Hudlin Entertainment Forum

Comics => Black Panther => Panther Politics => Topic started by: FLEX HECTIC on May 17, 2009, 09:45:31 pm

Title: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on May 17, 2009, 09:45:31 pm
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Not to get all biblical but on two other website forums I started this thread and got a varied range of responses from many posters. One site was and the other was

I stirred up a hornets nest as many weighed in on their personal views as this was begun at around the time of the movie American Gangster starring Denzel Washington as Frank lucas. With the hit show of that name on BET and Jay Z's album it was a recurring theme among black people.

From what I gathered it seemed as though that many of us have sold our souls for the persona of The Pimp or The Thug or The Gangsta or a combination of the three in our culture and our music.

As we look at the greater black super hero movement one can only wonder with the platinum sales of gangsta CD's what revenue could be generated if our black super hero comics also sold in the millions. This would be a tremendous boost to our image here and abroad and would change the way we as black men are viewed by others. It would go a long way toward getting more black super hero movies financed and produced instead of the the usual street hood dramas.

Instead of people running from us as criminals they would be running to us as rescuers. The night of President Obama's inauguration there were several rap stars at a party that showed there ignorance at the swearing in of our first black president with profane language and foul behavior. Here was a historical moment taking place and brothas is wilding out as if they could not settle down in peace for just one night.

The title of this thread is not to get anyone to put on a Punisher skull t-shirt and slaughter black folks who have embraced that lifestyle but then again I have my Rorschach ink blot mask on standby. LOL!

I am very interested in what each of you think about this concept as we read our comics and watch comic book based movies and wonder what if. What if it is our position or lack thereof that keeps us from A-list black super hero status because we choose one master over the other?

We do have A-list criminals and A-list studio gangsters but no A-list super heroes as of yet.

I believe that the Hip Hop audience should be black super hero fans and this will support our struggling genre. We need to set up a contingency plan to take them away from that dead end lifestyle.


The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: Vic Vega on May 18, 2009, 08:10:29 am
Super-Heroes are fictional.

Nicky Barnes is real.

Suge Knight is real.

Batman and Luke Cage aren’t.

If you are going to compare role models at least compare the real to the real and not the fictional to the real.

While I have always heard about folks entering the medical profession because they
idolized Dr. McCoy or Randolph Mantooth(look it up!) as a kid. I don't know anyone like that.

Nor do I know anybody who deals drugs or whatever because of Jay-Z either. 

If you are going to ask why more Black youth want to be like Jay-Z and Nas than they do say, Michael Eric Dyson or Tavis Smalley that would probably be a more coherent question.

The first thing you have to realize is Jay-Z and Nas are wealthy media sensations who have hot wives. I would be biggest asshole on the planet if I thought my reward for same would be to come home to a buck naked Beyonce or Kelis. The “Life of the Mind” does not have those kinds of material rewards(at least not that I’ve noticed). Wyclef is a big time philanthropist but its not like anybody talks about it.

The second thing is that other mass media role models are athletes. We were lucky to have one Muhammad Ali in our lifetimes. Jim Brown didn’t become an activist until after he retired. The average athlete is not going to take a stand on anything that might cut into his endorsement money. 

The third thing you might want to consider is that it is going to take a while before the cultural effects of the Barack Obama presidency become apparent.

Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on May 18, 2009, 09:36:34 am
Nicky barnes is real and so is Nat Turner.

Suge Knight is real and so is President Nelson Mandela.

Batman is real. Ironman is real. Real wealthy.

Super heroes are not fictional they have been with us since slavery, apartheid and just about every revolution you can think of.

So Nas and Jay Z are the only ones with HOT wives?

I can assume that some of those trophy women in all those beauty contests, fashion runways and magazine covers also have significant others who are not thugs or gangsters or rappers.

As a personal trainer I have met many women who were doctors, lawyers or house wives that were as cute as ever and not married to the PIMP of The Week.

Beyonce and Kelis are more famous not more beautiful if you take in consideration bad hair days and sometimes bad morning breathe like other women of human origins that shower and shave their hairy legs too. There are photos of Beyonce and Jay Z on the beach with sagging guts coming out in 3D looking not so athletically inclined and shabby.

Now back on topic.

The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!

Are we thus serving a master that has given us a higher mortality rate through random acts of violence and literally costing us generations of youth in the morgue and the prison system? Are we glorifying one idea or one concept more so than the other and losing lives which include Biggie Smalls and Tupac?

I don't think for one minute that The Black Panther is not REAL... I think at this point he is REAL IMPORTANT!
Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on May 18, 2009, 09:55:33 am
False question.

There are a wide range of black humanity available in popular culture, and has been for a while now.

From Martin Luther King to Ken Chenault to Sidney Poiter, from Oprah to India.Arie to Michelle Obama, from Blair Underwoood on LA LAW to Denzel on ST. ELSEWHERE to Morgan Freeman's whole career, there's plenty of images to choose from. or white, young or old...choose to focus on what they want to.

