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JadePhoenix
2011-12-15, 06:14 AM
OK, hear me out. I noticed this after reading Irredeemable.
Black Lightning (DC) - black, electricity based powers.
Static Shock (DC) - black, electricity based powers.
Thunder (DC) - black, density based power (but has lightning on her outfit).
Storm (Marvel) - black, wather control powers (uses electricity frequently).
Lightning (DC) - black, electricity based powers.
Ultimate Spider-man (Marvel) - black, spider powers (includes bio-electric shock)
Volt (Boom Comics) - black, electricity based powers. (a pastiche)
Thunder (Kingdom Come, DC) - black, electricity based powers.
Black Vulcan (DC) - Super Friends version of Black Lightning, it seems
Big Thunder (DC) - black, electricity based powers (Bulleteer miniseries)
Jakeem Thunder (DC) - black, electricity based powers (Flash character)
Shango The Thunderer (DC) - black, storm god
Thunder Fall (DC, The Kingdom), black, electricity based powers

List of notewothy black superheroes
-The Falcon - talks to one falcon (Marvel)
-Luke Cage - unbreakable skin, super strenght (Marvel)
-Ultimate Nick Fury (Marvel) - no powers
-Battlestar - Captain America's powers (Marvel)
-Nighthawk (Squadro Supreme) - no powers (Marvel)
-Blur (Squadron Supreme) - super speed (Marvel)
-Bulletproof -that's pretty obvious (Image)
-Black Samson - super strenght (Image)
-Prowler - cat abilities (Marvel)
-Rocket Racer - no superpowers, just a stupid gimmick (Marvel)
-Misty Knight - bionic arm (Marvel)
-Black Panther - Captain America's powers (Marvel)
-Patriot - Captain America's powers (Marvel)
-Monet - plenty of powers (Marvel, X-men)
-Steel - no powers, power armor (DC)
-Goliath - size increasing powers (Marvel)
-Mr Terric - no powers (DC)
-Bronze Tiger - no powers (DC)
-Vixen - some weird animal spirit mumbojumbo (DC)
-Brother Voodoo - sorcery (Marvel)
-Blade - vampire abilities (Marvel)
-Aqualad - hydrokinesis, increased strenght, speed and stamina, gills (DC, Young Justice)
-Bumblebee - bee powers (DC, Teen Titans)
-Cyborg - machinery, super strenght (DC, Teen Titans)
-John Stewart - Green Lantern (DC)
-Hero Cruz - owner of the HERO Disc (DC)
-Herald - sound based powers (DC, Teen Titans)
-Night Trasher - no powers (Marvel)
-Bishop - energy absorption (Marvel)
-Cloak - teleportation (Marvel)
-Deathlok - just like Cyborg (Marvel)
-Power Man II - kung-fu, Iron Fist style (Marvel)
-Rage - super strenght (Marvel)
-War Machine - able to wear something Tony Stark designed and not crap his pants while doing so (Marvel)
-Spawn - I think he is able to anything (Image)


OK, after many discussions, I looked around and expanded the list. I think I have listed all superheroes with electricity based powers and the most noteworthy black superheroes.
Black + lightning seems to be mostly a DC thing. They really cashed onto Black Lightning. Also, Marvel has a lot of black superheroes with either super strenght or Captain America's powers. Hm.
Also, Xango, the Yorumba god of storms, seems to be the most known, so maybe it has something to do with that. I don't know.

kamikasei
2011-12-15, 06:37 AM
Thunder is Black Lightning's daughter, hence that similarity. I would be quite unsurprised if Static Shock was at least partly a deliberate homage.

Storm has electricity-based powers as part of a larger package, so that resemblance is less than it might appear.

I'm not sure who Lightning is. If you're talking about Irredeemable, do you mean Volt? TVTropes suggests he's a commentary by the author on the trope itself more than an example of it.

Newman
2011-12-15, 07:23 AM
Black Lightning was the first black superhero, and set a trend among writers who lack imagination when it comes to black people. That is all.

H Birchgrove
2011-12-15, 07:27 AM
Before the Black Panther? That's interesting.

JadePhoenix
2011-12-15, 07:29 AM
Black Lightning was the first black superhero, and set a trend among writers who lack imagination when it comes to black people. That is all.

Hm, looks like it.

Lightning is Thunder's sister, by the way.


Before the Black Panther? That's interesting.

I think he was the first black superhero with powers or something likt that.

Devonix
2011-12-15, 07:33 AM
OK, hear me out. I noticed this after reading Irredeemable.
Black Lightning - black, electricity based powers.
Static Shock - black, electricity based powers.
Thunder - black, density based power (but has lightning on her outfit).
Storm - black, electricity based powers.
Lightning - black, electricity based powers.
I mean... what the hell? Why so many?

Black lightning= one of if not the first black superhero
Thunder= His oldest daughter no lightning powers but the thunderbolt is direct homage to her dad
Lightning= youngest daughter

Static Shock was from a minority seperate DC satilite company and one of many black heroes and the only one with electricmagnetic powers there

Storm controls weather lightning is just usually one of the quickest and most efficient attacks in that blanket of powers

Don't know who Irredemable is.

So in that list you have
3 people who are relatives and share a common theme
1 person who has lightning as a just one of their many powers
1 person who was a black superhero surrounded by lots and lots of black superheroes and the only one with Magnetic powers not lightning powers


And one I don't know about.

kamikasei
2011-12-15, 07:43 AM
Of course, a proper analysis should also consider:
- how many black superheroes are there in total, and how many of those have lightning powers, compared to what proportion of superheroes generally do; and
- how many superheroes have lightning powers, and how many of those are black, compared to what proportion of superheroes generally are.

I'd guess there is a genuine overrepresentation there attributable in part to Black Lightning's legacy, but once you spot a pattern it's all too easy to find examples reinforcing it and overlook the background in which they're set.

Probably hard to get firm numbers without raising questions about what we're counting as a superhero and from what sources, though.

hushblade
2011-12-15, 07:48 AM
Can we also agree the color scheme is just visually appealing?

Newman
2011-12-15, 08:10 AM
Definitely.

JadePhoenix
2011-12-15, 12:05 PM
Of course, a proper analysis should also consider:
- how many black superheroes are there in total, and how many of those have lightning powers, compared to what proportion of superheroes generally do; and
- how many superheroes have lightning powers, and how many of those are black, compared to what proportion of superheroes generally are.
Well, if you have the time and resources to crunch the numbers, be my guest.

Bastian Weaver
2011-12-15, 12:11 PM
There are also many black characters with powers other than electricity.
Bishop - energy sponge.
Shard - photon-based powers.
Synch - power-mimicking aura.
Puff - gaseous body.
Rubberband Man - he's made of rubber.
Bulletproof - um, he's bulletproof?
Frozone - ice powers.

Et cetera, et cetera.

Zen Monkey
2011-12-15, 12:22 PM
It's actually an obscure clause in the superheroes' union contract, so there's no real way around it.

Traab
2011-12-15, 12:34 PM
There are also many black characters with powers other than electricity.
Bishop - energy sponge.
Shard - photon-based powers.
Synch - power-mimicking aura.
Puff - gaseous body.
Rubberband Man - he's made of rubber.
Bulletproof - um, he's bulletproof?
Frozone - ice powers.

Et cetera, et cetera.

Luke Cage
None of the black supervillains in static shock have electric powers, like Ebon, slipstream, etc.

Tyndmyr
2011-12-15, 12:38 PM
Either electricity or energy(which, frankly, is pretty darned close) seems to be the usual one.

Volt is definitely a parody of this...and yes, Irredeemable is fantastic. I recommend it to everyone who enjoys comics at all.

Note that there tends to be rather few black superheroes at all...I mean, the last xman movie didn't use Darwin because they were overflowing with options.

Traab
2011-12-15, 02:10 PM
Either electricity or energy(which, frankly, is pretty darned close) seems to be the usual one.

Volt is definitely a parody of this...and yes, Irredeemable is fantastic. I recommend it to everyone who enjoys comics at all.

