Snoop Dogg wants to know why there are no black superheroes [UPDATED]

March 17, 2010 | 12:52 a.m.

Sometimes, someone needs to stand up, raise their voice and say something…completely clueless.

Snoop Dogg

Take Snoop Dogg, who poses a tough question for the world in the video below: “[I want to know] why there aren’t any black superheroes? What’s wrong? We can’t get a superhero on?”

It’s a bold question, and for Snoop it was the inspiration for “Malice N Wonderland: The Movie,a 40-minute feature that premieres on BET and Spike on March 24 and presents the West Coast rap icon as the urban crimefighter called Malice, who happens to be the very first black superhero ever.

Oh, wait, no, that’s not right. There have been, well, hundreds and hundreds of black superheroes. This is not a new development, either — the Black Panther, for instance, made his first appearance back in the summer of 1966 in the pages of Fantastic Four. It sounds like Snoop was thinking more of a character that reflects a more contemporary black urban culture (the Black Panther is an African-born monarch) but that’s not exactly a cutting-edge idea either. Luke Cage hit the sidewalks in 1972 and Black Lightning arrived five years later.

 

But maybe Snoop meant Hollywood, not comics? Surely there have been no black superheroes on screen? Well, except for Will Smith as the title character in “Hancock,” which was merely the fourth-highest-grossing film in America in 2008 (it made more domestically than “Wall-E” or “Twilight“). Oh, and Halle Berry did play Storm in, count ‘em, threeX-Men” films. And Wesley Snipes staked out the first real film success for Marvel characters with “Blade” in 1998 and he returned to the role in two sequels. There are many others that spring to mind — Shaquille O’Neal starred in “Steel,” Robert Townsend had the title role in “The Meteor Man,” Samuel L. Jackson was Frozone in “The Incredibles” and will.i.am appeared as John Wraith in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” — and more coming, notably Don Cheadle suiting up as War Machine in this summer’s “Iron Man 2.

Maybe Snoop has some memory loss issues…

UPDATE: And when it comes to music and black superheroes, who could forget this 1970s time-capsule…

– Geoff Boucher

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Comments


33 Responses to Snoop Dogg wants to know why there are no black superheroes [UPDATED]

  1. Static Shock says:

    WHAT ABOUT STATIC SHOCK?!?!?! Eh Snoop?

  2. Larry says:

    The Falcon was Marvel comics first black American hero.

  3. Geoff Boucher says:

    Here's the list Cal, I'd say there's maybe 300:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_superheroes

  4. Geoff Boucher says:

    And Cal, talk about defensive, re-read your comment.
    Wow.
    So Snoop says some half-baked (or fully baked) statement and you frame it as him making a purposely hyperbolic statement … to provoke political commentary. That's pretty funny.
    I know Snoop, I've interviewed a half dozen times, but I'm glad to hear that YOU know what he meant and that I'm just way off base for critizing a public figure for taking credit for creating the first black superhero when they've been around for decades.
    Luke Cage is blaxploitation? Well yeah, of course he is, thanks for the news flash. So is half the stuff Snoop does.
    And if Cage and Panther are so outdated or lame, as you suggest, then why do you want them on the big screen?

  5. CaptHowdy says:

    There is also Mr. Terrific from the Justice Society of America whose been around forever, There was also John Stewart aka Green Lantern…
    How about this nice list?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_black_superh

  6. Geoff Boucher says:

    Well, the golden age Mr Terrific character was white; the black Terrific has only been around since 1997, so not really "forever"…

  7. Jay See says:

    I keep checking back to see if Cal has the guts to respond. I'm sure it will be something stupid like, "How many of those characters were made into big budget movies?" or "How many of those comics are still in circulation."
    He needs to understand that Marvel and DC will continue to sell any comic that continues to be profitable. How many thousands of comics with white heros have been cancelled over the years because of low sales. DC and Marvel try out new characters all the time – white and black.

  8. eric says:

    lawyered.

  9. Jasmine says:

    Don't forget Spawn!

  10. Sheldon says:

    My personal favourite is Blankman – kind of a kid-friendly Kick-Ass – played by Daman Wayans back in 1994.
    But yeah, there are hundreds of black superheroes.

