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17 Badass POC Comic Book Characters You Really Need To Know About

Black Panther and beyond.

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1. Cindy Moon (Silk)

Cindy Moon is a Korean-American who gets bitten by the spider that turned Pete Parker into Spider-Man. She is kept away from her family for 10 years – after she emerges, the comic books track her as she tries to find them and fights crime.

Recommended reading: Silk Vol 0.

2. Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel)

Kamala Khan is a Pakistani-American who is obsessed with superheroes, and then develops shapeshifting powers after a mist descends upon her town. She is the first Muslim comic book character to have her own series.

Recommended reading: Ms. Marvel Vol 1: No Normal.

3. Miles Morales (Spider-Man)

Miles Morales, who's of African and Puerto Rican descent, takes over as Spider-Man after the death of Peter Parker. He's also in an animated series, voiced by Donald Glover.

Recommended reading: Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man Ultimate Collection.

4. T'Challa (Black Panther)

T'Challa is an heir to the dynasty of Wakanda, and to be a Black Panther is a hereditary title (though he must pass tests to have it). He obtains powers from eating a plant that would kill many non-Wakandans. His character made a film debut recently in Captain America: Civil War, and a Black Panther solo movie is due out in 2018.

Recommended reading: A new graphic novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Volume 1: Nation Under Our Feet, is out later this year. In the meantime you can buy the comics individually.

5. Lunella Lafayette (Moon Girl)

Moon Girl is a super genius who carries the "Inhuman" gene. She's also 9 years old and the smartest hero in the Marvel universe. NBD.

Recommended reading: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 1 BFF.

6. Cassandra Cain (Batgirl)

Cassandra Cain is a Eurasian assassin who is trained in martial arts from childhood. She was the first Batgirl to star in her own ongoing series. Recently she's appeared in the ongoing Batman and Robin: Eternal series.

Recommended reading: Batgirl Vol. 1: Silent Knight.

7. John Stewart (Green Lantern)

John Stewart was DC's first black superhero. He was a backup for Hal Jordan's Green Lantern, filling in for him and eventually taking his place full-time when Jordan left. He's the founding member of the Justice League in the animated series.

Recommended reading: Green Lantern: Mosaic #1 or, for something more recent, Green Lantern Corps Volume 1: Fearsome.

8. Sam Wilson (The Falcon)

Sam Wilson flies using mechanical wings and is also able to telepathically communicate with birds (originally it was just his own pet bird). The character plays a huge part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which he's played by Anthony Mackle.

Recommended reading: Captain America and The Falcon Vol. 1: Two Americas, Captain America (2004–2011) #25.

9. Riri Williams (the new Iron Man)

Riri is set to be the new Iron Man. She is an MIT student and a certified genius. She starts making her own Iron Man-style armour on campus and uses it to fight crime, eventually drawing the attention of Tony Stark.

Recommended reading: While the Invincible Iron Man relaunch she will star in isn't out yet, you can see her make her debut in Invincible Iron Man #7.

10. Victor Stone (Cyborg)

Part man and part machine, African-American Vic was initially in the Teen Titans. Cyborg is played by Ray Fisher who will be reprising the role for the upcoming Justice League film. He recently got his own comic book series and it's the perfect mix of sci-fi and superheroes. A Cyborg movie is coming out in 2020.

Recommended reading: Cyborg Vol 01: Unplugged.

11. Nico Minoru

Instagram: @andreasilvaa

Nico is a Japanese American sorceress and the leader of the Runaways, a group of teenagers who find out their parents are part of an evil organisation. She has a staff which allows her to cast spells, but she cannot cast the same spell twice.

Recommended reading: Runaways Vol. 1: Pride & Joy.

12. Luke Cage (Power Man)

Luke Cage aka Power Man has super strength and incredibly tough skin. His character appears in the Netflix show Jessica Jones (he is married to Jessica in the comic books) and he's getting his own Netflix show too.

Recommended reading: New Avengers Volume 1: Breakout, Jessica Jones – The Pulse: The Complete Collection (though the latter is technically a Jessica Jones story, he plays an integral part).

13. Misty Knight

Misty Knight is a formed NYPD police officer with a bionic prosthetic arm. She's a brilliant detective and sets up an investigations firm with her friend Colleen Wing. Her character is set to appear in the Netflix show Luke Cage, and she'll be played by Simone Missick.

Recommended reading: Fearless Defenders Volume 1: Doom Maidens.

14. Laura Wilson

Laura is the main character in the Wicked + The Divine comic book series. In it she becomes involved with a group known as The Pantheon: individuals who merge with the spirit of a deity so that they can have powers.

Recommended reading: The Wicked + The Divine Volume 1: The Faust Act.

15. America Chavez (Miss America)

Instagram: @berberaardema

Latin-American LGBTQ teenager America possesses superhuman strength and agility as well as being able to fly. She appears in the Young Avengers series as well as, more recently, the Ultimates.

Recommended reading: Young Avengers Volume 1: Style > Substance.

16. Tatsu Yamashiro (Katana)

Tatsu moves to America from Japan to fight for justice after her husband is killed by his brother. Her name comes from her sword, which for a time possesses the soul of her husband. Her character is first involved with a group called Birds of Prey and later joins a secret society known as the Outsiders.

Recommended reading: Katana Volume 1: Soultaker

17. Ororo Munroe (Storm)

Storm is a princess in Kenya who is able to control the weather with her mind. She is one of the most well-known and formidable members of the X-Men.

Recommended reading: Storm Volume 1: Make it Rain.