There are so many normal black people in commercials alone this is a non-issue. 
Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on May 18, 2009, 01:34:27 pm
But Reggie surely you cannot deny the whole of Hip Hop's influence on the entire world.

I think that the question is more of ideals than actual persons.

Super heroes are supposed to be the good guys while gangsters are essentially the bad guys in concept alone.

Batman versus The Joker

Superman versus Lex Luthor

The X-Men versus The Brotherhood of Mutants

Spiderman versus The Green Goblin

Who then are the black super heroes supposed to be against? That is a rogues gallery question.

It seems as though we would try to embrace ideals that are contrary to the concepts of what a super hero is suppose to be.

If a rapper or real to life thug were to disrespect a woman in song or in action are we suppose to stand by and not comment or intervene since super heroes are self appointed vigilantes in concept?

As prisons fill up and young black men in schools decline it is apparent that just having a few famous people with commercial success is not enough. As parents and leaders we are to help people with their choices in role models even when they want to choose wrong. These are young minds who have not lived long enough to make the best choices for themselves so it is better to feed them super hero comic lifestyles than to let them feast on gangsta deathstyles.

The reason I posed this question is many of us including myself as super hero creators, illustrators and readers seem to duck this issue because so many of us are actual fans of the gangsta rap genre and it would make enemies with most of our Hip Hop peers. I got those CD's too but I listen to them less and less as I ponder my fate in this ever growing black super hero genre.

But in keeping with the spirit of comic books the good guys and the bad guys are usually each others peers or friends or even family.

Although the super hero itself is imaginary the villain is a real to life problem and if not dealt with on some occasion can be dangerous in years to come as it evolves into what Africa likes to call "WARLORDS!"

As writer of The Black Panther you understood that with Niganda and Killmonger when rogues go unchecked and assert their power and authority over people ruthlessly. In some areas gangs do that right now without fear of justice or law.

A super hero can wear primary colors but in Los Angeles that could get him caught up in a bad situation with opposing gangs. But what if he chose to stand his ground and not budge an inch? That could set up a situation where an immovable object meets and unstoppable force.

I am not saying that we should be cape and tight wearing vigilantes but at some point we need to say or do something before someone else who does not love our people does it for us and not so nicely.

It sounds like a non issue... but international statistics and the image of black males worldwide say that it really is. I believe black super hero concepts can be made into real life ideals that can uplift our communities on every continent and change the inspirational behavior of our youth.

I would like to expand further on this issue and how it affects marketing and sales when super hero comic book concepts are pitted against platinum selling albums.

Let's keep it going in this thread!

(I'm on my internet soap box here preaching to the winds!)

Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on May 18, 2009, 10:41:35 pm
Whenever I see the argument posed that the problems of black people are a result of bad pr (if only white people could know how nice we are!) or brainwashing (gangsta rap made me do it) I have to call BULLsh*t on it.

We are all human beings with free will. A rich kid self destructs with drugs.  A poor kid grabs his bootstraps and goes to Harvard.  Both become president.  What does it all mean? 

There are sound economic reasons why poor people are kept down.  Racism is a great way to reduce competition. 

I'm not saying that inspiring images aren't important, but let's keep this all in context. 

Slaves who were told they weren't even HUMAN learned to read even though they could be tortured and murdered for doing so.

Where were their positive images? 
Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: Mastrmynd on May 19, 2009, 06:23:12 am

Slaves who were told they weren't even HUMAN learned to read even though they could be tortured and murdered for doing so.

Where were their positive images? 

dayam.  Reggie came hard with this one.
i like it.
Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on May 19, 2009, 10:19:23 am
I think slaves were in a do or die situation where the laws of self preservation kicked in to boost their resolve. If someone chained you to a fence and kept you far away from your family you would be put in a situation of desperation that would pull a fight out of you in being in such a powerless position. Any human rights or dignity that you could get would be your main focus even if it meant death because being illiterate is as close to death as one can get.

Today our freedoms are vastly different than our ancestors were so we take many things for granted. A child raised with a silver spoon in his mouth cannot even conceive of what his parents or grandparents had to do to get that financial empire so his behavior is not one of struggle as say rebellion which is what many black youth are doing today. We have a freedom to "WILD OUT" and without guidance it can spill over into a whole culture and taint it as it has done unchecked or unchallenged.

Looking at the disparity in how many great and small white male super heroes there are in comics, movies and video games versus how many black thug dramas are presented in those same genres anyone can see that there is a huge problem. I wasn't blaming the media for this I was pitting two opposing forces against each other on its' own terms. Batman and Ironman have equalled and surpassed the mob drama The Godfather in cinematic value but we as black people cannot name the counterpart for Boyz n The Hood. There should be a balance for both otherwise one becomes canon for the culture represented.

The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster is its' own separate fight. There are many who pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and go to work and then there are those who strap up their boots to put in work.

