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Top 10 Black Superheroes

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Written by George Pacheco These heroes embody “Black Excellence.” Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Black Superheroes. For this list, we'll be ranking the most popular and influential comic book superheroes of color. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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These heroes embody “Black Excellence.” Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Black Superheroes.

For this list, we'll be ranking the most popular and influential comic book superheroes of color.

#10: Spawn

He's arguably one of the most fondly remembered black superheroes from "extreme" comics of the 1990s, and perhaps one most ready for a righteous reboot. He's the devil's emissary himself: Al Simmons, a.k.a. Spawn. The character was created by Todd McFarlane in 1992, and quickly earned a rush of popularity amongst fans, so much so that a big screen adaptation of Spawn was brought to movie theaters in 1997. The film has its defenders and detractors, but its star Michael Jai White crossed the color barrier for the first time, being the first actor to portray an African-American superhero on screen. That counts for a whole lot.

#9: Blade

Speaking of characters that deserve a new lease on life, Marvel Comics' Blade began life as a funky, Blaxploitation inspired vampire hunter, and soon shot up the ranks as one of the company's most enduring African-American characters. Blade also received a movie star treatment similar to Spawn, with Wesley Snipes portraying a more modern and vicious iteration of the character throughout three films. He's bold, bad and unafraid of getting his hands dirty with a lot of the red stuff, so in our book Blade is as cool as they come.

#8: Black Lightning

We've already mentioned the influence of Blaxploitation movies on characters like Blade, but this funky, racially radical movie genre also had its way in helping out forge the look of our next hero, DC's Black Lightning. His 1977 debut saw the high school principal Jefferson Pierce take on a social justice role similar to those found in films of this era, complete with a gloriously gaudy wardrobe. This metahuman possesses an intense ability to control, conduct and use electricity against his adversaries, including but not limited to the creation of force fields and powerful lightning bolts. These abilities were even passed along to his daughters, the DC superheroes Thunder and Lightning, making crime fighting a family affair.

#7: Misty Knight

Fans of the "Luke Cage" and "Defenders" series for Netflix may be familiar with Misty Knight, but it may come as a surprise to discover that the origins of this dangerous private eye can actually be traced back to, you guessed it, the 1970s. Luke Cage and Iron Fist may be the "Heroes For Fire," but Knight has proven more than capable to be a deadly and dangerous force for good with her own PI service, The Daughters of the Dragon, alongside partner Colleen Wing. This former New York City police officer even comes equipped with a badass bionic arm, courtesy of Stark Industries, which, combined with her firearm and martial arts training, makes her one extraordinarily tough cookie.

#6: Miles Morales

Who said Peter Parker was the only one who gets to play Spider-Man? Don't tell this to fans of Miles Morales, who took up the mantle of the web-slinging wonder as part of Marvel's alternate continuity universe. In this "Ultimate" series, Peter Parker is dead, and it's up to Morales to keep fighting the good fight, albeit with a slightly altered series of special powers. Morales has proven to be quite popular in the years since his debut, so much so that the character was merged with the regular Marvel Universe after the discontinuation of the "Ultimate" imprint in 2015, making him a welcome addition to the team.

#5: Cyborg

Victor Stone's stock has certainly risen in recent years within the DC cinematic universe, as his superhero alias Cyborg has made appearances in both "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" as well as 2017's "Justice League." This half-man, half-machine is also set to receive his own standalone movie in 2020, which will likely make the most out of his capable fighting ability and brilliant scientific skill. Cyborg's publication history has seen him as a functioning member of both the JLA and Teen Titans teams, and his stories continue to thrill and entertain comic fans to this day.

#4: Luke Cage/ Power Man

We've already made mention of Luke Cage, a.k.a. Power Man in our previous entry on Misty Knight, but there are also similarities between this powerful Marvel superhero and another on our list, Black Lightning. Both were products of the Blaxploitation era, and both saw character design from writer Tony Isabella. Today, Luke Cage is probably best known for his appearances throughout the Netflix Marvel Universe, including his own series, which debuted in 2016. So, don't judge this Hero for Hire by his disco-fied attire and funky origin story, or else you're likely to be knocked into next week by Cage's immense strength and battle-tested fighting skill.

#3: John Stewart/The Green Lantern

The Green Lantern Corps consists of members from across the DC Comics galaxy, including a number who have taken up the mantle here on Earth. John Stewart joined the Lantern Corps back in 1971, and was the company's first black superhero, taking over as a backup to the Lantern Hal Jordan after his backup, Guy Gardner is seriously injured. Time saw Stewart's Green Lantern gain popularity in his own right, however, thanks to his fan-favorite status as a member of DC's animated Justice League. The Green Lantern Corps may be a diverse bunch, but John Stewart stands out from the crowd as a true original.

#2: Storm

Ah, where would the X-Men be without Storm? This weather warrior has been a near constant presence within this fan-favorite franchise, after first debuting in 1975, and she's appeared in numerous iterations throughout the Marvel comic and cinematic universes. Ororo Munroe has proven to be a trailblazer in the comics world, as she was the first black female mutant to have a major role as a team member, and eventually the leader of the X-Men, not to mention her time spent with such groups as the Avengers and Fantastic Four. She's regal, she's beautiful, she's downright dangerous; Storm is an icon of ass-kicking black superheroes: long may she reign.

Before we name our number one pick, here are a few heroic honorable mentions!

Falcon

War Machine

Static

#1: Black Panther

Speaking of Storm, she actually went on to marry the number one superhero on our list, the King of Wakanda T'Challa, a.k.a. the Black Panther. There's an intriguing mixture of mysticism and science when it comes to the world of Wakanda and the Black Panther, making him a character not unlike Doctor Strange, in that there's a rich history to explore. Finally, he's a trailblazer, as there were virtually no black superheroes in comics before Black Panther made his debut in “Fantastic Four” #52, making him an icon for diversity in the medium.
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