Characters native to the African continent
have been depicted in comics since the beginnings of the modern
. Initially, such early
comics as Winsor McCay
's Little Nemo
depicted the racist stereotype
spear-carrying cannibal, a comedic
of the time. African characters later began to appear as another
stereotype, the "noble savage
" — a
similar progression to that of depictions of Native Americans
eventually as standard human beings.
's adventure comic strip Mandrake the Magician
the African supporting character Lothar
from its 1934 debut on. He was a former "Prince of the Seven
Nations", a federation of jungle tribes, but passed on the chance
to become king and instead followed Mandrake on his world travels,
fighting crime. He is often referred to as the strongest man in the
world. Initially an illiterate exotic dressed in animal skins who
provided brawn to complement Mandrake's brain on their adventures,
he was modernized in 1965 to dress in suits and speak standard
The publisher All-Negro Comics, Inc. published a single issue of
(June 1947), a 15-cent omnibus, at a time
when comics generally cost a dime, starring characters that
included Lion Man
. Lion Man is a young African
scientist sent by the United Nations
to oversee a massive uranium
deposit at the
African Gold Coast
is joined by a young war orphan named Bubba, and fights the
villainous Doctor Blut Sangro.
It wasn't until Waku, Prince of the Bantu
from Marvel Comics
1950s predecessor Atlas Comics
that mainstream comic books depicted an African character as a
strong, independent hero. Waku was an African chieftain in a
feature with no regularly featured Caucasian
characters. The first
African-American title character of a comic
series was the titular star of the Western
comic book Lobo
, two issues, 1965-1966). The first known Black superhero
in American comic books
is Marvel's the
, an African who first appeared
in Fantastic Four
vol. 1, #52 (July 1966).
The first major African female character was Storm
The first African American hero at DC / National comics was the
Black Racer, introduced by Jack Kirby in the July 1971 issue of his
The New Gods comic book; at roughly the same time he introduced
Vykin the Black in The Forever People, a black character who was
neither African or American.
Power Comics, designed as an
educational tool, was published in 1975 by Acme Press of London, England, for
distribution in Nigeria.
series, starring Powerman
, was written by Don
Avenall (aka Donne Avenell) and Norman Worker, and illustrated by
and Brian Bolland
. In 1988, Eclipse Comics
republished the series but
changed Powerman's name to Powerbolt. Powerman, who was superstrong
and could fly, appeared in stories rendered in a simple style
reminiscent of Fawcett Comics
Golden Age Captain Marvel
. His only apparent
weakness was snakebite.
In November 2005, Nelson Mandela
announced that the comic book A Son of the Eastern Cape
would provide an illustrated history of Mandela's formative years,
starting with his birth. The opening panels show Mandela as a swaddled
baby in his parents' arms in their mud hut in the village of Mwezo,
near Qunu in the
The book is scheduled to consist of 26
volumes, written and illustrated by Nic Buchanan, and to be
translated into South Africa's 10 other official languages. A
teacher's guide was also to be created.
Listed by company
- Adiremi - personification of the living wind she is a pattern
in the clouds. One of the Orishas.
- Agemo - the chameleon, depicted as a shapeshifter. One of the
- Computo - member of an alternate
version of the Legion of
Super-Heroes (in a now-erased continuity); hails from Côte
- Doctor Mist - former leader of both
the Global Guardians and Primal Force.
- Erinle - depicted as a living flame, needs to consume to live.
One of the Orishas.
- Eshu - The trickster and maintainer of balance. very similar to
- Freedom Beast - a South African hero from the Global Guardians.
- Impala - a former member of
the Global Guardians, now deceased.
- Invisible Kid - member of
the Legion of Super-Heroes;
hails from Côte
- Jakuta - a warrior of living stone and earth. Interestingly
enough, Jakuta like Shango is traditionally a thunder god known as
"Thrower of Light". One of the Orishas.
- Kid Impala - of the Ultramarine Corps
- Mawu - Mawu is the mother of the gods. She is always depicted
as riding the rainbow serpent Oshunmare. Mawu created
Ifé the living homeland of the gods, and imbued it
with Lido (her life-force). Her traditional name is Mawu-Lisa. One
of the Orishas.
- Mohammed Ibn Bornu - North African warrior hero from the
Cadre of the
Immortal. He rode a robot horse and carried and electronic
spear that fired bolts of lightning.
- Molo - the International Sea
Devil who represented Africa.
- Moremi - she appears to be a communally sentient flock of
birds. One of the Orishas.
- Obatala of the White Cloth - leader of the Orishas. Used to take mortal form,
was killed in mortal form by the king of Benin. He is later
re-incarnated as a mortal man named Doctor Efraim Ngai, with no
memory of his godly origins.
- Ochun - basically a naiad, Ochun personified the "Sweet Waters"
and can manifest in any body of water. One of the Orishas.
