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A Chronological Look At The Most Popular Black Superheroes, Past And Present

Black (super) power!

It's been 75 years since what is commonly recognized as the first Black superhero debuted (it's not Black Panther). To celebrate, let's walk through a timeline of Black heroes, from 1947 to today.

Lion Man: The first-ever Black superhero in US comics.

A comic of the first Black super hero in red bottoms with an arrow striking through

Black Panther (T’Challa)

Rise of the Black Panther #1

Goliath (William Foster)

Laurence Fishburne in Ant-Man and the Wasp

Falcon (Sam Wilson)

Falcon in Marvel's Avengers Assemble show

Power Man (Luke Cage)

Artist and collector Kerry James Marshall holding a Luke Cage comic

Green Lantern (John Stewart)

John Stewart using his powerful ring

Nubia / Nu'Bia

Nubia proclaiming herself as Wonder Woman

Blade (Eric Cross Brooks)

Wesley Snipes as Blade

Doctor Voodoo (Jericho Drumm)

comic of Doctor Voodoo with a red cape, blue orb, and fist in the air

Misty Knight

Simone Missick in Luke Cage

Storm (Ororo Munroe)

Comic page with Storm in battle

Black Lightning (Jeff Pierce)

Poster for Black Lightning television show

War Machine (James Rhodes)

War Machine cosplay

Cyborg (Victor Stone)

DC's Cyborg in his suit against a black backdrop

Captain Marvel/Photon/Pulsar/Spectrum (Monica Rambeau)

Monica Rambeau in WandaVision

Cloak (Tyrone Johnson)

Aubrey Joseph in Cloak & Dagger

Amazing Man I-IV (Will Everett I-II, Markus Clay, Rocker Bonn)

The first Amazing Man

Bloodsport (Robert DuBois)

Bishop (Lucas Bishop)

Omar Sy in X-Men: Days of Future Past

Spawn (Al Simmons)

Parade with Spawn float

Steel (John Henry Irons)

Shaq as Steel

Static (Virgil Ovid Hawkins)


Synch (Everett Thomas)

Synch in the comics

M/Penance (Monet St. Croix)

Monet St. Croix in the comics

Lightning (Jennifer Pierce)

Jennifer Pierce in the show Black Lightning

Nick Fury (Ultimate)

Nick Fury in Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors

Batman (Jace Fox)

Jace Fox as Batman

Captain America (Isaiah Bradley)

Isaiah Bradley in Falcon and The Winter Soldier


Shuri in Marvel's Avengers: Black Panther's Quest

Patriot (Eli Bradley)

Robert Jurges as Patriot

Hancock (John Hancock)

Will Smith as Hancock

Blue Marvel (Adam Bernard Brashear)

Blue Marvel in space

Aqualad (Kaldur'ahm / Jackson Hyde)

Aqualad in the comics

Batwing (David Zavimbe, later Luke Fox)

Camrus Johnson as Batwing

Spider-Man (Miles Morales)

Miles Morales cosplay

Human Torch (Johnny Storm)

Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch

Iron Heart (Riri Williams)

Riri Williams in the comic cover

Sister Night (Angela Abar)

Regina King as Angela Abar in Watchmen

Hooded Justice (Will Reeves)

Jovan Adepo in Watchmen

[🚨SPOILER ALERT🚨 FOR WATCHMEN (2019)] If you have not seen the HBO TV show and plan to, I strongly suggest skipping the next character! You've been warned...

Doctor Manhattan (Cal Abar, formerly Calvin Jelani)

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Watchmen

Of course, there are several other Black superheroes that have graced comic book pages, TV shows, and movie screens. Who did I leave off this list that you would like to add? Let me know in the comments below!

Make sure to head right here for more of BuzzFeed's Black History Month coverage.

Black History Month