By. D.J. Johnson
It's Black History Month, and this particular year the Black Delegation is lit with RBG pride. (that's "red, black and green pride" for my non-melanated friends). Marvel's Black Panther has everyone going Wakanda-crazy, sending kente cloth and dashiki prices sky high. So I decided to take a moment to remind the delegation to "act like you been here before". This is the statement my coach used on us all the time when it came to big games and events. No, this isn't a football or basketball championship game, but I think there is no doubt that Black Panther will take the box office crown this season. I also decided to take this moment to not only remind us that we were NEVER short of black superheroes but also there are some that deserved more accolades than they received on the silver screen.
5. Storm- Come now, Halle... I mean Storm, easily gets this slot. Storm is a cornerstone figure in the X-Men franchise. She is fine as hell and she brings sunshine on a cloudy day! (Ha! Cheesy wasn't it?). Born Ororo Monroe, to a Kenyan Princess and an American Father, Storm has been a part of the Marvel Universe since 1975 and she is royalty. When you think of our sisters being represented as heroines on screen, there is Foxy Brown, Cat Woman (debatable) and Storm. I really wish she had better dialog in her scenes, but for comic-heads the question that always lingers is would she (Storm) eventually be paired with Logan, or be reunited with her Black King, T’Chala? We're still waiting for that answer, but so far considering that Logan is now old AF and has a bad ass illegitimate kid, it looks like the odds are in T’Chala’s favor. Over its lifetime, the X-Men franchise has raked in nearly $5 billion dollars to date.
4. Spawn- I bet you all forgot about this one. Yes, Michael Jai White was Spawn. I’m not sure if it was the horrible mask or the bad acting that made me want to forget about him being directly associated with the character. But Spawn definitely whipped some ass throughout this movie. For the most part, Brother White was a pure hell raiser and made the Black Delegation proud. It also raked in about $85 million globally at the box office.
3. Hancock - Some people don't consider Hancock a real comic superhero. His comic magazine lineage isn't very long. Actually it's nonexistent. But Will Smith did a great job as Hancock. The problem was that Hancock was a shitty person. He evoked no inspiration out of me, but I find my self slick-anxious to see a sequel. Probably because he was a pure ass-hole yet, at the same time, a bona fide ass kicker. But by the time the movie ended he definitely had a redeeming quality or two. I just hope the brother gets off the bottle. It sets a bad example for the kids. Nonetheless, Hancock raked in nearly a quarter billion dollars at the box office.
2. Birth of A Nation- YES, Nat Turner was a real life superhero with his own comic! I was shocked to find out that many members of the Black Delegation have never seen this comic book! I thought it was a staple in the black household, right along with the bible and that dictionary-sized red cookbook er'body grandma had. And yes, Nat had superpowers. He clearly was able to disappear and reappear at will, had the ability to duplicate himself and had the fighting skill of 10 Mandinka warriors . But for some reason his powers ran out after a few days if he didn't get some chicken and collards...and well..you know the rest. What really disappointed me was the fanfare behind this movie. I think the Black Delegation got more caught up in the director’s personal issues as opposed to supporting the movement that this film is based on. Like... NAT TURNER was a REAL PERSON. He REALLY lead a revolt, but I digress. The film brought in an unimpressive $15 million with a production budget of $7 million. But for accuracy and realism, it's my #2 all time.
1. BLADE- We clearly forgot about Blade. Maybe not his character, but I think we forgot he is credited with single-handedly saving the Marvel movie universe. Many believe that without Blade, the X-Men would have never happened in 2000. To add even more black power to the punch, Wesley Snipes is listed as a producer of the franchise, which has made nearly a half a billion dollars to date. Currently, Blade holds the title of the Biggest Baddest Black Super Hero on the silver screen. But according to Fandango, the ticket sales for Black Panther are on pace to dethrone the Dark Lord Snipes, and could possibly top $180 million in its first week.
DJ Johnson is Director of Operations for AB+L Radio. You can see more of DJ's work on his site at www.InvertTheWorld.com
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