BH: Black and White always works…

Good afternoon Nerders! It’s Black History month and I have 5 days late. I decided as I was putting together the drafts for this month that I will be featuring Black (Blerd) History facts for the rest of the year. Some will be long, and some will be short. Either way, you guys will get these facts everyday this month and months to come. So buckle up Nerds, we’re going nerding!

In 1992, Todd McFarlene created a character that went on to be one of the darkest yet coolest characters in comic book history. And he’s black (duh). He became an instant hit. Albert Francis “Al” Simmons was set up to be killed by his partner after he started questioning the morality of the agency. Simmons was killed and his soul was sent to hell (he knowingly killed innocents while working with the CIA)

 “Simmons made a deal with an evil being known as Malebolgia: in exchange for his soul, he would get to see once again his wife, Wanda. However, when Simmons returned to the human world, five years had passed, and he had been transformed into a demonic creature with little memory of his former life. After regaining his memories, he sought out his wife, only to find she had moved on and married his best friend, Terry Fitzgerald, and that they now had a daughter named Cyan” (Source)

What makes Spawn a great character is his complexity. He’s supposed to be a “Spawn” of Hell but he has morals even with the loss of most of his memories. He was brutal and dark all while being a black anti-hero. It was the height of police brutality at the time this particular comic came out. What made this comic a hit at time (imo) is the grittiness and sense of reality it had to the African American community. Then in 1997, we got our first R-rated comic book movie with a black protagonist starring Michael Jai White. Was it the best comic book movie? No. But was it needed? In my opinion, yes. It was different, and at that time, original. This movie kind of laid the groundwork for future comic movies along with Black characters in these movies. And also aknowledge that his outfit was completely bad ass. The transforming cape? The motorcylce?! Lit! So lets appreciate the movie that laid some groundwork for comic book movies as we know it now. Remember, expect more tidbits for the whole month of Feburary and the rest of the year. Until next time, Nerd Out!spawn-coverjpg.png


13 thoughts on “BH: Black and White always works…”

    1. One of my other friends suggested it so I’m going to highlight black characters from comics, video games and anime every day this month and a few times each month after.

      1. That’s awesome. It’s a creative way for Black History Month and it can be positive. Some other Black comic, game or anime characters I could think of at the top of my head could be:

        Synch (Generation X)
        Loran Cehack (Turn A Gundam)
        Eddy Gordo (Tekken)
        Dudley (Street Fighter)
        Night Thrasher (New Warriors)
        Green Lantern III/John Stewart (Justice League series)
        Spyke (X-Men)

        1. I’m def doing John Stewart. He’s one of the GOATs. I’m also going to be doing some obscure characters people don’t hear about often. Like Villetta Nu from Code Geass. (She’s tomorrows WCW).

          1. YES! I agree with John Stewart being a GOAT in the superhero world. That’s a great choice on so many levels

            Another one I forgot is Bishop from the X-Men. He’s the first Black male superhero I’ve seen in my life when I saw the 90s cartoon as a kid. Even though I’m half-Black, there was a part of me back then in my mind where I thought: “Yes! There’s a superhero who looks like me!” when I saw him.

            I’m not too familiar with Code Geass, but I believe that would be a good choice. You don’t see that many Black people in anime let alone ones that are written well.

          2. Of course, and I seriously commend you for that. I don’t know any anime bloggers who are using anime in the context of Black History Month let alone racial representation besides the several Asian and Caucasian characters many many people know.

          3. Deggan’s Test or Deggan’s rule is a litmus Test for movies, TV, and other media when it comes to minority representation and plotting. In order for something to pass, it has to follow two guidelines:

            1: There must be at least 2 non-Caucasian characters in the story.

            2: The plot is NOT about race.

            I know most movies fail that test given the prevalence of racial stereotyping and typecasting even to this day especially in Hollywood.

          4. Same here, man. Haha. One other defect is that people always resort to movies about the Civil Rights movement or slavery. Don’t get me wrong, it should still be talked about in movies, but more often than not, they can be really downplayed and sanitized.

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