Before we get to The Best Indie Superheroes Created By Black Creators Part II I must swerve a bit to give props to a few characters and creators that did not make the list because they weren’t truly “indie” because of reasons such as corporate affiliations and the popularity of the characters.
Though they are created by people of color and are characters we consider “black”, the entire Milestone Universe was disqualified for this reason. However, they were very worthy of note. However, several Milestone characters were included in our Top 20 Illest Black Comic Book Characters of All-Time list last fall.
Last week in Part I we started off with our homage by listing Ajala (Xmoor Studios), Prince Val-Mar (Carbon-Fibre Media), Purge (Amara Entertainment), Brotherman (Big City Entertainment) and EXO: The Legend of Wale Williams (Youneek Studios). Today we kick it off anew with some pretty cool characters from some pretty hip creators who bring a unique and organic take to the Black Superheroism.
Legend of the Mantamaji
Legend of the Mantamaji is written by director Eric Dean Seaton and drawn by artist Brandon Palas with coloring from Andre Dalhouse. We first interviewed Seaton regarding this offering back in 2014 and read the first edition before the book even dropped. It was from that point that I realized Seaton had a winner on his hands. With many independent comics, readers have to wait months to see whether or not the hero is able to overcome whatever cliffhanger the writer has positioned him. With Legend of the Mantamaji, Eric Dean Seaton quails that wonder-lust by releasing graphic novel offerings that are basically comprised of five or six issues wrapped into one volume. To me, that gives fans the opportunity to learn about the characters quickly, thus making potential fans more likely to read the next volume when it drops. There have been three volumes of Legend of the Mantamaji released to date. The last time I spoke with Mr. Seaton, I was informed that another one would be in the works shortly. Eric Dean Seaton was the first independent comic book creator interviewed at The Shadow League back in 2014.
I was first drawn to the character Jaycen Wise by way of its artwork while speaking with Mshindo Kuumba at a comic book convention in New York City a couple of years ago. Created by Richard G. Tyler II, with contributions from master artist Mshindo Kuumba and a multitude of other talented creators of color, for Brainstorm Multimedia, Jaycen Wise appears in lots of great storylines that range from tales of conquest and battle in Ancient Kush to adventures on the streets of a sprawling metropolis. Jayce Wise is an immortal who is driven by adventure and knowledge of self. It doesn’t get much blacker than that, huh? He cannot be killed and is in a constant state of self-betterment. He also has the ability to contact the spiritual realm and converse with his ancestors. It’s pretty deep and pretty dope!
Written by Regine Sawyer and drawn by Delia Gable, Eating Vampires is a very original concept. It’s about a young girl named Evelyn, the last of a race of people with the ability to purify viruses. She is the only person alive who can cure a catastrophic outbreak of a vampire virus. Her protector is an individual named Rigel Alexa, she is of the Battle Guardians, a protector Sect of Purifiers from which Evelyn is descended. She is the one who actually eats vampires. I was drawn to the characters and styling of this book right away. It is an original take on vampires that is good to look at, exciting to read and leaves you wondering what’s coming next for the protagonists. We interviewed Regine Sawyer on our TSL Comic Book Convo podcast in March 2015. For more information on this book log on to www.lockettdownproductions.com
Actress Erika Alexander is best known for her role as the wildly popular character Maxine Shaw on the 90s sitcom Living Single. However, to blerd fans she and husband/partner Tony Puryear are becoming celebrities because of the graphic novel title Concrete Park on Dark Horse. Protagonist Luca was once a castaway from Earth sent to a distant, desert planet as punishment for her crimes against society. Once there, she becomes the leader of a small group of ruffians called the M-80s in Scare City, the central hub on a planet that is riddled with a gang war between numerous factions, most of which would rather see her dead. The characters are written to be full-bodied and three-dimensional beings with their own complications and contradictions. The drawing style seems to leap off the page. Certainly a title for the 21st century and beyond, a second volume of Concrete Park was recently released by Dark Horse Comics.
Nowhere Man is a graphic novel title created by Jerome Walford for Forward Comix. The plot centers on NYPD officer Jack Maguire. Haunted by the death of his father, a 9/11 first responder who perished in the tragedy, he is forever cursed and driven to try and live up to the heroism of a man who gave his life to save others, without dying himself. He becomes endowed with powers that cause a conflict within himself and makes it even more difficult, in his mind, to live up to his father’s memory. Very smooth art style that with a glossy look. Great color, an inspiring storyline and a strong black male protagonist equal a pretty decent book in my humble opinion. Walford describes it as a sci-fi story combined with a detective story with the pace of a classic superhero comicbook. Jerome Walford was on our TSL Comic Book Convo podcast last year. For more information on this character log on to www.forwardcomix.com.