Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Kalinara was writing her post about Thunder when she messaged me asking how many college-aged/teenaged black female superheroes (not fully-grown career-aged women like Storm and Vixen, but early 20s/teenagers). I could come up with.

She were stumped at two, Thunder and Empress (Empress who will never be seen again because Peter David couldn't resist making a dumbass pun with her name). I thought of XS, and then realized bitterly that neither she nor Kid Quantum (who was a pretty cool character and the fucking leader of the Legion of Superheroes for a while) counted because they were retconned out in the last reboot in favor of the New Diverse Legion of Super-Heroes (also known as "a large group of white kids, a green kid, a blue kid, and a black kid who almost never gets panel-time").

So we were still at two. We consulted the Museum of Black Superheroes.

Managed to come up with Bumblebee and that one X-woman Grant Morrison introduced (the one with the fly wings who had kids with the chicken-boy).

Beyond that we had Peekaboo for a supervillain who could be redeemed.

Reaching past DC and Marvel properties, I can think of Tesla Strong, the Rocket from Icon and Slingshot from Dynamo 5.

Oh, and that woman who flew in Major Bummer. (I think her name was Val.)

That brings us to 11 total. 4 in limbo (only 1 that I've seen in the last two years). 2 retconned out. 1 a villainess (also in limbo). 1 in a universe no longer published. 3 active in ongoing series.

For blonde college-aged/teenaged women alone I can think of Supergirl, Secret, Arrowette, Spoiler, Wonder Girl, Saturn Girl, Speedy, Arisia, Terra, Buffy, Dagger, Dream Girl, Rose Wilson, Flamebird, Husk, Valkyrie, Dolphin, and Andromeda.

18. Without looking. 6 active in ongoing series. 6 in limbo (4 that I've seen within the last two years). 3 dead. 1 retired. 1 retconned out. 1 retconned into adulthood (but still active).

Now, the white superheroines I listed are just the blondes. That is not counting characters with red, black, or brunette hair. That is just young women with yellow or white hair.

And I didn't have to look up people to come up with 18 blondes. But I had to find a website to jog my memory to think of more than 4 black women.

Something's off here.


  1. And right after our conversation, I realized that my brain had stalled out on Steel's niece!

    Yeesh, I feel dumb.

    That doesn't really disprove anything though, since I'm sure you've counted her already. I just feel really dumb about blanking out.

  2. Angel 2 (from X-Men) got depowered, but she and Beak are both in the New New Warriors. Also of that team are Silhouette (black/Asian) last seen as one of Cap's people and...argh. Blanking on her name. Its like D'Barri or something weird. Black hero who was in one of the New Warriors minis. Has some kind of Teke power and is in the Initiative boot camp thing...

  3. Debriis? (or some other misspelling of debris?)

  4. I would take Bumblebee out of that list. Karen married Vox a while back, and she's long been a career-woman (as a techie for STAR Labs). I haven't read any of her appearance since Infinite Crisis, though I understand her status quo has changed, but my point is that she's certainly beyond the young adult/teenager range.

  5. What is really terrifying is that apparently ALL teenaged girls are blonde! Or REALLY blonde!

    I find that depressing.

  6. Is Valkyrie college-aged/teenaged? I would have placed her as older, at least mid-to-late 20s (maybe not as old as Sue Richards but closer to that than to, say, Supergirl). Or are we thinking of different Valkyries?

  7. You might be thinking of the Ultimates universe Valkryie

  8. I'm going with "first appeared as..."

    I should've added an "aged to adulthood but still active" and "Aged to adulthood but in limbo" category for Valkyrie and Bumblebee respectively.

  9. Yeah, Bumblebee is older now. Older than Beast Boy, younger than Nightwing, judging by how they write her when she appears.

    I'd almost want to count Shuri, Black Panther's younger sister, but she hasn't gotten much screen time yet. Hudlin has said that she's going to get some face time soon, but soon isn't now :)

    Angel is probably half-black/half-latina, judging by her last name. She can't be older than sixteen, either.

    Debrii is pretty awesome, though, just off the strength of that New Warriors mini.

    There must be something in the air. I've been thinking about something similar to this for around a week now.

  10. Actually if you're going to add in Rocket from Milestone (and there were two teen girls who used the handle), Blood Syndicate had numerous teen/young adult minority women. Flashback (Dominican), Brick (Hispanic), Aqua Maria (Hispanic), Masquerade (black, though thought of herself as male), Kwaii and the Demonfox (pre-teen Chinese girls merged with members of the Chinese Celestial Court)...

    Man I wish that Wise Son mini-series had actually come out...

  11. There's Silhouette, Shard, and Dart, for starters.

    Silhouette, from Marvel's New Warriors.

    Shard, Bishop's sister.

    And, of course, the divine Dart. How could anyone forget Dart?

  12. Err, ignore my last post, she's mentioned above.

  13. Is Shard alive again? Last I recall of her she was turned into a hologram and killed.

  14. More retconned-out black female Legionnaires:

    Computo (Danielle Foccart, who I believe was deputy leader at one point)
    Catspaw (April Dumaka)

  15. There's Shebang from Static Shock, too... But my brain isn't clear whether she was in the comics or just appeared in the animated series...

  16. I just got back from rehearsals, and my brain is nothing but fuzz.

    What dumb pun did PAD make?

  17. IIRC Empress' real name is Anita Fite. Her dad was partnered with a guy whose last name was Madd. They were Fite & Madd. I loved YJ, but I can live without David's need to add puns for humor...

  18. So what percentage of teenaged, female superheroes would you say are black?

    6% maybe?

  19. I can't be the only one who's read "The Ballad of Halo Jones."

  20. I wonder how many teen superheroines are blonde. :o It always seems like a lot to me. o_O

    Mebbe it's just cuz the most "famous" ones in DC (Supergirl, Wondergirl, Stargirl) are blonde and kinda look the same. XD

  21. well, considering that Anita's dad was killed and brought back as an infant (!) near the end of the series, it would be a pun unlikely to have an opportunity to recur anyway...