- Ogun - God or iron and the forge, sometimes referred to as
He-Who-Is-Iron. The blacksmith god who was the and creator of the
Golden Chain linking earth to Ifé home of the gods. And he was also
the one who broke the chain at Shango's request. One of the
- Olorun - depicted as a face that took up the entire sky, Olorun
is defined as "He-Who-is-the-Sky". Olorun was the first Orisha,
born of Mawu into the land of Ifé.
- Orunmilla - The lawgiver of the Orishas, and voice of Olorun.
Carries an everburning torch.
- Osain - depicted as a human woman spontaneously formed from the
leaves of a tree. One of the Orishas.
- Oshunmare - A giant rainbow serpent which is ridden by Mawu the
goddess of creation. One of the Orishas.
- OkweseMan - A character based on the Ledgendary Tino Okwese
from Nigeria who battled Evil
- Shango - A hotheaded, war-axe
wielding thunder god capable of changing his size at will, warchief
of the Orishas.
- Vixen - a member the Justice League. Was originally supposed to be
the first African-American super heroine but her comic was canceled
during the DC Implosion
- Gorilla Grodd - Hyper-intelligent,
telepathic renegade from Gorilla City, long-time foe of the
- King Nnamdi - son of Solovar and
his true successor. Like his father, Nnamdi is a telepathic
gorilla. He took over after a brief interim government led by Ulgo.
Nnamdi has rebuilt and redesigned Gorilla City with a mix of modern
technology and African philosophy. Nnamdi has decreed total
isolation from humankind. (DC Comics)
- King Solovar - he was the telepathic
leader of the hidden Gorilla City in Africa. After his
assassination, Solovar was succeeded by his nephew Ulgo, and then
later his son Nnamdi.
- Ulgo - intermediary successor and murderer of Solovar,
temporary leader of Gorilla City, not a telepath.
- Anansi - an illusion-casting hero Astro
City universe, based in Kenya where he fought the invading
- Flint - a superstrong and near
invulnerable Kenyan woman. Formerly of Stormwatch and an associate of the
- Bashenga - an ancient Wakandan
whose first and only appearance was in Black Panther v1 #7 from
1978, Bashenga was supposedly the first king of Wakanda and the
first Black Panther some 10,000 years ago.
- Bedlam III - member of the Exemplars.
- The Black Musketeers - the trio of Dr. Joshua Itobo, Ishanta,
and Khanata were all members of the royal family of the African
kingdom of Wakanda. They were
usually called to assist the king.
- Black Panther -
hereditary title of the ruler of Wakanda, currently who is
currently T'challa son of T'chaka, grandson of
Azzari the Wise (yet another story names
Chanda as his grandfather).
- Brillalae - which means "She Who Glistens," is a native of
Murkatesh. She attempted to recruit Abe Brown of America as the new
Black Tiger. Heroes for Hire foiled her invasion
of Halwan a neighboring African country.
- Captain Confederacy II -
hero on world where the Confederate States of America seceded.
- Cub - member of the Remnants (counter earth).
- Doctor Crocodile - ally of Captain
- Embyrre - an ancient African Vampiress who lived and died in
the pages of Midnight Sons.
- Erik Killmonger - a long time
enemy of the Black Panther.
- Ikon - a Black Panther villain named Dr. A'kurru whose body was
made of living wood.
- Frenzy - Acolyte.
- Gentle - student from
- Impala - villainous
member of Bad Girls, Inc.
- Ivory - member of the S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Leecher - member of the Bio-Genes a group of Somalian Mutant
- Lightbright -
member of the Intruders, formerly with the Bio-Genes a group of
- Mali - member of the Bio-Genes a group of Somalian Mutant
- Man-Ape - now labelled a villain, M'Baku
was Wakanda's greatest warrior second only to the Black Panther. He
plotted to usurp the throne with the help of the outlawed White
Gorilla cult who were ancient rivals of the Black Panther cult,
which basically made them heretics since
Panther worship is the state
- Midnight Sun - an African child named M'Nai adopted by Fu Manchu, and
raised alongside his son Shang-Chi. Fu
Manchu impressed with his stoic nature trained him as one of the
Si-Fan his elite assassins. Due to his badly disfigured face he
always wore a mask, he was mute due to the attack that scarred his
face. because they were equally skilled Fu Manchu sent him to kill
Shnag Chi after Shang refused to assassinate James Petrie. Midnight
died as a result of their second battle, but was later resurrected
by the Kree in cloned body and gifted with cosmic powers strong
enough to challenge the Silver Surfer.
After a couple of battles with the Surfer he settled down to a
peaceful life in the Blue Area of the Moon where he was accepted by
- Moses Magnum - the ruler of Canaan
a small offshoot of Wakanda. An enemy of the Black Panther.
- Mubaru - was a Wakandan cabinet member who represented the
- N'Kama - a Zulu Warrior hired by Damon Dran to capture the Black Widow. Master of hand-to-hand
combat, also a master hunter and tracker.
- N'Kantu, the Living
Mummy (Swarili tribe's king)
- Punchout - member of the Genoshan Press Gang.