Note that there tends to be rather few black superheroes at all...I mean, the last xman movie didn't use Darwin because they were overflowing with options.

Ill be honest with you, this seems like a suspect list, no different than this one.

I want to know, whats up with white superheroes and super strength?
Ok, hear me out, I came up with this after reading any comic that has ever existed.

Superman/girl - duh
Captain Marvel
Rogue
Colossus
Ben Grimm
Thor
Captain America, (I think he is beyond normal human strength right?)
Spiderman
Ms. Marvel

The list does go on much further. It crosses all comic companies from dc to marvel, to anyone in between. I mean, what the hell? Why so many?

The Reverend
2011-12-15, 02:26 PM
{Scrubbed}

Mewtarthio
2011-12-15, 02:32 PM
I want to know, whats up with white superheroes and super strength?
Ok, hear me out, I came up with this after reading any comic that has ever existed.

Superman/girl - duh
Captain Marvel
Rogue
Colossus
Ben Grimm
Thor
Captain America, (I think he is beyond normal human strength right?)
Spiderman
Ms. Marvel

Ben Grimm is more of an orange color, I think.

The Reverend
2011-12-15, 02:53 PM
But he has those beautiful baby blues.

Prime32
2011-12-15, 03:04 PM
Does Black Adam count for this? :smalltongue:

industrious
2011-12-15, 03:11 PM
There's also Icon and Cloak, who don't fit.

Candle Jack
2011-12-15, 03:13 PM
Ben Grimm is more of an orange color, I think.

But he was originally Jewish.

On that front, Luke Cage has super-strength and nigh-invulnerability.

Ravens_cry
2011-12-15, 03:22 PM
Super strength is a stock super power.
Steel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steel_%28John_Henry_Irons%29)has it with his suit.
John Stewart (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stewart_(comics)) with the ring.
Luke Cage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_Cage) has it by default.
Spawn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spawn_%28comics%29) also has it.
Given that black superheroes are fairly thin on the ground, it's maybe that there is so many more Caucasian, or Caucasian looking in the case of Kal-El and kin, superheroes rather than Super strength been a "White thing".
As for Black Superheroes and lighting, maybe the visual contrast just works, the blue and white against dark brown. Frozone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frozone#Frozone) had a similar palette, though his powers were obviously quite different.

Selrahc
2011-12-15, 03:29 PM
I think he was the first black superhero with powers or something likt that.

No. Just the first black superhero with his own DC comic. He's 5 years after Luke Cage for Marvel, who is himself substantially after both the Falcon and Black Panther. Black Lightning actually débuts after Storm joined the X-Men.

Tyndmyr
2011-12-15, 04:00 PM
Ill be honest with you, this seems like a suspect list, no different than this one.

I want to know, whats up with white superheroes and super strength?
Ok, hear me out, I came up with this after reading any comic that has ever existed.

Superman/girl - duh
Captain Marvel

Yes, these two have it.

However, note that Super strength is a fairly common power. We must first rule out simply "being in shape", as basically every superhero ever is in fantastic physical condition. That's just normal.


Rogue

This is not among her standard powers. She can steal it yes(just like anything else), but it's not normal at all


Colossus

Well, he's made of metal when he has super strength. So, the times when he's white and the times when he has super strength are mutually exclusive.


Ben Grimm

Dude is orange. Pre-change to the thing, he was white, but he did not have super strength then.


Thor

Not precisely. He's not weak, but his hammer smashes through everything. So, while the effects are somewhat similar to super-strength whenever he's using the hammer, he only has true super strength in a few comics.


Captain America, (I think he is beyond normal human strength right?)

Negative. According to canon, Cap is at the max of human ability. He's an optimized human, but not actually superpowered in this way.


Spiderman

Varies strongly depending on source. In some, he definitely has superstrength. In others, he's a normal human.


Ms. Marvel

Yes.


The list does go on much further. It crosses all comic companies from dc to marvel, to anyone in between. I mean, what the hell? Why so many?

Because it is also common to superheroes of all colors. It is frequently not the primary identifying power behind a hero, and is only rarely the sole power. In addition to the list above having a few arguable inclusions, it's just not something anywhere as distinctive as lightning based powers are.

Dr.Epic
2011-12-15, 04:12 PM
http://images.wikia.com/marveldatabase/images/a/a8/Thor_Vol_3_8_Textless.jpg

"Am I the exception that proves the rule then?"

Tyndmyr
2011-12-15, 04:16 PM
Actually, a fair amount of white superheroes get STRUCK by lightning...typically during a change to their superpowered form. Thor has this, the marvell family has this. Very few of them get to actually control it, though.

Thor has a couple of times, I believe, but his weather control is....very rarely in play. It's certainly not used in many, many situations where it reasonably would be if he could.

This, I suspect, is the major downside of comparing iconic chars that have been around for decades. All it takes is one crazed author to result in something being at least marginally canon.

TheThan
2011-12-15, 04:19 PM
Off the top of my head I can think up these:
Black Panther
Bishop
Shard
Falcon
Luke cage
Blade
Storm
Warmachine
Frozone
Green lantern (John Stewart)
Steel
Vixen

So judging from this pool I’d say that there is a fair mix of powers ranging from pure physical to pure energy. So I’d hardly say that it’s stereotypical of black super heroes to have lightning or energy powers.

Traab
2011-12-15, 04:22 PM
Yes, these two have it.

However, note that Super strength is a fairly common power. We must first rule out simply "being in shape", as basically every superhero ever is in fantastic physical condition. That's just normal.



This is not among her standard powers. She can steal it yes(just like anything else), but it's not normal at all



Well, he's made of metal when he has super strength. So, the times when he's white and the times when he has super strength are mutually exclusive.



Dude is orange. Pre-change to the thing, he was white, but he did not have super strength then.



Not precisely. He's not weak, but his hammer smashes through everything. So, while the effects are somewhat similar to super-strength whenever he's using the hammer, he only has true super strength in a few comics.



Negative. According to canon, Cap is at the max of human ability. He's an optimized human, but not actually superpowered in this way.



Varies strongly depending on source. In some, he definitely has superstrength. In others, he's a normal human.



Yes.



Because it is also common to superheroes of all colors. It is frequently not the primary identifying power behind a hero, and is only rarely the sole power. In addition to the list above having a few arguable inclusions, it's just not something anywhere as distinctive as lightning based powers are.

I know super strength is a fairly common power, that was sorta my point, sorta not, but I was just using it as an example.

The rogue im most familiar with, has her permanent flight and super strength from ms marvel.

When he is being a superhero, he has super strength, just because he can choose to deactivate it doesnt make it not count, and covering himself in metal doesnt stop him from being an alcoholic beverage (white russian, tee hee)

He is made of stone, still a white boy despite the rocky exterior.


Being the son of Odin and the elder goddess Gaea, Thor is physically the strongest of the Asgardians.[38][136][137][138][139][140] If pressed in battle, Thor is also capable of entering into a state known as the "Warrior's Madness" ("berserkergang" in Norwegian), which will temporarily increase his strength and stamina tenfold, although in this state he attacks friend and foe alike.[141]
Thats from his wiki description, so at least one version of him is indeed super strong.

Ok, so he isnt super strong, I couldnt recall if he was just ultimate human levels or if he somewhat surpassed it.

Meh, all versions ive read or watched made him super strong, only variations is HOW super strong he may be.

And yeah, I know it isnt the distinctive power of most heroes, but part of a package deal, I was just pointing out that i could make a similar topic for white superheroes that share a similar power. Im sure if I cared enough to track it down I could have picked a random other power that exists in various versions. Also when combined with the several people posting lists of black superheroes without lightning powers it was just a statement I was making as to a kinda pointless topic.

MammonAzrael
2011-12-15, 04:26 PM
This is not among her standard powers. She can steal it yes(just like anything else), but it's not normal at all

Technically, she was not born with super-strength. But it is a power she possesses, permanently. Since she drained and killed Mrs Marvel for it (and flight and such)


Not precisely. He's not weak, but his hammer smashes through everything. So, while the effects are somewhat similar to super-strength whenever he's using the hammer, he only has true super strength in a few comics.

