The Greatest Black Women in Superhero Comics

Whenever anybody asks about black women in comics, the immediate response is to bring up Storm. But Storm isn't the only black woman to rock superpowers and a costume. Here are 20 other black female characters in superhero comics who deserve more love and attention.

Monica Rambeau (codename: Spectrum) was a lieutenant in the New Orleans Harbor patrol of the Coast Guard when she was bombarded with rays from space which gave her the ability to turn into any form of energy, and shoot energy at people. The first of a few peace officers to appear on this list — because for some reason a not insignificant number of these black women characters either come from law enforcement or the sciences. It would be interesting to see if this was simply to avoid the idea of stereotypes, or if their creation correlated with higher instances of black women going into law enforcement and science-focused careers.

Monica is one of my favorite heroes, mainly because of her snarky, take-no-bullshit attitude, a trait she has in common with a quite a few other women on this list. She has a long history in comics including a stint as the leader of the Avengers.

Fierce and powerful, she's been forced to change her name a number of times because people keep taking hers — she's gone from Captain Marvel to Photon to Pulsar to Spectrum. She originally changed her name from Captain Marvel to Photon so that Captain Marvel's son Genis-Vell could use the codename. Only to run into Genis-Vell a little later and find out that he had performed a name change of his own... to Photon. She was not happy. But that's how cool she is, everybody wants to bite her style.

She also had a friendly/caustic conversation with Carol Danvers when she decides to transfer from using Miss Marvel to Captain Marvel. My only wish is that they would go back to her original afro hairstyle, which was awesome.

ARC TO READ: Check her out in the Nextwave a 12-issue Limited Series written by Warren Ellis. It's a biting satire of superheroes, and teams where everyone is likeable exactly because they are so unlikable. Keep an eye out for the scene where Monica's remembers what being on the Avengers was like.

CURRENTLY? Leading the Mighty Avengers field team.

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