  11. Cal Godot says:

    You named two in comics. If there are “hundreds,” then you ought to be able to rattle off a list of at least 10. Bet you can’t.
    Snoop is obviously hyperbolic, which is no surprise to anyone who knows one thing about this performer. He is likely hoping to inspire the very reaction that over-sensitive WHITE fanboys are evincing within this. I encourage you all to continue your clearly defensive reactions to accusations of racism: it only proves the point.
    Snoop’s right. The number of white superheroes vastly outnumbers the black, and there is absolutely – no matter what any fanboy insists. Is Luke Cage still being published? Is Black Panther? Are their pitiful one-shot limited series comparable to the multiple Spidey, X-Men, Batman, and Superman titles? Remember Cloak and Dagger? Cloak was black, a creature of “darkness” who ate souls; while blonde, blue-eyed Dagger was a white goddess of light. Or the ridiculous arguments that TMNT fans have about which turtle is “black?” Give me a break! The short-shrift (and even negative coverage) that black people receive in comics is obvious to anyone not blinded by white privilege.
    There is no comparison, and as in so much of American culture, African-Americans are roundly ignored in comics. Even the two (out of “hundreds”) examples you mention are laughable by today’s standards: Luke Cage is little more than blaxploitation, and Black Panther with his “noble African prince” routine is as dated as Edgar Rice Burroughs. Attempts to update those characters are laughable, and remind anyone with sense that comic book publishers not only ignore black audience, they don’t “get” black culture. I fully expect the publisher reaction to this to be something like a “Boyz in da Hood” limited series, or a title with black rapper kung fu heroes.
    Snoop has a point, and he is making it in his usual over-the-top fashion. If you really care about this matter, you ought to begin by asking yourself why you (Boucher) reacted so defensively. I mean, it’s not like you own Marvel or DC, or are even the target of Snoop’s comment.
    I’ll be waiting for that list of “hundreds and hundreds” of black superheroes. While you’re at it, point out the ones that receive(d) the same marketing budgets as better-known white superhero comics. Not to mention the ones that never got canceled because the publisher stuck by them through tough times. And bonus points for answering, “Why no Luke Cage or Black Panther movie yet?”

  12. tricia says:

    dont forget about the black super hero in the movie the incredibles

  13. steve ryfle says:

    Halle Berry as Catwoman!

  14. XMan says:

    well damn, maybe it's an issue of familiarity.
    you go to China and i'll bet all the chinese comics have chinese superheroes.
    instead of whining about it, how about some african americans become comic book writers, artists and create their own superhero? why should the onus be on everyone but the black population to create a marketable black hero?
    quit yer whinin'

  15. maniac man says:

    Who takes rapppers seriously? Yep I am with you XMan. This comes as a whine from someone who keeps crying 'racism' all the time to attract attention.

  16. Onegod360 says:

    CHICK is an interactive web series about one woman’s quest to become a superhero.
    http://whoischick.com
    http://www.youtube.com/user/chickspirit
    From: A CHICK Fan

  17. Gid Freeman says:

    Well XMan, back in 1992 there were 3 gentleman who came together to form Milestone Comics and they ended up producing stories on subjects that the Big Two (Marvel & DC) wouldn't dare touch at the time and only skirt around. Dwayne McDuffie (writer of Ben 10, Justice League, Static Shock, Justice League Unlimited) and Denys Cowan are among the two. Their books were distributed by DC and they have allowed DC to use their characters now. Their company also went on to groom and produce some of the best artists and writers in the industry that are still going strong today…so familiarity may be needed on both ends on the spectrum.
    Did you know the first Captain America was Black? Check it out in Captain America: Truth: Red, White, and Black.
    The cast of characters actually mirrored the actual world with a vast range of ethnicities, religions, and sexual preferences and they have some of the BEST heroes and villians in the comic industry. Yes a great deal of them were African American or Black whichever is PC enough for you but the stories went beyond the colour and ethnicity of the characters. So there are plenty of artists and writers of colour that are in the industry Larry Stroman (tribe, X:Men: Bishop), Michael Broussard artist of Top Cow's The Darkness, Dwayne McDuffie Milestone Forever, Fantanstic Four, Deathlok.
    Anyone thinking that Luke Cage and Black Panther have not evolved as a character then they have not been reading their books for the past twenty years.
    Yeah what Snoop said was ignorant and there should be no argument about that maybe he'll take a look and actually see that there are plenty of Black characters out there it's just an issue of the amount of exposure they are given as opposed to other characters.

