FOXNews.com asked leading artists, authors and editors in the comic book industry about the absence of black superheroes and the impact President Obama may have.
Here’s what they had to say: Jerry Craft, creator of the “Mama’s Boyz” comic strip: “Without people like Oprah Winfrey coming into America’s homes there would be no Barack Obama. Because of people like her and Denzel Washington and Will Smith, America realized that they can let us into their homes and not have to worry about us stealing their TVs.” Spike, creator of the “Templar, Arizona” series: “I think it’s a mistake to market any character, new or old, as ‘the black superhero.’
If you want to draw parallels, consider Obama. He never ran as ‘the black candidate,’ and he hasn’t got any interest in being ’the black president.’ His skin color is incidental to his identity and motivations, not the core of them.” Zuri Stanback, creator and artist of the “Epiphany Park” series: “In general, having a black president will help continue the destruction of negative black stereotypes. There will be an increased desire to have more accurate depictions of the diversity, values and intellect that exist within our community. We are not just a collection of singers, dancers, athletes and thugs, and that will be better reflected in mainstream pop culture in the near future.”
Stephen Watkins, creator of the “Housebroken” series: “The diverse sources of support (and revenue) generated by Obama’s campaign may drive Hollywood and other purveyors of entertainment to reconsider its casting choices. I think the media already provides somewhat varied opportunities for African-American male characters in supporting roles.”
Erik Larsen, creator of the “Savage Dragon” series: “I would hope it would open things up more. I was thinking the other day that there have never been any black princesses in any of the Disney movies. For a lot of white girls, growing up, there’s that fascination with Cinderella and Snow White and all of the other Disney princesses which have never included anyone of color — and now we have President Barack Obama and his daughters have suddenly been thrust into that role.”
Andre Batts, editor and artist of Urban Style Comics: “This is going to be what I call a transfer of comic book power. It’s going to have a major effect. I think that more minority-based characters are going to lead the way in a lot of the mainstream comics.”
Christopher Brown, associate editor of “Bam! Kapow!”: “Black superheroes have already been in the mainstream, but are rarely the main character. Only in the last two decades have characters such as Blade, Spawn and the recent Will Smith vehicle ‘Hancock’ made the transition to the focal character. More than likely, as our nation progresses into this new era, we will see the number of black mainstream superheroes increase.”
Robert J. Watkins, creator of “Delete” and the “O+Men” series: “It took a black president to get DC and Marvel to introduce a major African-American character in Obama. You see a lot of images of Obama as a hero already, and that image is a great thing for young people to see.”