Um, what? :smallconfused: Marvel notes that Thor has massive super strength, left 100+ tons (http://marvel.com/universe/Thor_complete_powers).


Varies strongly depending on source. In some, he definitely has superstrength. In others, he's a normal human.

The only stories I've ever heard of Spidey having normal strength is origin stories before he's bitten. He's sitting at a solid 4 official rating (http://marvel.com/universe/Spider-Man_%28Peter_Parker%29), up to 25 tons of lifting strength.


Because it is also common to superheroes of all colors. It is frequently not the primary identifying power behind a hero, and is only rarely the sole power. In addition to the list above having a few arguable inclusions, it's just not something anywhere as distinctive as lightning based powers are.

You do realize that Traab was being deliberately silly with the list, to point out how easy it is to make a biased list, right?

Selrahc
2011-12-15, 04:29 PM
Not precisely. He's not weak, but his hammer smashes through everything. So, while the effects are somewhat similar to super-strength whenever he's using the hammer, he only has true super strength in a few comics.


Actually, a fair amount of white superheroes get STRUCK by lightning...typically during a change to their superpowered form. Thor has this, the marvell family has this. Very few of them get to actually control it, though.

Thor has a couple of times, I believe, but his weather control is....very rarely in play. It's certainly not used in many, many situations where it reasonably would be if he could.

This, I suspect, is the major downside of comparing iconic chars that have been around for decades. All it takes is one crazed author to result in something being at least marginally canon.


Not read many Thor comics I take it?

Tyndmyr
2011-12-15, 04:38 PM
Technically, she was not born with super-strength. But it is a power she possesses, permanently. Since she drained and killed Mrs Marvel for it (and flight and such)

I feel that counting both her and Mrs Marvel for the literally exact same instance of a power is...sketchy at best.

And rogue having a power is like Sylar exhibiting a power. Of *course* at some point he acquired whatever power is being discussed. It's not really very useful from a comparison standpoint.


Um, what? :smallconfused: Marvel notes that Thor has massive super strength, left 100+ tons (http://marvel.com/universe/Thor_complete_powers).

I noted that he has occasionally been portrayed as having it. It really, really depends on the portrayal. In practice, he almost never displays it in the comics in any way not explained by his magical hammer smashing through everything.


The only stories I've ever heard of Spidey having normal strength is origin stories before he's bitten. He's sitting at a solid 4 official rating (http://marvel.com/universe/Spider-Man_%28Peter_Parker%29), up to 25 tons of lifting strength.

Again, this really varies wildly. You've got the whole "proportional strength of a spider" thing in a few places. What exactly this means is pretty vague, but he's very clearly been amped up significantly repeatedly in recent history. It used to be that him tossing a fire extinguisher around was impressive, but now it's all punching T-Rexes and stuff.

So, it really depends on which era Spiderman you take.


You do realize that Traab was being deliberately silly with the list, to point out how easy it is to make a biased list, right?

But what's the point when the original list is not particularly silly? It then just becomes a really poor analogy.

H Birchgrove
2011-12-15, 04:47 PM
Does Hong Kong Phooey count? He knows Kung Fu (!). :smallwink:

There's also Stan Lee's African-American Batman.

MammonAzrael
2011-12-15, 04:53 PM
I feel that counting both her and Mrs Marvel for the literally exact same instance of a power is...sketchy at best.

And rogue having a power is like Sylar exhibiting a power. Of *course* at some point he acquired whatever power is being discussed. It's not really very useful from a comparison standpoint.

Why is it sketchy? Unlike most of the powers that Rogue has acquired, the abilities she took from Mrs. Marvel are not temporary. She drained Mrs. Marvel to the point of death, and gained her powers permanently. Most portrayals of the character, including the 616 Rogue, have this backstory, and thus these capabilities.


I noted that he has occasionally been portrayed as having it. It really, really depends on the portrayal. In practice, he almost never displays it in the comics in any way not explained by his magical hammer smashing through everything.

But its never in question. While he is Thor and not Donald Blake, can you show any instances where he's exhibited to have only human levels of strength? Just because his favorite method of attack happens to be throwing Mjolnir, that doesn't mean his super-strength fluctuates the way you imply. Just because it isn't on display doesn't mean it isn't there.


Again, this really varies wildly. You've got the whole "proportional strength of a spider" thing in a few places. What exactly this means is pretty vague, but he's very clearly been amped up significantly repeatedly in recent history. It used to be that him tossing a fire extinguisher around was impressive, but now it's all punching T-Rexes and stuff.

So, it really depends on which era Spiderman you take.

I agree that Spider-Man's capabilities vary wildly, probably one of the most prominent superheros to have such vast differences. But it seems to me that he's always had at least a modicum of super-strength, even if it's limited to 800-1,000 pounds or so.


But what's the point when the original list is not particularly silly? It then just becomes a really poor analogy.

The original list is a bit silly and biased. On the first page alone it has been pointed out there are a large number of black superheores that have nothing do do with lightning, and the ones that do - three are related, one is probably partially a homage, and one has access to lightning as merely a part of her actual theme.

Prime32
2011-12-15, 05:04 PM
Again, this really varies wildly. You've got the whole "proportional strength of a spider" thing in a few places. What exactly this means is pretty vague, but he's very clearly been amped up significantly repeatedly in recent history. It used to be that him tossing a fire extinguisher around was impressive, but now it's all punching T-Rexes and stuff.

So, it really depends on which era Spiderman you take.It also depends on how determined Spidey is feeling at the time - his powers are strongly tied to willpower.

Selrahc
2011-12-15, 05:09 PM
I noted that he has occasionally been portrayed as having it. It really, really depends on the portrayal. In practice, he almost never displays it in the comics in any way not explained by his magical hammer smashing through everything.


Cite comics, or stop claiming it.
I really have no idea where you're getting the idea that Thor doesn't have superstrength, or can't manipulate weather. Those are core abilities, that he always uses. Like, all the time.

Thor does have a fair share of stupid abilities. The old Avengers comics are full of Thor saying something like "Wait, I can sense that transmission with the power of my Uru-Hammer". And abilities like flying at FTL speeds are very very rarely exhibited. But weather control, and strength are not weird out there powers that aren't normally a part of the character. They are repeatedly demonstrated abilities that form a core of the power set over a 60 year run.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-12-15, 05:15 PM
I noted that he has occasionally been portrayed as having it. It really, really depends on the portrayal. In practice, he almost never displays it in the comics in any way not explained by his magical hammer smashing through everything.

No it its always there. Just simply that when you have a hammer... well anyways point is Thor is still a physical god. Where you may be confused is that Thor often carries some variation of needing Mjolnir, which traditionally was Odin's curse so that without the hammer Thor turned into a human. This isn't the same as saying though that if Thor couldn't bench-press a building if he tucked Mjolnir into his belt though. One of the guys traditional feats was lifting the Midgard Serpent, who is well said to encircle the planet.

Thor is the Marvel's closest equivalent to Superman. When JLA/Avengers went down among the big match ups was Cap fighting Bats... and Thor against Supes. (Supes won by a hair if your interested. Later Supes got to use Mjolnir and Cap's Shield in the final battle, that comic was awesome like that)

Orzel
2011-12-15, 05:31 PM
Because electric powers are cool and they don't tend to infer a certain type of personality... except for crazy. So the writer doesn't have to make another token angry/aloof guy.

I'm black. I once asked a bunch of family member which superpower they'd want if offered. Electric tied with shapeshifting/animal powers. With a "claws but they're electric claws" from the youngest talker. Well the youngest said "Nonononono" but that's not a power. Such wisdom though.

Weezer
2011-12-15, 05:31 PM
Before the Black Panther? That's interesting.

I don't have much to add, but that's a really unfortunate name for a black superhero...

