film, TV and comics. However, we’ve found that most of these characters are either low-level goons, one-dimensional simpletons or simply underdeveloped. It’s also worth noting that this list concerns mostly the mainstream and we’ll be putting together another list from indie titles. It’s often good to be bad so we need more black super villains across both mainstream and indie titles. Nevertheless, we challenge anyone reading this to help us expand this list in the comments below.
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