The very foundation of the comics we read if you study the history shows us that if both Superman and Captain America do not fight The Nazis then the comic industry as it stands today would not exist. That is what put the word "Super" in the word super man (From the German word Ubermensch). Essentially that was a form of white on white battle (Although with Jewish overtones) that made fake super heroes into to real life idealists. We as black super heroes have as yet to take up that same fight because we are either letting some things get a pass or literally consorting with the enemy because we like their music.

Super heroes or people who fight in real wars against a real enemy don't just let what happens happen. They actively engage in the conflict and do their best to alter the outcome to either save lives or take lives. Superman and Captain America are flagship iconic characters that fought a real enemy of mankind as did those who served in World War 2 and read these comics on the bloody battlefields. They represent patriotism, class and honor beyond the illustrated panels. What is our representation as black super heroes beyond the illustrated panel?

I think the key to the success of black super heroes in the future is this protagonist/antagonist perspective which will release a whole generation of youth from coercion or seduction in a style of living contrary to what a good decent person does. Spiderman is featured in anti-drug campaigns and so should The Black Panther be also.

It will also increase sales for our genre and place us in a better standing image wise with a better piece of mind too. The Black Panther along with Milestone characters should be a part of literacy programs in prisons to help influence any who seek to escape their current circumstances as an alternative option than a round trip ticket back to jail.

Oh and Reggie... thank you for allowing me time to speak my views. I can be long winded some times so bare with me on this one! 
Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on May 23, 2009, 08:13:15 pm
Flex, I say this with the utmost respect.

For a guy that preaches about thinking outside of the box you have chosen to support one of the oldest and weakest criticisms of Black Pop-culture.

You can trace the level of Black achievement in terms of wealth and education during the time of segregation in the 20th century and see that your premise doesn't work.

When Black people were nothing more than Amos and Andy or Steamboat and Ebony White in popular culture you had thousands of Black men and women achieving great things in spite of this fact.

You want us to believe that in an era in which people have almost unlimited access to every depiction of Black culture, that we have to be reduced to the myopic images created in one segment of entertainment?

If all someone thinks of Black culture is gangster chic and pimping circa The Mack then that is all they WANT to see.
Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: KIP LEWIS on May 25, 2009, 05:48:36 am
I also have to wonder about the basic assumption, the primary audience of gangster theme is black.  Last I heard, white male teens were the reason for the massive finacial earnings of gangster rap, because they're the biggest part of the buying audience.
Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on May 25, 2009, 01:03:42 pm
One of the things that I have found in posting this thread on several different sites was the diverse answers that were received even some that found arguments where I did not know even existed.

The origins of this thought came from my designing a super villain to put in opposition of my super hero Flex Hectic because my editor insisted to me every other day that all super heroes should have a villain. The only opposition that I created for Flex Hectic was characters that were depicted off panel called Hectic Haters.

When designing a super hero most creators make a self portrait of themselves when they fashion them. Flex Hectic is an exaggeration of me or what I would be if I had epic super powers. But when it comes to making a villain the same rules apply because the villain too is also a self portrait of the creator or what the creator would be if he turned bad.

Examples of this are in Spiderman where not only is Peter Parker a scientist so is his most major arch villains like Osborn, Doctor Octopus or Doctor Connors. This places most of their battles in a science based arena or laboratory. Peter Parker is essentially at war with his own peers.

The lack of balance shows in Stan Lee's/Jack Kirby's creation The Black Panther. T'challa struggles in the rogues gallery due to two creative creators/artists only being able to see him through caucasian eyes and not black eyes. The character itself is cool but it is missing that insight of what his opposite would be on the other side of the Harvey Dent coin. Stan and Jack meant well but not personally experiencing the black struggle or the ideology conflicts from here to Africa it was difficult for them to strike that nerve that makes a black super hero tick.

If we hold up that "black" Two Faced coin and flipped it on one side is that majestic honorable upstanding black super hero but on the other side what would we have? That there is the 100 million dollar black super villain question. It is the vigilant opposition to whatever is on that other side of the coin that makes or breaks what that black super hero is to become. The only thing on that other side of the coin is the black super hero himself... turned evil.

So what exactly is that evil black super villain? He is an Uncle Tom? Nope. Not diabolical enough and more likely a white man's sidekick than a challenge to a true blue super hero.

Is it a House Negro? Nope. Still no better than the level of an uncle Tom and The House is most likely not even his that he is defending.

Is it the Black Judas? Nope. He probably is turning in the hero to a higher authority than himself so he is useless especially if the hero resists arrest.

Is it the white racist? Nope. Usually this person uses the Uncle Tom, The House Negro, the Black Judas or hides behind a white sheet or some other shield to do his dirty work as opposed to an even and fair fight confrontation. That of course is subject to debate but racial issues are often cloaked in some form or another.

The American Gangster? Yes. This is someone who fits the other side of the coin almost perfectly because he has all the characteristics of the super hero except that he is the bad guy. Independently self reliant and assertive in his planning and plots. Operates outside of the law just as the vigilante super hero so does and also has his own base of operations just as the super hero does.

In fact Reggie touched on this aspect in The Skrull/Magic Frogs time travel arc with a black Skrull character in the role of an American Gangster who sold them out.