Ravens_cry
2011-12-15, 05:34 PM
Thors "flight" is, in certain portrayals, actually PART of his super strength. Basically, he whirls his hammer around super fast than clings to the strap for the ride, following a ballistic trajectory.
Assuming an unbreakable strap and pretty extreme super strength, it is actually physically legitimate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrifugal_force), though it has limitations, such as basically. being unable to change direction in flight, though one might be able to change direction if one did the whirling trick in-flight.
Still, one of my favourite superhero 'powers"

TheThan
2011-12-15, 05:34 PM
Thor is the Marvel's closest equivalent to Superman.

odd, I though that was Gladiator (http://marvel.com/universe/Gladiator_%28Kallark%29).

Thor has a different powerset than superman (though there is overlaps), so he's not Superman's equivalent, though they are in the same tier of power.

H Birchgrove
2011-12-15, 05:39 PM
I don't have much to add, but that's a really unfortunate name for a black superhero...

He was created and first published (in Fantastic Four) years before the Black Panther Movement. He even commented on that in his own title.

Ravens_cry
2011-12-15, 05:46 PM
If so, for all we know, they may have been named for him.
The "Black Noun/Verb" is a more unfortunate common occurrence, but as long as the heroes themselves are portrayed in a heroic way, I don't think we should get too hung up on names, within reason of course.

Selrahc
2011-12-15, 05:58 PM
He was created and first published (in Fantastic Four) years before the Black Panther Movement. He even commented on that in his own title.


If so, for all we know, they may have been named for him.

Both founded in 1962, and the predecessor to the Black Panther organization had been using a Black Panther as their emblem for years prior to that.

Black Panther in his earliest appearance was just some African King. Admittedly, a fairly awesome one, leading an advanced technological wonderland. But he wasn't really the civil rights champion he became in his Avengers appearances.

The Glyphstone
2011-12-15, 06:02 PM
Speaking of Spiderman, isn't the newest Ultimate Spidey black?

Selrahc
2011-12-15, 06:04 PM
Speaking of Spiderman, isn't the newest Ultimate Spidey black?

Yes.
Just starting out though. His powerset hasn't been fully revealed, and so far looks really different.

Interestingly enough, he does have a bio-electric shock. :smalltongue:

Traab
2011-12-15, 06:47 PM
Yes.
Just starting out though. His powerset hasn't been fully revealed, and so far looks really different.

Interestingly enough, he does have a bio-electric shock. :smalltongue:

I thought he was multiracial, like black, mexican and something else, I dunno, maybe lesbian native american or something. So, in other words, he is a mutt, like most of america. (I have about 8 different races mixed into me for example)


Thor has a different powerset than superman (though there is overlaps), so he's not Superman's equivalent, though they are in the same tier of power.

I think he meant more that they are an equal matchup, not equivalent abilities.

H Birchgrove
2011-12-15, 06:56 PM
Both founded in 1962, and the predecessor to the Black Panther organization had been using a Black Panther as their emblem for years prior to that.

Black Panther in his earliest appearance was just some African King. Admittedly, a fairly awesome one, leading an advanced technological wonderland. But he wasn't really the civil rights champion he became in his Avengers appearances.
I see and stand corrected.

Doesn't have to mean the character was inspired by the movement though.

Weezer
2011-12-15, 07:17 PM
I see and stand corrected.

Doesn't have to mean the character was inspired by the movement though.

Never said he was, just an unfortunate coincidence.

Tyndmyr
2011-12-16, 07:37 AM
Not read many Thor comics I take it?

Was not lightning frequently used as a background for Thor swapping places with his human buddy(I know, this isn't as frequently used an element in the modern comics)?

And yes, Thor uses lightning occasionally...but it's distinctly a secondary weapon at best. It's mostly smashing things with the hammer. Or throwing the hammer. Or even spinning the hammer. Storm, by contrast, uses lightning as a fairly primary weapon...only tornado/hurricane can compete with it in use.


Cite comics, or stop claiming it.
I really have no idea where you're getting the idea that Thor doesn't have superstrength, or can't manipulate weather. Those are core abilities, that he always uses. Like, all the time.

You...you want me to cite comics were something does NOT happen? Thats a rather large order.


Thors "flight" is, in certain portrayals, actually PART of his super strength. Basically, he whirls his hammer around super fast than clings to the strap for the ride, following a ballistic trajectory.
Assuming an unbreakable strap and pretty extreme super strength, it is actually physically legitimate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrifugal_force), though it has limitations, such as basically. being unable to change direction in flight, though one might be able to change direction if one did the whirling trick in-flight.
Still, one of my favourite superhero 'powers"

Note that this is, again, all about the hammer, not about the super strength. After all, if it was just pure super strength, it would be about a thousand times more logical to just jump.


No it its always there. Just simply that when you have a hammer... well anyways point is Thor is still a physical god. Where you may be confused is that Thor often carries some variation of needing Mjolnir, which traditionally was Odin's curse so that without the hammer Thor turned into a human. This isn't the same as saying though that if Thor couldn't bench-press a building if he tucked Mjolnir into his belt though. One of the guys traditional feats was lifting the Midgard Serpent, who is well said to encircle the planet.

In-comics thor did attempt to lift this serpent while polymorphed into a cat or some such. He was unsuccessful, but he did manage to get three/four feet off the ground or some such, and it was portrayed as a rather good and impressive attempt. Don't get me wrong...Thors not a cripple or a weakling...but traditionally, it's always been about the use of the hammer.

The Succubus
2011-12-16, 07:52 AM
Oooo, I've just thought of a black superhero without lightning powers.

Heimdall from Thor!

Damn it, where's the "shameless troll" smilie when you need it....

Tyndmyr
2011-12-16, 07:54 AM
Oooo, I've just thought of a black superhero without lightning powers.

Heimdall from Thor!

Damn it, where's the "shameless troll" smilie when you need it....

I was waiting for someone to bring this up, lol.

I honestly thought it would be evidence for the other side though, considering in the movie, the dude runs the bifrost is pretty much a lightning gun.

Selrahc
2011-12-16, 07:59 AM
Was not lightning frequently used as a background for Thor swapping places with his human buddy(I know, this isn't as frequently used an element in the modern comics)?

Sure, but that's rather different from saying that Thor doesn't have command over lightning.

Just grabbing a random Thor run, the J.M Straczynski run from 2007 and we see Thor using his weather manipulation powers frequently. Almost every single issue.

Grabbing another one, in the Avengers Vol 1. an early run appearance of Thor from the 60's, and we still see Thor using weather manipulation powers, albeit less frequently. It's a superpower that he has had and used throughout his entire continuity.


You...you want me to cite comics were something does NOT happen? Thats a rather large order.

Cite comics which demonstrate your case explicitly.

Given that Thor is frequently seen wrestling with super strong super villains, it's clearly wrong. Counterexamples are abundant, so you need extraordinary proof. So find some comics where Thor gets grappled by somebody without superstrength. Or can't lift something heavy. Something that validates your claim.

Again, Superstrength isn't something that is added to Thor over time. Right back in his very first issue, Thor has the power to lift a giant boulder that was keeping Donald Blake trapped in a cave. In his early appearances in the Avengers, Thor is constantly wrestling against powerful individuals like the Hulk, Hercules and Namor.

Avilan the Grey
2011-12-16, 08:11 AM
Varies strongly depending on source. In some, he definitely has superstrength. In others, he's a normal human.

Spider man has always had super strength, AFAIK. At least in the main continuity.

Tyndmyr
2011-12-16, 08:14 AM
Sure, but that's rather different from saying that Thor doesn't have command over lightning.

Oh, I never said he doesn't. I just said it doesn't get portrayed all that often.


Just grabbing a random Thor run, the J.M Straczynski run from 2007 and we see Thor using his weather manipulation powers frequently. Almost every single issue.

Grabbing another one, in the Avengers Vol 1. an early run appearance of Thor from the 60's, and we still see Thor using weather manipulation powers, albeit less frequently. It's a superpower that he has had and used throughout his entire continuity.

Well, I'm only interested in lightning, per the original title. So, other weather manip isn't really relevant to this. However, you have noticed something that supports my original claim. It's variable in how strongly it's portrayed, but it's still not his primary thing.

I'm not saying that he doesn't have lightning powers at all. I'm saying that despite being the frigging god of it, it's a secondary trait for him, in opposition to many of the listed chars, which use lightning all the time.