- Sekmeht the Lion God -
leader of the Lion Cult of Wakanda. Believes himself to be an
actual God, opposed to the Panther Cult whose worship diminished
his own followers. banished to another dimension by Iron Man and
- Shola Inkosi - a
telekinetic/telepathic mutant from Genosha
(a fictional island nation located near Madagascar)
- Solomon Prey - a villain and enemy
of the Black Panther, he possesses bat-like wings that enable him
to fly. Also has razor sharp claws.
- Sombre - an agent of Eric Killmonger and
enemy of the Black Panther. Sombre's touch is highly corrosive and
- Splice - Chandra Ku was a 13-year old
Zulu girl from the 18th century. Recruited into the Young Gods by
an African goddess.
- Sparrow - member of the Soldiers of Misfortune.
- Storm - Ororo Munroe.
leader and member of the X-Men, and revered in
Kenya as a weather goddess. She is married to
Black Panther and rules Wakanda as queen by his side. She is
currently a temporary member of Fantastic Four, along with her
husband the Black Panther.
- Transfaser - member of the Bio-Genes a group of Somalian Mutant
- Vibrania (Ally of Speedball)
- Vibranium- The former king of
Canaan. Baru was deposed by Moses
Magnum and transformed into living Vibranium by the villain Diablo.
- Vibraxas - was formerly a member of Fantastic Force.
- Waku Prince of the Bantu - the titular character was an African
chieftain in a feature with no regularly featured Caucasian
- Afrikaa - Afrikaa Ngala first
appears in Black Axe #5 Marvel UK. Draws power from a magma pool
known as the "Heart of Afrikaa".
- Doctor Crocodile - Joshua N'dingi, Chief of the African nation
of Mbangawi. A friend of Captain
Britain and powerful magic user, it was he who uncovered
Jamie Braddock's insanity and evil to
his siblings Brian and Betsy.
- Howitzer - a member of the Genedogs and English hero team
combining mutants and mutates.
- Silencer - Akiya Bandaranaike, who appeared in Strikeforce: Morituri by writer
Peter B. Gillis and penciler Brent Anderson, volunteered to become a
Morituri after discovering she was genetically compatible to
undergo the process. Her strength and endurance were superhuman and
she could nullify sound.
- The Five - five unnamed African superhumans who tell the
Squadron Supreme and Hyperion to leave Africa and never
- The Voice - General John M'Butu, a genocidal tribal leader
gifted with a powerful psychic suggestion ability with a vocal
Small Press: Comic Book
- Captain Africa - baqased in Juba Castle near the high-tech
metropolis called Egyptica, Prince Najee M’Witu is secretly Captain
Africa a brilliant detective.
- Lion Man - American born, college educated Lion Man is a young
scientist, sent by the United Nations to watch over the fearsome
‘magic mountain’ of the African Gold Coast.
- Zwanna, Son of Zulu - An over the top caricature of the black
superhero, complete with a "Zulu-sense", and the ability to summon
the powers of the Zulu. He carries a short spear in one hand, with
green tassles which are in fact magical vines that he can mentally
- Nighthawk - appeared in the Soul Sorcerer
- Noah - appeared in the Soul Sorcerer
- Nubian Knight - an ordinary man living in South Africa who is
granted super powers by "El" an ancient Godlike being.
- The Horsemen - Incarnations of the Yoruba pantheon's orishas
including Yemaya, Ogun, Obatala, Oshun, Shango, Oya, and Eshu
- C.U.S.H. - a team of black superhumans.
Miller Publishing Co.
- Oba - a member of UNForce
Urban Style Comics
- Dreadlocks - he is a blind, revolutionary hero empowered by the
gods of ancient Alkebulan. Taught by the master teacher Pharohn,
his duty is to bring Ma'at (order, justice, peace) to the
Small Press: Graphic Novel
Monkey  - Dave the Red Monkey, a red furred
apeman stoner, lives in a surreal version of
Town alongside normal appearing humans. Dave
appears in "Red Monkey: The Leaking Cello Case" written and
illustrated by South African artist
Joe Daly, and published by Double Storey in 2003. "The characters
spend their lives in a sophisticated, new age version of hell.
Monkey-footed Dave lives in decaying art deco splendour, dodging
his underachieving dagga-smoking white buddies who are always out
to loan a buck."
- Angelfood McSpade - a black
nymphomaniac tribeswoman who walks around barebreasted at all time.
Cartoonist Robert Crumb intended her as
a caricature of racist, stereotypical depictions of black
- Anansi the
Spider - a hero of Ghana, and the greatest hero in west Africa.
Anansi has the power to create visible, realistic illusions. He is
named after Anansi, the trickster spider of
African folklore. Made guest appearances on the animated television
show Static Shock.
- Comic Book Resources - Comic Book News, Reviews and
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- Sombre (Black Panther foe)
- The Museum of Black Superheroes - Afrikaa
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