If we were honest with ourselves as black men we all struggle with opposing traits of those of a good guy and a bad guy. If you were given super powers how would you exercise those powers? Some black men become political activists, civil rights workers or good role models while others become thugs, pimps and gangsters. What happens when all these ideals get put into one small room? Something has got to give or their is a compromise in the value system itself.

Malcolm X waged war against Detroit Red his evil alter ego from his criminal American Gangster past.

Next time you look in the mirror see if that inner Norman Osborn does not have you holding conversations with your inner Green Goblin... I mean American Gangster!

Now flip your Harvey Dent coins and pick heads... or HEADZ!

Note: I may seem crazy or contradictory in some of my posts but I do hope to give as well as gain some knowledge through these type of topics as our black super hero community continues to grow. I welcome all responses to this thread and may put this in a book on black super heroism in the future. Of course none of this matters if we do not at heart believe in black super heroes as a concept or as a living reality. But that white fanboy community is many steps ahead of us and steadily pulling away. We need to catch up or get left behind in comics, movies and video games and having only platinum selling gangster albums to show for it!


Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: Kimoyo on June 15, 2009, 06:55:28 pm
I see Killmonger as representing the other side of T'Challa's coin.

...There are sound economic reasons why poor people are kept down.  Racism is a great way to reduce competition... 

...Slaves who were told they weren't even HUMAN learned to read even though they could be tortured and murdered for doing so.

Where were their positive images? 

The problem I have with this argument as forwarded by the second statement is that it all but assumes that more and perhaps significantly more of those slaves could have learned to read under those conditions if they tried hard enough to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps."  It can sound very humble when someone who's accomplishhed a lot against long odds says "I did it, so can you," but in fact it diminishes the exceptional accomplishments of exceptional individuals or individuals  with exceptional motivation.   Perhaps more disturbingly to me, the argument ignores the probability that many slaves who did not learn to read might later have and might have even contributed in more modest ways to the larger community if allowed to develop at their own pace as free and human beings uninhibited by an racist, oppressive state.

Economic racism is indeed an effective way to reduce competition.  It is a tactic employed by evolved sensibilities, fully aware the defeated, outmoded, politicaly incorrect, overt racism and iron-handed oppression of the past cannot fly today.  Tactics have changed to be sure.  Progress has been made to be sure.  But the following is not universally true:

" or white, young or old...choose to focus on what they want to."

I chose to focus on The Black Panther as reborn through Marvel Knights and continued  by RH and even at my age could be inspired by him, as I was by Capt. Benjamin Sisko of Star Trek Deep Space Nine, to step up my game and do even better by my family, achieve more professionally.  But I have a college education, a good job and a car to use to reach the retail comic book outlets where I can spend the personal money I'm blessed to be able to put aside for BP monthly.

Where I'm from it is so much easier to follow the exploits of fictional Gangsta Rappers.  I'm not saying they're solely to blame for the woes of black folks as much as I hold them responsible for degrading the signal to noise ratio making it harder for an ADD generation to get the messages they need; love thy neighbor.., respect yourself and others (our women), save your money, leave a good first impression, work hard, speak well, don't steal, shoot, kill...

How are they to know that good jobs are increasingly depended on a good credit score and names without apostrophes.  A young black mother or couple wanting better for her/their kids aren't likely to be shown a house in a good school district unless the realtor is certain that the color-coded mortgage rate will protect the neighborhood's exclusivity.  So the seperate but unequal schools in affordable neighborhoods will have to do hard as it may be for the kids to pull themselves up with the 20 year old textbooks they can't take home so they share with the four others in their group out of the 35 students in their class, half of whom are in another grade.  But hey, they got a shot.  This is America.  They're still better off than 75% of the world, mostly.

"There are so many normal black people in commercials alone this is a non-issue."

Without analyzing the percentages of blacks to whites in commercials and the roles they have in those commercials.  This is so not an issue.


Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on June 21, 2009, 12:51:16 pm
I'll try to be a little more careful in my wording so as not to get this thread padlocked!

Imagine we are sitting in the great hall of the Justice League or The Bat Cave or the X-men mansion.

Several of the most powerful and influential super heroes of all time are discussing their next missions.

Those that can fly go off to fight vicious aliens and earth threatening asteroids.

Those with special skills go off and fight ground based monsters and diabolical madmen.

Meanwhile the black super heroes stay right where they are and hold a townhall meeting discussing social ills, slavery and oppressive societies.

When the heavy hitting A-list super heroes return with torn and battered primary colored tights and capes along with their newly gotten war wounds they call their agents and set up multiple deals for movies, toys and video games.

As the revenue stream for A-list super heroes increases the not so rich black super heroes cry foul over all this fake non issue activities until one of the mighty super heroes whose movie just opened at 100 million plus speaks his mind.

A-list Super Hero: "If 'YOU PEOPLE' ever opened your minds and your hearts correctly you could not only dominate this fake non issue industry but you could also from the revenue generated from this false comic bookism finance most of your troubles away as we have already done successfully inside and outside of Hollywood!"