Cite comics which demonstrate your case explicitly.

Given that Thor is frequently seen wrestling with super strong super villains, it's clearly wrong. Counterexamples are abundant, so you need extraordinary proof. So find some comics where Thor gets grappled by somebody without superstrength. Or can't lift something heavy. Something that validates your claim.

Again, Superstrength isn't something that is added to Thor over time. Right back in his very first issue, Thor has the power to lift a giant boulder that was keeping Donald Blake trapped in a cave. In his early appearances in the Avengers, Thor is constantly wrestling against powerful individuals like the Hulk, Hercules and Namor.

I said he's portrayed as having super strength in a few comics. In a great many, it just doesn't come up. He's doing his "smash with a hammer" thing.

I'll pop through some comics for examples later, at work atm.

Note also that trying to peg strength to people wrestled is, in comic continuity, very, very difficult. Basically everybody has fought everybody else at some point in time, and who was stronger seems to vary quite a lot. For instance, Wolverine, who explicitly does not have super strength*, has gone toe to toe with Namor on plenty of occasions.

*Well, he can push himself to/beyond the point of damage with less repercussions than your bog standard human, but his muscles are still within human capability.

Devonix
2011-12-16, 08:23 AM
Thor has Super Strength. Thor has ALLWAYS had Super Strength There has NEVER been a comic in the history of his run or in any or his times showing up on another character's comic where he has not had super strength unless someone stripped him of his powers.

Super Strength is his MAIN power, all of the other stuff is magical enchantments.

I believe that it is all together Impossible to find any issue of any comic where he does not have Super strength unless his powers are temporarily removed because of some outside force.

JadePhoenix
2011-12-16, 08:25 AM
Adding Ultimate Spider-man to the OP =p

Tyndmyr
2011-12-16, 08:31 AM
Adding Ultimate Spider-man to the OP =p

Ugh. Let's not separate out each continuity. That gets...complicated.

paddyfool
2011-12-16, 09:40 AM
Hypothesis: a disproportionate number of black superheroes have lightning powers.

Test: Find a random list of iconic black superheroes. Googling "top 100 black superheroes list", and looking for the first "top" list that came up, gave a list of 25 (http://www.bvblackspin.com/2008/06/30/top-25-black-superheroes-of-all-time/), which made my life rather easier than it might have been. It's also a very silly list in various places, but only one of the superheroes listed by the OP (Storm) made the cut, and none of the others have lightning powers or motifs that I'm aware of.

Then look for a random generic top 25 superheroes list. (Googling "top 25 superheroes", this time). Ignoring movie lists, this one came up first (http://www.stuff.tv/news/life-etc/stuff/25-of-the-best-superheroes-ever). Two superheroes with lightning as a motif or power (the Flash and Thor), neither of them black.

Conclusions: Based on an admittedly small sample, this random sampling of iconic superheroes did not show any indication of an association between being black and having lightning as a power or motif. If anyone wants to try again with longer lists, knock yourself out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8ah2LtcWls).

Tyndmyr
2011-12-16, 09:43 AM
Are we going by power, or motif and power?

Because while the flash definitely has the lightning motif, it's not among his powers.

Avilan the Grey
2011-12-16, 09:49 AM
Given that Thor is frequently seen wrestling with super strong super villains, it's clearly wrong. Counterexamples are abundant, so you need extraordinary proof. So find some comics where Thor gets grappled by somebody without superstrength. Or can't lift something heavy. Something that validates your claim.

Thor was "invented" because Stan Lee wanted a character that was stronger than Hulk.

SlyGuyMcFly
2011-12-16, 10:39 AM
Super Strength is his MAIN power, all of the other stuff is magical enchantments.

And then his Belt of Strength further doubles it. Thor's got Super Strength to spare.

Traab
2011-12-16, 10:40 AM
And then his Belt of Strength further doubles it. Thor's got Super Strength to spare.

And then he gets enraged and is 10x stronger than that, though he is apparently a berserker likely to attack friend and foe.

Devonix
2011-12-16, 11:14 AM
And then he gets enraged and is 10x stronger than that, though he is apparently a berserker likely to attack friend and foe.

And then toss in him using the Odin Force and he goes into full on Planet shattering mode.

Worira
2011-12-16, 04:08 PM
Yeah uh... Thor has superstrength in Marvel Comics. A great deal of it. There's really not much more to say here. Same for Spider-Man, although his powers have fluctuated over the years. At no point has he not had superstrength at all, though, other than when he's been explicitly depowered.

Ravens_cry
2011-12-16, 05:20 PM
Note that this is, again, all about the hammer, not about the super strength. After all, if it was just pure super strength, it would be about a thousand times more logical to just jump.

You think a guy who can make speaking in pseudo-Shakespearian twaddle badass cares about your piddling "logic"?
I SAY THEE NAY!
I'll grant that in certain depictions, he transforms into Thor thanks to the hammer, while in others his human form was a disguise to hide him and Thor is his *real* form. But in all cases, he is super strong as Thor.
This (http://www.comicsbulletin.com/main/sites/default/files/foom/images/1105/THOR%20ORIGIN.jpg) is from his original depiction.
"Whosoever Holds This Hammer, If He Be Worthy, Shall Possess the Power . . .OF THOR!"
Not "With this Hammer, You Shall Smash all Foes Before you" or something like that, it gave him Thors Power.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-12-16, 06:01 PM
In-comics thor did attempt to lift this serpent while polymorphed into a cat or some such. He was unsuccessful, but he did manage to get three/four feet off the ground or some such, and it was portrayed as a rather good and impressive attempt. Don't get me wrong...Thors not a cripple or a weakling...but traditionally, it's always been about the use of the hammer.

That's how it is in the myth too, the point is of course that a seeming embarrassment (not being able to lift a cat much) is actually a terrifying feat of strength (moving the world encircling Midgard Serpet) so the point holds.

Dr.Epic
2011-12-16, 06:02 PM
Isn't the new Ultimate Spider-Man half African American and half Latino? He don't have lightning.

Ravens_cry
2011-12-16, 06:21 PM
That's how it is in the myth too, the point is of course that a seeming embarrassment (not being able to lift a cat much) is actually a terrifying feat of strength (moving the world encircling Midgard Serpet) so the point holds.
He also tries to quaff a drinking horn and fails, but he does lower it.
Not so impressive, until the giants reveal the other end was connected to the ocean.
It's from one of the Loki/Thor buddy stories (http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/bl/bl_text_bullfinch_39.htm), some of my favourite Norse legends and myths.

Devonix
2011-12-16, 07:22 PM
That's how it is in the myth too, the point is of course that a seeming embarrassment (not being able to lift a cat much) is actually a terrifying feat of strength (moving the world encircling Midgard Serpet) so the point holds.

Yes. Him lifting the cat 3 feet off the ground is pretty much the equivalent to almost tearing the planet in half With his BARE HANDS. And not fully pushing himself.

Selrahc
2011-12-16, 07:22 PM
Isn't the new Ultimate Spider-Man half African American and half Latino? He don't have lightning.

No, but he does have a bio-electric sting.

Dr.Epic
2011-12-16, 07:30 PM
No, but he does have a bio-electric sting.

Well if that counts, what about the electrical impulses in living creatures?

Selrahc
2011-12-16, 07:36 PM
Well if that counts, what about the electrical impulses in living creatures?

He touches people and lightning jolts out of his hand, knocking people out.
http://www.bleedingcool.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/ULTSMV3002005_col.jpg

I think that's a noteworthy electric power.

Ravens_cry
2011-12-16, 07:37 PM
Yes. Him lifting the cat 3 feet off the ground is pretty much the equivalent to almost tearing the planet in half With his BARE HANDS. And not fully pushing himself.
Super strength just means "above human capacity". One persons super strength is not automatically equal to another persons super strength. By most measures, lifting a serpent that encircles the world is pretty darn prodigious test of strength.
And at Ragnarök, he whoops its ass, but dies after.

paddyfool
2011-12-16, 08:03 PM
Are we going by power, or motif and power?

