When superheroes first appeared in comic books, many minority groups were heavily underrepresented. There was a criminally small percentage of Black women in comics. Black comic book characters just didn't really appear in DC or Marvel Comics until the 1970s when Blaxploitation films were at the peak of their popularity. Comics with Black girls slowly began to trickle out (usually as sidekicks serving brief tenures with established heroes). Over time, their importance increased and, eventually, we got the female African American comic books we desperately needed.
Over the years, we have gotten some amazing Black superheroes in both mainstream and independent comics. Though other minorities groups have also gained traction in comics over the years, many simply were too politically incorrect to be embraced and admired. There is still room for more inclusion of (actually cool) characters that represent the disabled and LGBTQ+ communities. Companies are recognizing these needs and are slowly working to fill these gaps.
And while we wait (somewhat) patiently for better representation and inclusion, it's also important to recognize the fierce Black heroines and women superheroes in the pages of our favorite comic books.
As DC Comics' first African American female superhero, Karen Beecher began as a fake hero but soon developed into a powerful ally of the Teen Titans. Though she has powers through the use of a special suit, her greatest weapon is her superior education as a research engineer.
This education has made her essential to the creation of weapons at S.T.A.R. Labs. She also joined the Doom Patrol and assisted with fighting the Aristocrats and the Secret Six.
- Photo: Marvel Comics6378137
While fighting as a vigilante in New York with her brother, Silhouette was shot by the police and became paraplegic. Despite her accident, this mutant continued her heroic endeavors with the New Warriors and even partnered with the Fantastic Four.
During the Civil War arc, she served with Captain America on his Secret Avengers team and helped him escape when a meeting with Iron Man's faction went awry.
Nubia is Wonder Woman's dark-skinned sister. Both sisters were formed by Queen Hippolyta: one from dark clay and one from light clay.
Kidnapped by Mars and brainwashed, her identity is revealed when she is made to fight her sister. In Final Crisis on Earth-23, Nubia (later stylized as Nu'Bia) is the Wonder Woman of that world and a member of the Justice League.
Twins Regina and Rosetta Morgan were inspired to become heroes when their crime mob father killed Sam Wilson (Falcon). Sharing one identity, the sisters took down their own father for his crimes.
They were briefly members of the New Warriors before deciding to remain solo(ish) heroes. An accident, however, left Rosetta severely injured and paralyzed. From that point on, Regina became the full-time hero with Rosetta working behind the scenes as the computer expert.