Offended Black Super Hero: "Man You're a racist!"

A-List Super Hero: "In the 'Obama is a fanboy' era that no longer flies since THE President believes in comic books too. Speaking of flying I gotta go rescue a cat from a tree and help an old lady across the street. You think these things over as you contemplate who exactly is or is not your rogues gallery less the world pass you by while you stand still over these non issues."

On the real!

I can sometimes be obnoxious and on many cases a complete @$$hole when I post but as an attendee to both ECBAC (East Coast Black Age of Comics convention) as well as The Black Panel at Comic-con I can see as clearly as anyone else that black super heroes do not have a theme nor a nemesis to literally crusade against like other super heroes do.

Our lacking in symbols, signs and off the panel travils leads to us not having an affective or engaging agenda to focus upon to give us the boost that we need.

When Reggie married T'challa to Storm... was that a fake non issue?

Fanboy real life emotional responses didn't show that!

When Hero X dressed as Captain America and later as The Black Panther... is he fake too?

I'll happily stand right next to his muscle bound self as you tell it to his face and my muscle bound self too!

To paraphrase Heath Ledger's Joker...

"The black community needs a new class of hero..."

Our fight is no longer slave masters or white sheet wearing klansmen.

We have many civil rights legends and pro-black militants galore. We have the greatest ever athletes and now we even have a great President. We have church leaders who openly preach "Black Jesus" as the Bible depicts and yet our communities are still what they are.

I believe the key to total upliftment of the black community lies in that elusive A-list Black Super Hero because it requires us to literally think waaaaay outside the box than what is the normal protocal for society as a whole.

Having a well rounded black super hero encourages us to see things much differently than our normal black leadership has us do. It gives us creative imagination to visualize complicated scenarios and overcome unimaginable obstacles that impedes our lives in real time. It also exposes our true enemies when we explore our calculative subconscious.

Our true enemy is ourselves... our lowdown pseudo dictator street hustlin thuggin "GANGSTA" selves!

The low life expectancy of black males is uniquely tied to the "THUG LIFE" and all of it's glorifying aspects in music and movies. The other is mass killings of black males by third world dictators!

So until a giant meteor threatens to wipe out Africa or Martian Klansmen from outerspace start lynching brothas on the moon we need to face our common enemy...

The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!

Darth Vader: "Search your feelings young one... you know this to be true!"

Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: Vic Vega on June 22, 2009, 08:44:38 am
The Falcon's arch-enemy was Harlem crimelord Morgan.

Note tht Morgan looks more than a little like Nicky Barnes.

Black Lightning arch enemy was Tobias Whale

The closest thing that Black Goliath had to an Arch Enemy was Atom Smasher

Luke Cage's perennial bad guy is Chemistro. Here is info on the most recent guy to wear the suit.

We've spoken about Black Panther and Killmonger enough so I won't repeat it here.

What we can see from the above is that the Black Super Hero's villains are more genre specific than anything else.

The Street Level heroes fought powerful Gangstas

The Rest fought costumed baddies just like their White counterparts.

Steel in the 90's fought bunches of cyborg-looking dudes with big guns just like everybody else did.

If you look at Cage's rogues gallery the Cockroach Hamiltons
and Black Mariahs are the exceptions not the rule.

The tension you see between the Black Super Hero versus the American Gangster is largely in your imagination, IMO.


Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on June 22, 2009, 07:50:31 pm
Good points Vega except...

You forgot about the part where it pertains to being a black man's own personal crusade and not a small attempt at Marvel to hopefully promote and sell black super heroes.

It will not make it to A-list status until like Captain America and Superman fighting The Nazis it becomes a personal issue and not a speudo lame effort.

The black men that die over senseless black on black violence are the very ones who if they remained alive could push the sales of black comics into A-list territory as opposed to being sold the THUGLIFE anthems which they invested in.

To sit back and watch a majority white owned and controlled institution depict what a black super hero should stand for is like you sending me over to talk to a girl on your behalf instead of you doing the talking yourself. She could very well end up with me leaving you back at square one.

Making a super villain look like Nicky Barnes was not the answer anymore than making Doctor Doom look like Hitler. There is more to this than just my imagination.

It is clear that far more effort is placed in the fleshing out of white super heroes and their villains than there is the black counterparts. This has to be placed in the equation too or the very hiring of Reggie or Dwayne is all in vain.

The Black Panther and Luke Cage's rogues gallery is incomplete because that Midas Touch has not been placed upon their villains to make them better as Heath ledger's Joker or Ian McKellan's Magneto are.

If you watch The American Gangster episodes on BET the biography of each kingpin is given a thorough depiction to the point that you know what makes them who they eventually became. We are shown their upbringing and lifestyle influences as a whole.

The rogues gallery of black super heroes is vague and lacking in depth making them a hard sell no matter whose face you put on them. It is low grade parody at best and not very inviting into the world of that would be black super villain which would only enhance the black super hero even more when we know what exactly it is that he is up against.