Because while the flash definitely has the lightning motif, it's not among his powers.



Thunder (DC) - black, density based power (but has lightning on her outfit).


The OP included a character with a lightning motif but no lightning based power, so I looked for that as well.

JadePhoenix
2011-12-17, 05:16 AM
Hypothesis: a disproportionate number of black superheroes have lightning powers.

Test: Find a random list of iconic black superheroes. Googling "top 100 black superheroes list", and looking for the first "top" list that came up, gave a list of 25 (http://www.bvblackspin.com/2008/06/30/top-25-black-superheroes-of-all-time/), which made my life rather easier than it might have been. It's also a very silly list in various places, but only one of the superheroes listed by the OP (Storm) made the cut, and none of the others have lightning powers or motifs that I'm aware of.

Then look for a random generic top 25 superheroes list. (Googling "top 25 superheroes", this time). Ignoring movie lists, this one came up first (http://www.stuff.tv/news/life-etc/stuff/25-of-the-best-superheroes-ever). Two superheroes with lightning as a motif or power (the Flash and Thor), neither of them black.

Conclusions: Based on an admittedly small sample, this random sampling of iconic superheroes did not show any indication of an association between being black and having lightning as a power or motif. If anyone wants to try again with longer lists, knock yourself out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8ah2LtcWls).
Can't believe Static is not on the top 25 black superheroes.
Anyway, it's not about the 'top' ones. It's about how many there are. Of course the more popular superheroes are the more diverse ones.
I mean, Iron Man is the only tech-armor-user among the top superheroes. Do you really think this means there are not a huge amount of superheroes running around in tech armor? Steel, Hardware, Red Dynamo, Mach-5, Robot, Monster Girl (at times) and Darkhawk spring to mind without even trying.

Selrahc
2011-12-17, 06:04 AM
If you really want the truth... Black Lightning, as DC's first major black superhero, has directly inspired three other heroes. Thunder, Lightning and Volt. There isn't really much proof, but Static Shock is also likely to draw inspiration from Black Lightning, as a rebrand of the character for TV.

Since there are so few black superheroes, this range of related characters heavily warps the ratio of powers. In the same way that Superman, Supergirl, Superboy and all the other related and inspired characters would heavily warp the power ratios of white superheroes if there were only a few dozen of them.

The only two heroes not directly inspired by Black Lightning are also only fairly tangentially related to electricity powers.

JadePhoenix
2011-12-17, 06:14 AM
If you really want the truth... Black Lightning, as DC's first major black superhero, has directly inspired three other heroes. Thunder, Lightning and Volt. There isn't really much proof, but Static Shock is also likely to draw inspiration from Black Lightning, as a rebrand of the character for TV.

Since there are so few black superheroes, this range of related characters heavily warps the ratio of powers. In the same way that Superman, Supergirl, Superboy and all the other related and inspired characters would heavily warp the power ratios of white superheroes if there were only a few dozen of them.

The only two heroes not directly inspired by Black Lightning are also only fairly tangentially related to electricity powers.

While I mostly agree with you, Static was on the comics first, and on TV later. He's a Milestone character. He even had a crossover with Superman, in the 90s. When World Collide or somesuch.

Tyndmyr
2011-12-19, 10:24 AM
You think a guy who can make speaking in pseudo-Shakespearian twaddle badass cares about your piddling "logic"?
I SAY THEE NAY!
I'll grant that in certain depictions, he transforms into Thor thanks to the hammer, while in others his human form was a disguise to hide him and Thor is his *real* form. But in all cases, he is super strong as Thor.
This (http://www.comicsbulletin.com/main/sites/default/files/foom/images/1105/THOR%20ORIGIN.jpg) is from his original depiction.
"Whosoever Holds This Hammer, If He Be Worthy, Shall Possess the Power . . .OF THOR!"
Not "With this Hammer, You Shall Smash all Foes Before you" or something like that, it gave him Thors Power.

See, I don't think we disagree...it's just that I'm seeing the "Whoesoever Holds This Hammer" part as being more important. Thor sans hammer for any notable length of time, in many depictions, is in trouble. This seems to be less notable in more recent depictions, sure, but back in the day, it was for a while the major weakness he had.


The OP included a character with a lightning motif but no lightning based power, so I looked for that as well.

Hmm, good point, fair is fair. I think the meme is more about powers myself, but if we don't count the Flash, then we also need to drop Thunder.

I agree that the bias is mostly the result of there being a small number of black superheroes though. And, the color scheme does look good...high contrast is generally desirable to make lightning look it's best, so it's not an unreasonable choice.

Traab
2011-12-19, 10:28 AM
See, I don't think we disagree...it's just that I'm seeing the "Whoesoever Holds This Hammer" part as being more important. Thor sans hammer for any notable length of time, in many depictions, is in trouble. This seems to be less notable in more recent depictions, sure, but back in the day, it was for a while the major weakness he had.



Hmm, good point, fair is fair. I think the meme is more about powers myself, but if we don't count the Flash, then we also need to drop Thunder.

I agree that the bias is mostly the result of there being a small number of black superheroes though. And, the color scheme does look good...high contrast is generally desirable to make lightning look it's best, so it's not an unreasonable choice.

But just because he needed the hammer to have his super powers doesnt mean he didnt have them. Its no different than a green lantern. Or are you saying that hal jordan doesnt count as a superhero because without his decoder ring he is powerless?

Tyndmyr
2011-12-19, 03:58 PM
But just because he needed the hammer to have his super powers doesnt mean he didnt have them. Its no different than a green lantern. Or are you saying that hal jordan doesnt count as a superhero because without his decoder ring he is powerless?

Never claimed he didn't count as a superhero. Just pointed out a certain item dependancy for powers(it's stronger with most green lanterns, though). So, it makes the "his powers" somewhat more of "his items powers". Surely, we understand that when we refer to "Hal's powers" we really do mean those of his ring, since that's really all he's got.

Direct association of power with people, rather than indirectly, through items, is a stronger tie. Surely a black hero who happens to cobble up some equipment to blast opponents with electricity stun-gun style would be a weaker example of the trope than someone who has it innately, yes?

Friv
2011-12-19, 04:26 PM
Your "full list" of black superheroes is hilariously short. That's going to tilt the effect pretty significantly.

Just looking at the wikipedia page "List of Black Superheroes", I count over a hundred and twenty heroes in DC Comics alone.

Out of those, the only ones I could find with actual lightning-based powers were Black Lightning, his family, and his expy. There was also a dude with a genie named Thunderbolt, which might count.

So, yeah. No connection, moving on.

Ravens_cry
2011-12-19, 04:29 PM
See, I don't think we disagree...it's just that I'm seeing the "Whoesoever Holds This Hammer" part as being more important. Thor sans hammer for any notable length of time, in many depictions, is in trouble. This seems to be less notable in more recent depictions, sure, but back in the day, it was for a while the major weakness he had.

It's transformation artefact, like a Magical Girls Wand. But when he is Thor, he doesn't even have to be touching it continuously. He doesn't immediately transform back into Donald Blake when he isn't holding, even back then.
When his is Thor, he has Super Strength. The hammer gives him the mojo by transforming him into Thor, it gives additional powers, but, as Thor, he has Super Strength.
(http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/803/1418026724593thorserpen.jpg)
He's not even holding the hammer in that page, though he it is, I think on his person.

Tyndmyr
2011-12-19, 04:31 PM
It's about notable superheroes. Sure, if you delve into the unpopular sorts that never get any screen time, there's all sorts of people with various powers. Meh.

Most superheroes in general are rather short lived affairs. It's the few with notably heavy screen time that really matter. For instance, Superman has rather a heavy incidence of knock-offs. I don't particularly like Superman, but it's pretty clear that he's been heavily influential in terms of spawning similarly powered types.

paddyfool
2011-12-19, 06:19 PM
It's about notable superheroes. Sure, if you delve into the unpopular sorts that never get any screen time, there's all sorts of people with various powers. Meh.

