One of the things you hear a lot is that there are not enough heroes of color in comic books — which is both right and wrong at the same time. While there may not be a plethora, there are definitely a lot of fantastic characters of color. In fact, the few that are out there are some of the comic books greatest heroes. When T'Challa made his debut in #CaptainAmericaCivilWar and when #LukeCage made his debut on Netflix, their success opened the door for more heroes of color to get a shot at becoming household names like #Thor and #TheHulk.
When a great writer comes along and the story is one that can be told, then there is no reason to not tell the tale of these characters. #Marvel has used Netflix as a way to tell the story of characters that may be too edgy for their #Disney Avengers movies. Now you can have a story told with little to no restrictions and this makes for great TV. These are some of the characters that would do amazing on not just Netflix, but on other Marvel formats.
Shuri is the younger sister of T'Challa and if not for one unfortunate event, she might have become #BlackPanther instead of her older brother. The Black Panther offered a challenge: Anyone who defeated him would become the Black Panther. Shuri was on her way to the ring when a mountain of a guy was knocked out of the ring and fell on her. If not for this, she would have gotten into the ring before her brother and probably would have beaten The Black Panther and not T'Challa. Shuri stayed in the shadow of her brother until T'Challa was taken out by Dr. Doom and Namor. Shuri stepped in and not only saved T.Challa's life from the totem-eating being Morlun, but also saved all of Wakanda. Shuri became the Queen of Wakanda while T'Challa was unable to fulfill his duties as king and did a damn god job at it.
Shuri is a great story to show little girls growing up. A strong woman with a royal lineage who doesn't need to be saved by a princess or a king. In fact, she is badass enough to be the one to save the king all by herself. Shuri is the Disney Princess that young girls have needed. While Mulan needed to hide her femininity and Princess Jasmine was waiting for her prince, Shuri needed nothing. Shuri made her own way and eventually reached her goals. If and when Shuri eventually shows up in the the Black Panther movie, it is going to be an amazing moment. She will certainly be a character that will stand out.
8. Kamala Khan
Kamala Khan is Marvel Comics's first solo Muslim comic star and all around fun character. Marvel Comics has spent the last few years taking on a lot of topics that affect everyone in the world, from race, religion, to sexual preference. One thing Ms. Marvel does in her comics is have fun while still dealing with the issues that she and many of us face today.
In Issue No. 1 of her first ongoing series, Kamala was a fangirl. She talked about superheroes and would talk about how much she adored and idolized them. When she gained her powers and started using them, she was just happy to fight alongside her favorite heroes (her reaction to teaming up with #Wolverine and #SpiderMan was amazing). As she became more experienced, she started realizing that the people she looked up to (Carol Danvers in particular) don't represent what she wants to accomplish as a hero, especially after seeing how her friend and fellow young hero Miles Morales was treated. Kamala Khan has gone from being happy to be there to taking a stand and even telling Earth's premier team, the Avengers, to kick rocks.
Kamala Khan, like Shuri, is the perfect character to spearhead a new movement of Disney leading women for younger girls. Not only is she a great role model of sorts, but she can open a door to show that the Muslim religion is not what news stations portray them to be. Sure, there are extremists like there are in any religion, but most Muslims just want to live their lives peacefully and are all about family and community — a lesson everyone of every age can learn. I would not be shocked if we didn't see Kamala Khan in the upcoming #CaptainMarvel movie. With Marvel trying to push the Inhumans, Ms. Marvel might be the right likable character to get the #Inhuman ball rolling.
7. Blue Marvel
You want to talk about an underrated hero, how about Adam Bernard Brashear — a man who has the physical strength to go blow for blow with The Sentry and almost wins, and whose intelligence is on par with Reed Richards? If you look at his original appearance (tights and a cape) you would assume that he has been around since the 1960s, but Blue Marvel has only been around less than a decade. It appears that Marvel Comics has been doing their best to try and make him a new character with real power and real intelligence.
Blue Marvel's story is full of triumph and tragedy. A Marine who fought in the Korean war, an accomplished scientist, and one heck of a hero in his time. So much so that he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom the day President John F. Kennedy asked him to retire because, once Brashear was revealed to be black, it was too much for the public to handle. Brashear eventually became a hero again with Luke Cage and his Avengers and later with T'Challa, Captain Marvel and The Ultimates. These are the moments made for a great movie and story — a man who just wanted to serve and protect the people of the world regardless of how he was looked at. Even after he was disrespected, he still decided that it was still his place to use his powers and intelligence for the betterment of humanity.