It's the villains that sell the super hero comic and not the super hero himself. In most super hero movies the villain is better casted than the super hero. CHURCH!

If we are satisfied with being just the sidekick of white fanboys and spending the next 20 years arguing with Marvel and DC over the depiction and lagging sales of black super heroes then yes this is a non issue and a figment of my imagination.

But I find it interesting that whenever I openly discuss these things with white fanboys at the 4 different comic shops I go to they get it. But so many black fans miss out on key things that need a change in the black comic book buyers genre.

I remember when Ice T opened the pimp hustler world in song and video and then Wesley Snipes starred opposite him in New Jack City. Imagine upgrading Nino Brown exponentially with special powers and a worldwide agenda and then having him cross paths with a black super hero. Take out all the elements that would make it suck and edit it like a real pro would and then go back and re-edit it until you reached masterpiece status and then test market it with a focus group audience and then unleash a well directed movie.



We could alow the black super hero genre to die a slow death and step off from the scene with lackluster efforts and a whole lot of excuses.

One of us has to be the @$$hole about this and it might as well be me!

We as black creators need to get together in a team huddle and beat the mess out of each other until we form an absolutely better comic book genre than what we have already and bring our A game to the table minus the B.S. that makes us the mockery of the comic book industry!

Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: KIP LEWIS on June 23, 2009, 07:10:45 pm
Recently read an article that basically said that one reason we can't get A-list black hero/villain is because the next writer will ruin it.  Unless a character is mega-popular, every writer can (and many do) reinterp the character to their vision ruining what made them great previously.

Only possible way to get around this is when secessive writers share same vision or one writer stays on them until they become too popular to be played with.
Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on June 23, 2009, 11:39:56 pm
I posted on about us having a major black comic book convention in Los Angeles to offset the lack of celebrity star power at the venues in Philly, Atlanta, Detroit and other places of note.

The last minute cancelation of Kevin Grevioux at ECBAC was a big disappointment for those who attended and many in the black comic industry do not have the support group that is shown at the major conventions by their white peers.

This leads us to to speak almost hopelessly about our place in this genre as if at any moment someone (Marvel or DC) will take from us what we do not really have already.

I suggested L.A. because even if half the black stars cancelled we would at least increase our chances that someone of fame would drop by as they did when Reggie X stormtrooped The Golden Apple a minute ago.

When The Spielbergs, The Stan Lee's and The Frank Miller's speak of their projects there is a confidence level that comes through them and enhances their lifes work. There is a certainty that something spectacular is bound to happen when they create and it usually happens that way by design.

For some reason our heroic voices do not sound off in the same or greater manner. We are more of a sporadic and divided lot that needs better direction and mentoring in our ideas.

We also will need a financial interest that helps us with our visions and dreams into fruition.

This is the one area where a fearless uncompromising nothing to lose American Gangster type would benefit us.

Imagine Lex Luthor buying out and owning the Superman S logo and selling it to the highest bidder and then giving Supes some of the profits just to watch him tear up the Lexcorp checks in disgust!

Like I told you... The Black Super Hero and The American Gangster are really the same people but at war with each other which ends up promoting both at the same time!

At some point soon someone will have to unite the various black talent and be the glue that holds this battered cabal together.

We do not need Marvel or DC's permission to do so. And even if we still wanted to work for them your position would have better leverage if you had millions of black fanbros to back your every move instead of fighting with every other editor about canon and continuity.


Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: bluezulu on June 24, 2009, 06:04:59 am
Just because the values of a gangsta may be the opposite of mine, I have never viewed a gangsta let alone any black man as my antithesis. I think the black hero rouge gallery for the most part has been on point. There just has not been a big enough push on minority heroes to make there counterparts obtain a higher level of infamy.
Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on June 24, 2009, 09:29:01 am
The Dark Knight: "I am whatever Gotham needs me to be!"

This was said just before Batman took the blame for Harvey Dent's downfall and told Commissioner Gordon to hunt him so that Gotham City could be saved.

Let's flip that two faced coin and see it from a black version.

Black Super Hero: "I am whatever the black community needs me to be!"

Which is what?

What exactly does the black community need?

In a parallel world if you are a young black male your immediate peers are whom?

I know very few black people if at all that do not have a friend, relative or acquaintance that has not been to prison, been shot or associated with the criminal element in some way. Hip Hop musical tastes count too even if the listener never duplicates the influential violent acts not so subliminally depicted in the songs.

A huge percentage of our target audience or demographics we need to sell our black super heroes to is in that GANGSTA lifestyle.

The reason that there is not a white version of Martin Luther King is because white people for years already had presidents, governors, senators, executives etc. etc.

The diabolical white villains reflected the scientific and or corporate enemies of their time mixed in with politics. The villains actions or deeds sold the story itself.

The moment you start generating revenue from black super heroes and flossing those big toys around town the gangsters will take notice and attempt to rob, extort or take you out anyway. Notice the number of wealthy black athletes carrying guns because they are targeted for robbery at gunpoint.