There's a few you've the OP left off who are considerably more notable than, well, anyone on your the OP's list of those with a lightning theme besides Storm and Black Lightning, however (e.g. War Machine, John Stewart, Bishop, Cyborg, Mr Terrific, Firestorm... hell, arguably even Brother Voodoo, the Manhattan Guardian, Cloak, Bronze Tiger, and others of that general tier of popularity).

EDIT: Criticism no longer relevant, as the OP's list has been fixed.

Friv
2011-12-19, 06:38 PM
There's a few you've left off who are considerably more notable than, well, anyone on your list of those with a lightning theme besides Storm and Black Lightning, however (e.g. War Machine, John Stewart, Bishop, Cyborg, Mr Terrific, Firestorm... hell, arguably even Brother Voodoo, the Manhattan Guardian, Cloak, Bronze Tiger, and others of that general tier of popularity).

To be fair, it wasn't Tyndmyr's list - the OP Was Jade Phoenix.

But, yeah, if we're arguing notable superhumans, there are two notable black superheroes with lightning-themed powers, and a hell of a lot more notable ones without them. And one of those two isn't lightning-only.

Traab
2011-12-19, 10:11 PM
There's a few you've left off who are considerably more notable than, well, anyone on your list of those with a lightning theme besides Storm and Black Lightning, however (e.g. War Machine, John Stewart, Bishop, Cyborg, Mr Terrific, Firestorm... hell, arguably even Brother Voodoo, the Manhattan Guardian, Cloak, Bronze Tiger, and others of that general tier of popularity).

Power Man/Luke Cage, no list of black superheroes is complete without mister "Sweet Christmas" himself. :smallbiggrin:

paddyfool
2011-12-19, 11:35 PM
To be fair, it wasn't Tyndmyr's list - the OP Was Jade Phoenix.

Doh! Apologies, Tyndmyr and Jade Phoenix.


Power Man/Luke Cage, no list of black superheroes is complete without mister "Sweet Christmas" himself. :smallbiggrin:

Agreed :smallbiggrin:. But as he was on the OP's list of non-lightning superheroes, I couldn't really suggest him as an addition.

JadePhoenix
2011-12-20, 04:47 AM
But, yeah, if we're arguing notable superhumans, there are two notable black superheroes with lightning-themed powers, and a hell of a lot more notable ones without them. And one of those two isn't lightning-only.

At least three. Can't exclude Static.

Ravens_cry
2011-12-20, 05:22 AM
OK, different question, how many other superheroes with lightning powers?
Captain Marvel and Thor are the biggest names I can think of off the top of my head.

JadePhoenix
2011-12-20, 05:30 AM
OK, different question, how many other superheroes with lightning powers?
Captain Marvel and Thor are the biggest names I can think of off the top of my head.

If we're counting Captain Marvel, might as well count The Flash.
Also, Victor Mancha from the Runaways.

Updated the OP.

paddyfool
2011-12-20, 06:34 AM
At least three. Can't exclude Static.

If you say so. I honestly hadn't heard of him before this discussion.


If we're counting Captain Marvel, might as well count The Flash

I'd disagree - the lightning bolt is a clear part of Marvel's power-set; he's used it directly and effectively to take down opponents he can't thump into submission, but who are vulnerable to magic (e.g. Superman) before. Never mind what happens in Kingdom Come.

EDIT: I like the new list; much more comprehensive.

JadePhoenix
2011-12-20, 07:40 AM
If you say so. I honestly hadn't heard of him before this discussion.
Wow, really? He is ridiculously popular in my country.


I'd disagree - the lightning bolt is a clear part of Marvel's power-set; he's used it directly and effectively to take down opponents he can't thump into submission, but who are vulnerable to magic (e.g. Superman) before. Never mind what happens in Kingdom Come.
Well, lightning shows up whenever the Flash becomes really fast. He even had that whole thing about running so fats he became the lightning that first gave him powers.


EDIT: I like the new list; much more comprehensive.
Thanks ;)

Friv
2011-12-20, 07:44 AM
For heroes, I can add Jolt of the Thunderbolts to the list; she's pretty B-list, but she exists. Surge of the X-Men was another one, as was Berserker of the Morlocks (who I admittedly mostly know from X-Men Evolution.)

For villains, both Electro and Weather Wizard spring to mind, as does the Superman villain Livewire.

(If we're willing to go further afield, the main character of Infamous and Elle from Heroes both qualify.)

JadePhoenix
2011-12-20, 08:04 AM
Calling Jolt B-list is one heck of a compliment.
Did she die, btw?

Friv
2011-12-20, 08:44 AM
Calling Jolt B-list is one heck of a compliment.

Well, she was a main cast member of a good-selling comic for seventy-odd issues, and then appeared in a few others, so I figure she's doing alright.


Did she die, btw?

She definitely died once, but she got better. Last time I checked, she was still one of the counter-Earth Young Allies. And after a brief Wikipedia search, she's still there, and thus hasn't appeared since the last time Counter-Earth was used (which appears to be 2007-ish, during its issues in Exiles.)

Tyndmyr
2011-12-20, 10:03 AM
I'd disagree - the lightning bolt is a clear part of Marvel's power-set; he's used it directly and effectively to take down opponents he can't thump into submission, but who are vulnerable to magic (e.g. Superman) before. Never mind what happens in Kingdom Come.

Agreed. Sure, it usually only comes up when he transforms, but at least it's a reliable part of the char portrayal...and he(and the Marvel family) have in fact used the lightning as a weapon a fair bit. Like Thor, it's not the primary form of attack for Marvel, but it's definitely a component.

Flash, on the other hand...not so much. Usually when flash is in a comic, the only lightning bolt is on his costume. I don't really want to count up "any superhero who has ever used lightning in some way". That seems...tedious.

Ravens_cry
2011-12-20, 04:40 PM
Well, lightning shows up whenever the Flash becomes really fast. He even had that whole thing about running so fats he became the lightning that first gave him powers.

The Speed Force (http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Speed_Force) isn't exactly lightning.

Felhammer
2011-12-21, 01:09 PM
OK, hear me out. I noticed this after reading Irredeemable.
Black Lightning (DC) - black, electricity based powers.
Static Shock (DC) - black, electricity based powers.
Thunder (DC) - black, density based power (but has lightning on her outfit).
Storm (Marvel) - black, wather control powers (uses electricity frequently).
Lightning (DC) - black, electricity based powers.
Ultimate Spider-man (Marvel) - black, spider powers (includes bio-electric shock)
Volt (Boom Comics) - black, electricity based powers. (a pastiche)
Thunder (Kingdom Come, DC) - black, electricity based powers.
Black Vulcan (DC) - Super Friends version of Black Lightning, it seems
Big Thunder (DC) - black, electricity based powers (Bulleteer miniseries)
Jakeem Thunder (DC) - black, electricity based powers (Flash character)
Shango The Thunderer (DC) - black, storm god
Thunder Fall (DC, The Kingdom), black, electricity based powers



I think the real question is - What the heck is up with DC and their fetish for Black Dudes and Lightning? :smalltongue:

JadePhoenix
2011-12-21, 01:37 PM
I think the real question is - What the heck is up with DC and their fetish for Black Dudes and Lightning? :smalltongue:

Yeah, it's clearly a DC thing by now =p

Pokonic
2011-12-21, 02:28 PM
Can we also agree the color scheme is just visually appealing?

Indeed. Lets face it, that black on yellow is snazzy.


If you say so. I honestly hadn't heard of him before this discussion.
There was a decent show back in the day, and apparently the comic is also good. Is relitivly well-known, or at least in my nerd-circle.:smalltongue:

Tyndmyr
2011-12-22, 09:49 AM
I think the real question is - What the heck is up with DC and their fetish for Black Dudes and Lightning? :smalltongue:

Good call. They're almost all DC, and almost all male. Definitely a DC thing...that makes it odder, if anything. Can't explain it by the color scheme as easily then.

JadePhoenix
2011-12-22, 09:54 AM
Good call. They're almost all DC, and almost all male. Definitely a DC thing...that makes it odder, if anything. Can't explain it by the color scheme as easily then.

