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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Superheroes in Black and White

"Superheroes in Black and White: What If Spider-Man Were African-American? The Odyssey of Black Superheroes"

In recent months, fans have been receptive to a new comic book and black superhero who is, in many ways, more anxiety-ridden than Peter Parker.

Last December, the hip-hop-themed Blokhedz — an independent comic book that focuses on an aspiring teen rap artist named Blak and his struggles with inner-city life and the slaying of his older brother — debuted and has steadily gained a word-of-mouth following. Blak has a supernatural ability to control others with his raps and rhymes that he apparently acquires after being slashed by a cursed knife during a skirmish with gang members.

Unlike other superheroes, Blak — and others characters in Blokhedz — do not wear capes, costumes or masks. Blak is as normal — powers aside — as any teenager. His environment and story reflect some the experiences and comic books Blokhedz creators and twin brothers Mark and Mike Davis shared in their formative years.

"In many ways, Blokhedz is like a return to some of the Saturday morning cartoons and comic books — the mythology — that we used to enjoy," said Mark Davis. "We just thought that kids today should have something like that."

Lots of interesting commmentary.

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