When the Suge Knights (Kingpin) of the world hang you out the window and demand you sign over the licensing and merchandise rights to your A-list black super hero you will remember this post. In fact they will smell the money just as soon as one of our black comic book conventions begins to make money on a large scale.That is who they are and freely chosen lifestyle so I welcome them to my comic booth with my Rorschach hat and Punisher t-shirt on. LOL!

As black men we know that last paragraph was not a joke.

We will face our enemies... or they will face us as fate would have it!

We are what the black community needs us to be!

The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!

(I can't believe this thread has not been padlocked yet. Thanx Reggie!)
Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: jefferson L.O.B. sergeant on June 24, 2009, 10:54:48 am
Black Super Hero: "I am whatever the black community needs me to be!"

Which is what?

What exactly does the black community need?

This question undermines a significant part of your premise.

The Black community is not a monolith; therefore I would expect the responses to run the gamut of possibilities.

T'Challa- His Black community needs him to be the stalwart defender, monarch and bearer of the Panther mantle.

Cage- his Black community needs him to maintain the redemptive role of a former criminal and hero for hire; to the selfless hero and protector that he is today.

Black Lightning- His Black community needs him to be the great example of homegrown heroism and leadership that he has always been.

There is no such thing as the Black community in the sense that you express it here.

What does exist are communities with Black people in them and each have their own unique nature and requirements.
Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on June 24, 2009, 09:47:36 pm
Jefferson sergeant I like your last sentence so much I am going to meditate on that!

Okay I'm done!

I guess the key question is more of and If or a WHEN evil knocks on your door as opposed to just one being a role model or a pillar of symbolism.

The versus part of my thread is the scenario where conflict comes in or acts of violence are committed.

If a or any black community had it all together then the need for any super hero diminishes.

If Spiderman were more about Peter Parker just getting an education and being a happy smiling upstanding citizen then the proportionate strength of a spider is just a mere circus act at best.

There are buppie neighborhoods that have little or no crime but so are there upper class white neighborhoods who have no need for Superman.

We are talking black super heroes as a direct need and response to criminal behavior as it pertains to comic books and thus real life.

Every now and then a break in or a car jacking or a sexual assault takes place in a wealthy community and reactions vary.

Each super hero has their own agenda one way or another so who is taking up the mantle against an obvious fake and real gangster agenda?

Gangsters have a way of crossing lines and inserting themselves wherever they see fit and profitable.

One of our clients was pistol whipped in his own home while his family was tied up in Beverly Hills. The fact that he was white and the perpetrator was black can be something blown way out of proprtion considering the class of neighborhood he lives in.

My sound man in the apartment above me was murdered by black youth over a drug deal gone bad.

The reason I mention this is since lines have been crossed in such severe ways it sets up racial profiling for those of us who do not break the law. Black on black crime is bad enough but add in the racial element and boudaries can be breached where no community is safe simply because a growing cancer was not checked that puts us all at risk. White people have their own methods for dealing with brothas that cross that line and history shows that it aint often pretty. It would be safer if we settled this in house with our own heroes and or values.

When someone like Reggie is pulled over by cops for driving something fancy because he "Might" be a drug dealer, a gangster or a pimp even though we all know better then that is a cause for alarm all around.

That gangster image is killing us in all manner of image and likeness.

Oprah was referenced as "NIGGA" in South Africa by a black youth who did not know better.

That is an ocean away for a negative greeting to reach so no black community is immune to the cancer of gangsterism!

I like the thought patterns that have come of this dialogue and would hope that some of the white members of this board would weigh in and give honest and open perspectives on how you see things from comic books to real life.

Michael that is your cue so get off that lurk mode and get up in here. Don't be shy!

Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on September 15, 2009, 11:09:44 am
Kanye West is...



If you hang with out with gangsters long enough their vibe eventually rubs off on you and you do something that is totally out there and you pay a price for it later on.

Now I could really get deep and point out Serena is dating Common who started out as a conscious rapper only to portray "bad guys" in the movies but that would be pushing it a bit too far.

After Kanye and Jay Z dissed Chris Brown for his behavior it seems that Chris was only following the examples set by his much older peers when it comes to respecting women.

If Kanye stepped away from that type of atmosphere and went back to his "Jesus Walks" mode I bet he would get all those "Gangsta" demons away from around him and be more revolutionary as he was when he made the infamous "George Bush does not like black people" comment and set himself apart as a true thinker.

In time healing and forgiveness will prevail but Hip Hop will have to purge itself of The Gangster image because it pulls too many peeps toward sociopathic behavior whereby they snap and lose it at a moments notice and then cannot figure out why they behave as they do.

This sense of entitlement and "It's all about me" could have been a bigger disaster considering the deep south country music associations and the racial climate with a black president getting attacked on a regular by white right wingers.

God forbid if Taylor Swift had tried to grab the mic back from his hands and he in his hallucinogenic "Gangster" mode wrestled with that smaller "White Girl" and it evolved into something else much worse.