But their color scheme is pretty similar, though. Their costumes all combine hues of black, blue and white.

Friv
2011-12-22, 01:21 PM
But their color scheme is pretty similar, though. Their costumes all combine hues of black, blue and white.

I think a lot of that falls back into the "relatives/expies of Black Lightning" situation.

Thunder and Lightning are Black Lightning's kids.
Black Vulcan was created because there was some weird rights issue with Black Lightning, so he's actually a "the same character, only not" situation.
Static Shock I'm a little suspicious about. The creators say he's totally original, but they said the same thing about Icon, and Icon is clearly "black Superman". I'd honestly be surprised if Static didn't start as "let's have a callback to DC's first black superhero", and then evolve into something more from there. They're certainly similar enough to have led to lots and lots of in-universe jokes on the matter.

From the admittedly little I can find about him, Big Thunder seems to have actually been a tough - no electrical powers despite his lightning bolt. Since he also only appeared in one issue of a minor superhero's limited-run series, he could also have been a shout-out.

That leaves Jakeem, Shango and Thunder Fall. Shango is an actual Yoruba storm god, so that sort of explains his presence. Jakeem and Thunder Fall are a little odd as a coincidence, though.

JadePhoenix
2011-12-22, 01:57 PM
I think a lot of that falls back into the "relatives/expies of Black Lightning" situation.

Thunder and Lightning are Black Lightning's kids.
Black Vulcan was created because there was some weird rights issue with Black Lightning, so he's actually a "the same character, only not" situation.
Static Shock I'm a little suspicious about. The creators say he's totally original, but they said the same thing about Icon, and Icon is clearly "black Superman". I'd honestly be surprised if Static didn't start as "let's have a callback to DC's first black superhero", and then evolve into something more from there. They're certainly similar enough to have led to lots and lots of in-universe jokes on the matter.

From the admittedly little I can find about him, Big Thunder seems to have actually been a tough - no electrical powers despite his lightning bolt. Since he also only appeared in one issue of a minor superhero's limited-run series, he could also have been a shout-out.

That leaves Jakeem, Shango and Thunder Fall. Shango is an actual Yoruba storm god, so that sort of explains his presence. Jakeem and Thunder Fall are a little odd as a coincidence, though.

There is also Kingdom Come's Thunder and he is anyone's guess. He is not related to Black Lightning, that much I know.

Tirian
2011-12-22, 02:32 PM
There is also Kingdom Come's Thunder and he is anyone's guess. He is not related to Black Lightning, that much I know.

In fact, she is the daughter of Black Lightning and Jonni Thunder (http://www.reocities.com/Athens/Olympus/7160/kc1.html).

JadePhoenix
2011-12-22, 02:36 PM
In fact, she is the daughter of Black Lightning and Jonni Thunder (http://www.reocities.com/Athens/Olympus/7160/kc1.html).

That's not the character I'm talking about. Thunder is the small kid with street clothes shooting lightning out of his eyes and hands throughout Kingdom Come.

EDIT: Damnit, this is from the same page you linked: "Thunder is a new character; he is the Kingdom Come version of the Golden Age hero Johnny Thunder. The card set describes him as "a new Johnny Thunder with the mischievous spirit of the Thunderbolt." The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement notes that, contrary to many fan speculations, he is unrelated to Black Lightning."

Friv
2011-12-22, 02:58 PM
That's not the character I'm talking about. Thunder is the small kid with street clothes shooting lightning out of his eyes and hands throughout Kingdom Come.

EDIT: Damnit, this is from the same page you linked: "Thunder is a new character; he is the Kingdom Come version of the Golden Age hero Johnny Thunder. The card set describes him as "a new Johnny Thunder with the mischievous spirit of the Thunderbolt." The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement notes that, contrary to many fan speculations, he is unrelated to Black Lightning."

I believe that Kingome Come's Johnny Thunder is the same as Jakeem Thunder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakeem_Thunder), the successor to Johnny Thunder. Weirdly, Johnny Thunder appears to have no actual lightning-based powers, despite his extensive use of lightning imagery; his superpower is owning a genie. The genie also uses extensive lightning-based imagery despite not having lightning-based superpowers.

JadePhoenix
2011-12-22, 03:25 PM
I believe that Kingome Come's Johnny Thunder is the same as Jakeem Thunder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakeem_Thunder), the successor to Johnny Thunder. Weirdly, Johnny Thunder appears to have no actual lightning-based powers, despite his extensive use of lightning imagery; his superpower is owning a genie. The genie also uses extensive lightning-based imagery despite not having lightning-based superpowers.

His name is not Johnny Thunder, his name is Thunder. His powers are definitely electrical based. He is supposedly a new version of Johnny Thunder, but he shoots lightning out of his fingers plenty of times during Kingdom Come.

Friv
2011-12-22, 04:10 PM
His name is not Johnny Thunder, his name is Thunder. His powers are definitely electrical based. He is supposedly a new version of Johnny Thunder, but he shoots lightning out of his fingers plenty of times during Kingdom Come.

Well, that's super-odd, then, because he can't be a new version of Johnny Thunder if he's not using Johnny Thunder's powers. :smallconfused: Johnny Thunder's genie used lightning-imagery for its superpowers, I believe, but its powers were actually "whatever I feel like today".

*checks* Yeah, that page says that Thunder has the mischevous spirit of the Thunderbolt, which was the name of Johnny Thunder's genie. So maybe the guy in Kingdom Come wasn't entirely clear on what the Thunderbolt actually did?

Aargh, now it's triple-weird, because Black Lightning's daughter Lightning is supposed to be the Kingdom Come version of Thunderbolt. Which isn't possible if Thunder is also using the Kingdom Come version of Thunderbolt, and also makes no sense because Thunderbolt wasn't a lightning-only being.

Devonix
2011-12-22, 06:59 PM
I think a lot of that falls back into the "relatives/expies of Black Lightning" situation.

Thunder and Lightning are Black Lightning's kids.
Black Vulcan was created because there was some weird rights issue with Black Lightning, so he's actually a "the same character, only not" situation.
Static Shock I'm a little suspicious about. The creators say he's totally original, but they said the same thing about Icon, and Icon is clearly "black Superman". I'd honestly be surprised if Static didn't start as "let's have a callback to DC's first black superhero", and then evolve into something more from there. They're certainly similar enough to have led to lots and lots of in-universe jokes on the matter.

From the admittedly little I can find about him, Big Thunder seems to have actually been a tough - no electrical powers despite his lightning bolt. Since he also only appeared in one issue of a minor superhero's limited-run series, he could also have been a shout-out.

That leaves Jakeem, Shango and Thunder Fall. Shango is an actual Yoruba storm god, so that sort of explains his presence. Jakeem and Thunder Fall are a little odd as a coincidence, though.

Yeah but Static's powers aren't lightning. His powers are Electromagnatism. he's closer to Doctor Polaris than Black Lightning. His effects just focus on looking more like the electric part than the magnetic part of the visual.

irenicObserver
2011-12-24, 11:44 AM
I'll just leave this here:
•Fountain of Expies: Ever noticed how it seems like there are an awful lot of African-American superheroes with electricity powers? That's because most of them are either directly related to Black Lightning (his daughter Lightning) or are Captain Ersatz versions of him (Black Vulcan, Soul Power) or deliberate Shout Outs (Static, Volt). An episode of Justice League Unlimited even featured Expies of the Superfriends, making the character Juice (the Black Vulcan equivalent) an Expy of an Expy.

dehro
2011-12-26, 05:09 AM
has anyone made a Sho'Nuff joke yet?
if not, someone should

bmosley45
2011-12-31, 03:23 PM
As a black guy and an avid fan of comics, I'm just glad when we get some kind of representation; I really don't care if we mostly have ice/lightning powers, so long as we are written well.

To address the OP's point, I never really noticed a recurring theme with black characters and ice/lightning powers until you mentioned it. Yeah, its a bit strange, but I bet it comes from a design stand point of contrasting the colors of the costume with a darker skin tone. That, or as previous posters pointed out, maybe the designers and writers were particularly lazy.