Someone asked me today: Ra’Chaun, you’re always talking about how there are so many good comics created by African-Americans and how they blow the mainstream out of the water, but how come you never mention those comics? That is when it dawned on me that maybe I’m not repping creators of color the way I should be. So from this day forth I’m giving you the best damn comics by creators of color.
Looking for a superhero fix? Well The Legend of Will Power #1 (Vince White; Dark Light Studios/Primal Paper) is the story of an All-American quarterback named William Power, who is destined for great things and the father who will help him realize that greatness.
This comic features one of the most refreshing and original origin stories I’ve seen in a long time, and showcases a black main character as something other than a super-strong street tough. What we get here is the rare occasion of a new universe born with the tools and development to be a mainstream player.
Though the art isn’t the greatest, you have to admire a creator who does everything himself while building a universe and crafting the first truly iconic character in comics since Robert Kirkman’s Invincible. From Will’s attitude which, is a mix of Steve Rogers’ wholesomeness and Dick Grayson’s likeability, to the iconic Power Industries symbol anyone who reads this can tell that the Powerverse, as Vince White calls it, has the makings of greatness.
There are a few things I’d like to see more of, such as more moments between Will and his dad, or scenes of Will really showing what his powers can do. I highly recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t visited their LCS in a while but still yearns for good graphic storytelling. You can purchase this comic at the creators’ website.
A soulful noir tale awaits in The Harlem Shadow #1 (Brian Williams / Christian Colbert / Derek King and Rodolfo Buscaglia; Raven Hammer Studios), a successful attempt at historical fiction in a superhero comic, which are words I’d never thought I’d say.
The enigmatic Harlem Shadow is an interesting character in that he seems to be the will of a neighborhood that wants to be healthy but is full of parasites. The first issue serves to establish our eponymous hero, his legend and what it means for the world of Ravenhammer comics.
This is a must read for anyone looking for classic pulp noir or great Golden Age tales. What makes this story so poignant is its look into life of African-Americans during the 1920s and the country’s reaction to people of color being born with special abilities. Not unlike The Blue Marvel, there are reservations about black people being allowed to don costumes and save people, where their white counterparts are unimpeded.
In that spirit this comic and the Ravenhammer universe find their strength, and posing a question asked by writer Gene Demby, “Who gets to be a super-hero?”
If you’re reading the Dynamite pulp heroes right now or have always wanted to see what the other side of the Golden Age looked like, pick up this comic at the publishers website.