Suppose it was one of them heavy metal rock and roll groups with their own big bodyguard entourage. Would he have grabbed the mic from them too or was it just a size matter?

Fortunately Beyonce was wise enough to hold out an olive branch but even she needs to sit down with her husband and talk out these Gangster issues and the direction of Hip Hop and RnB's future.

I feel that the Gangsta/Diva selfish image is going to be harmful to us all in the long run. Right now there are a whole lot of Hip Hoppers with deep pockets but no discipline. This can be a severe problem where diplomacy is concerned and much needed in the President Obama loves Hip Hop era.

What's the contingency plan for when a gangsta rapper makes aggressive advances at The Second Coming of Mother Teresa? Or spits nasty rhymes at a foreign dignitary that stepped on his new high top kicks? I could go on but you get the point as more of them gain international fame yet their behavioral patterns are unpredictable, potentially embarrassing and foreign law dangerous.

This piss all over your own audience because we are rich and you are not attitude is getting to be very expendable. We have to decide if we wish to continue to make certain black entertainers wealthy as opposed to comic book creators who can give us more.

In the meantime I will sit and wait for the next great Hip Hop blunder to comment further!

P.S. Could some diabolical computer hacker please find a way to switch the decimal points in Jay Z's bank account with Dwayne McDuffie's so that this Milestone Media thang can blow up past DC and Marvel and give us a 24 black super hero channel because I have seriously had enough of this studio gangster schtick!

Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on September 16, 2009, 10:19:22 am
You should not assume the motives behind people.  If you actually met the people you admire/dislike you might be very surprised who you actually click with. 

Sometimes the guys with the worst images are the most professional and friendly.  Sometimes the people who seem to share your value system are quite hypocritical. 

I hope Kanye takes this moment to actually do some self-exploration.  I don't know him, but he is hella talented.
Title: Re: The Black Super Hero versus The American Gangster!
Post by: FLEX HECTIC on September 16, 2009, 01:46:41 pm
Good point!

I had to learn that the hard way when I moved to Los Angeles and would run into so and so and be disappointed that their stage persona was nothing like how they really are in real life but then again they are only human so my starstruckness lasted about 2 seconds.

I would guess that the black super hero concept would be more of a referee for the ideals system as a checkmate to help prevent chaotic behavior from happening in the first place but their is still no guarantee that everybody would behave accordingly.

The black super hero ideology should be something one can fall back on just before they lose all their manners as Kanye did when he took that action. Something like that or what Chris Brown did can derail careers and leave scars both physical and emotionally for others as well as themselves.

The Black Panther as a fictional character or a real life concept could very well be an @$$hole behind the scenes but should always be depicted as being James Bond proper and dignified even in the heat of the most deadliest battle. Grabbing the microphone while Sue Storm was speaking to promote Storm over her would be rude on his part. Reed, Ben and Johnny would have a word with him on that and he might get escorted from the Baxter Building promptly.

I would rather have black men "FAKE" like they are super heroes than to "REALLY" be gangsters because the damage left behind burns for years to come!

Also as super heroes when we get to that A-list status as a whole genre and we are respected much better than we are now we should be the ones to attack this behavior at all costs and then be the ones with the most forgiveness when healing is needed.

I wouldn't throw Kanye under the bus but the voices that do attack him should come from a platform that cares about the image of black men. My daddy spanked me when it was necessary and my son gets that treatment too when he behaves less than super hero status. Kanye will survive the spanking that is ongoing as will others after him.

Chastisement + Healing = Better Person (Unless they are just a rebel in contempt)

We all are sinners in one way or another but their should be checks and balances. A super hero 10 commandments with some sort of guidelines would help.

Could you imagine if Biggie and Tupac were raised on comic book values as opposed to the streets?

Think that over as you meditate about that black comic book convention you're getting ready to promote! LMAO! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Seriously... I would rather see you or Mac Dee doing it big with the black super hero movement even if you dudes were @$$holes and obnoxious behind the scenes!!!!!

(The urge to TROLL overtakes me)

Flex: "Reggie X wassup man!"

Reggie X: "Fleeeeeeex what's poppin TROLL!"

Flex: "Just paTROLLing the forum and whatnot looking for threads to spam you know how I do."

Reggie X: "Yeah I feel ya."

Flex: "Aw this must be Mrs. Hudlin. Your wife is so beautiful. You are truly blessed."

Reggie X: "Uh Flex... this is not my wife... This is..."

Smoking Hot Woman: "Hi I'm Laquaishlaneisha."

Flex: "Laqua... OK I get it. Nice to meet you La La."

Reggie X: "Soooo Ah... Flex I'll catch ya later."

Flex: "In fact we'll pretend like this meeting never took place."

Reggie X: "Great idea. Peace!"

(As Reggie X and that "FINE" lady who is not his wife walk away Flex bursts into tears)

Flex: "My idol Reggie X has betrayed the super hero code! Our ideals are ruined!"

(Regaining his senses)

Flex: "But then again... Reggie X has game like dat!"