  18. Gid Freeman says:

    there may be some confusion about my post as i left part of a sentence out but the part about the Black Captain America isn't supposed to be there and the paragraph after that is in reference to Milestone Comics which I mentioned in the paragraph above
    Thanks!

  19. Very great comments. If u look at my vids eye feel u all. The content featured reflects our views. looking fwd to networthing with the real. XMAN ya words compelled me to quote them on FB. Piece to evrybody

  20. Kevin says:

    I write, design, buy and support any media featuring Black creators, characters or situations whether they be in print, on film, in animation and anywhere else they might be. I always have and always will.
    "You named two in comics. If there are "hundreds," then you ought to be able to rattle off a list of at least 10. Bet you can't."
    I'll take that action. And I know GANGS of people who'll line up to take your money. Is there a bonus for time?

  21. Ambrose Chase says:

    Hundreds and hundreds of Black superheroes?
    What fair parallel earth do you live on?
    Comic book companies do not care about Black superheroes, just Black consumers.
    This is what a top-ranking Marvel editor had to say in defense of their lack of Black superhero comics.
    http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2009/09/when
    To quote Morpheus, "Welcome…to the real world."

  22. CreekPre says:

    Does Afro-Samurai count?

  23. Cal Godot says:

    White liberals are funny. They want you to believe racism is alive and dead, just because there's a obscure black superhero. "Hey, you're lucky we let you in to this dinner party, with your dark skin and your funny clothes," they say. "Don't complain about getting the table scraps."
    And Boucher, I don't care how many times you've interviewed Snoop: it doesn't prove you're not a hack when you're doing hack work, you know? Go measure your penis against someone else.

  24. Geoff Boucher says:

    Sorry, Cal, you need to be 13 years old to post a comment on this blog.

  25. JokerOC says:

    Spawn, Luke Cage, Falcon, Storm, ShadowHawk, Bishop, War Machine, Balck Panther, Steel, and plenty more. Maybe snoop doesnt know superheros very well.

  26. jeremy says:

    last time i checked there were alot of black superheros snoop
    1. storm
    2. spawn
    3. black panther
    4. luke cage
    5. blade
    6.in the movies nick fury
    7. war machine
    8. hancock
    9. wraith
    and there are so many more that im forgetting.
    8. black lightning
    8.

  27. worldofblackheroes says:

    There are hundreds if not thousands of Black superheroes out there from mainstream and independent comics. On Facebook over 50 of them have already been detailed here> http://www.facebook.com/BlackHeroes and this website reviews and previews hundreds of books where black superheroes are used monthly http://worldofblackheroes.wordpress.com/

    Cheers

  28. kevin wallace says:

    yea but how many of these were accepted by the media really? the question should have been clearer how about black male leading role movies, and not talking about us making up a superhero either. Blade is really the only successful one, and it had a 3 movies. Hancock was made up. Spawn should have went straight to dvd lol. The truth is neither dc or marvel have ever really supported black superheros. there are millions of white superheroes with movies, name five real black male superheroes that have their own comic book with a movie.

  29. AntiCoon says:

    No, maybe they are all flawed on purpose. Hancock was painful to watch as a Drunk, lacking confidence trying to impress white America and blade was a freaking Vampire. Storm was kinda corny robert townsend was a comedy, Will I am got called Spineless while getting it ripped out… so owned! dime store joke.

  30. BlackCowboyStudBrett says:

    A MUCH BETTER QUESTION IS:Why are there no handsome black cowboy characters on the big or small screen? Someone such as:Yours Truly,who at 58-July 6-remains leading-man handsome,
    brawny-5'8'',210-218 lb.,sporting 171/2" biceps-is attempting to become a Country song-writer,will ride the mechanical bull to open my city's-Windsor,Ont.,Can.-new Country saloon,and,MOST IMPORTANTLY,said by a lot of local ladies to look great in-AND BETTER OUT OF-cowboy garb.How' bout some answers,fellow posters?

  31. mirvine says:

    Isn't Spawn something of a superhero?

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