6. Shang Chi
You don't get the name "The Master of Kung-Fu" without kicking a little butt along the way. Without the benefits of superpowers or a fancy suit of armor or magic, Shang-Chi has beaten guys like Wolverine, Ben Grimm, and Spider-Man. Shang-Chi's discipline and honor has kept him of the most feared and respected fighters among Marvel Comics fans. He may only look like a Bruce Lee knock-off, but he is just as dangerous as the real deal was.
Shang-Chi might not work as a solo Netflix series in his original conception; he is a very old school kung-fu character. The general public might find Shang-Chi to be a bit preachy and boring with his lessons on the way of kung-fu. The good news is is a great character to work with Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and #IronFist. In fact, Shang-Chi has actually worked side by side with Misty Knight during her run leading Heroes For Higher, during and after #CivilWar.
5. Brother Voodoo
Brother Voodoo is another mystic that could possibly benefit from the popularity of #DoctorStrange. Voodoo may still use magic, but his comes from a different source: Haitian Voodoo. Instead of the reality-breaking special affects and trippy scenes that Doctor Strange gave us, Brother Voodoo could give us a scarier kind of movie or Netflix series, with more ghosts and supernatural beings. Voodoo's story could take us from the streets and swamps of New Orleans all the way to the island of Haiti.
Voodoo's story definitely isn't a story for a young audience. His story could be Marvel's first horror project, bringing in things like voodoo dolls, talking to scary-looking spirits, demons, and all sorts of other entities that have not been touched on in Doctor Strange. Doctor Strange's movie is all about opening your mind to a new reality and Voodoo's project could be all about scaring the poop out of the people watching.
4. America Chavez
Admittedly, I do not know a lot about America Chavez. Over the last year or so I have seen enough to know a couple of things. First, she is NOT someone to mess with. She flies, she's super strong, and durable. But what really makes her so great is that she is confident and gets things done. She is so impressive that even Monica Rambeau, who has fought alongside Thor and #CaptainAmerica, had to pause and admire how great she was in action. She is also a woman of integrity who took a moral stand against killing a friend because she was told it was for "the good of the multiverse." Smart, dangerous, and has seen more throughout the multiverse than most have and will see in their lives.
America Chavez is just getting started. She is not only a woman of color, she is also among the many Marvel Comics characters that have come out as gay. This opens the door for for another under-represented community to see a relatable character within the #MCU. America would be great on a Disney XD show. Her personality is strong enough to work solo and kick butt all across multiple realities.
3. Misty Knight
The little bit of Misty Knight we were given in Luke Cage wasn't enough. We the people deserve a full series so Misty can show how great she is. Misty proved that she doesn't need the robot arm to steal the show. Misty Knight is a character that breaks stereotypes. Misty is a strong woman who uses knowledge, problem solving, and whole lot of common sense to get things done. The best example is watching her put a crime back together by looking at the clues at the scene. It's almost like she can see the crime as it happened.
Misty wouldn't need a full cast of people heroes and villains to make her show a success; all she would need is the opportunity to shine and let people continue to embrace how amazing she is.
While T'Challa is getting his own Marvel movie, there is no reason to stifle him with ONLY a Marvel movie. When #Daredevil left Hell's Kitchen to recover from his possession, T'Challa took over as Hell's Kitchen's protector. It worked out perfectly since T'Challa was looking for a reason to prove himself TO himself. T'Challa assumed an alias, got a job and beat down criminals in Daredevil's absence and he did it without any of his tech, armor, or his vast amount of money.
This series showed how badass T'Challa really is. It isn't just about the heightened senses or the fancy vibranium suits of armor. T'Challa is one of the best fighters, planners, and creative minds in all of comic books. This is the series that shows all of this. It's dark, gritty, and violent — perfect for a Netflix series. And with Chadwick Boseman leading the way, there is no reason this project would fail.
Yes, we already had a Blade trilogy, but now Blade can have a home on Netflix where he can spend time not only killing tons and tons of vampires, but we can now see the story of how #Blade went from a young half-vampire with the thirst to drink human blood to the most feared vampire hunter on the planet. The movies spun a couple of really good tales (parts one and two) but Blade is a character, like the #Punisher, that people could really get behind. It even has the same amount of violence, except now the victims are blood sucking monsters.
Marvel has plenty more more heroes of color that can be represented in a movie, cartoon, or various television shows. These are only some of the the many great characters that Marvel will almost certainly utilize in the future — hopefully sooner than we think.
Who are you looking forward to seeing? Let me know in the comments below.