10 Superheroes Of Ethnic Minority You Should Know

There aren't many heroes of colour out there but do you know of these heroes?

In the past comic books rarely introduced superheroes of color, and so the majority of the heroes available were white. The first DC superhero was Superman also known as Clark Kent was created in 1938.

On the other hand, the first Marvel superhero was the lesser-known Human Torch, not to be confused with the Fantastic Four version, making his debut in 1938 with Namor. Notably, both of these characters (Namor and Superman) are white.

The first hero of color had made his debut in 1966, and this was the Black Panther in Marvel’s Fantastic Four #52. Since the debut of the Black Panther, there’s been a variety of new heroes of color made for everyone to enjoy.

Here are 10 superheroes of ethnic minorities you should know:

10. Big Hero 6 (Hiro Tamada) - Japanese

Big Hero 6 (Hiro Tamada) - Japanese
Source: Big Hero 6 Wikia

Published by Marvel, Big Hero 6 is a team of six heroes based in Japan. There are two versions of Big Hero 6, the original comic as well as the Disney adaptation. In this instance, I’ll be referring to the more popular Disney Pixar adaptation. Disney’s Big Hero 6 had released as a child’s friendly superhero film in 2014.

The team of 6 is made up of Hiro Hamada, Baymax, Go Go Tomago, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred. Notably, two of the team members are of Asian descent, Hiro and Go Go. Hiro is Japanese and Go Go is Korean. Wasabi is of African American heritage however, his armor is based on Japanese culture.

Hiro, (pronounced hero) is the leader of the team, aged 14 years old he is a child genius. Although not physically strong, Hiro is known for his mass intelligence, weaponizing equipment for the rest of the team: including a range of super suits utilizing lasers, magnetized discs, and various cannons.

His armor allows him to attach himself to his robot companion Baymax. Baymax was created by his older brother as a health companion robot however, Hiro had weaponized it with rocket boots, lasers, and wings in order to avenge the death of his brother Tadashi.
I think Hiro has a cool design, he's an ordinary boy for the most part but very intelligent which allows fans of Asian descent to have somebody to relate to. With a tragic history, he's someone that is quite realistic even for a Disney character.

9. Black Lightning - African-American

Black Lightning - African-American
Source: The Verge.com

In 1977, the superhero Jefferson Pierce also known as Black Lightning had made his debut in DC Comics’ “Black Lightning #1”. Black Lightning is similar to Batman but at the same time very different.

During the day he’s a principal at a high school but a night he’s a vigilante fighting crime with his “electrokinesis”. Black Lightning has the ability to generate and manipulate electricity from himself to do various abilities such as an electric blast, telekinesis, and even healing.

Like most powerful DC heroes, Black Lightning is part of the Justice League of America and assists them in battles defending the world.

Outside of the comics, Black Lightning has branched out into a Netflix adaptation with 4 seasons, where he has similar glasses to Clark Kent (Superman), as nobody recognizes him when he wears them. As trained by Batman Black Lightning has never ended a life, which is ideal as he’s a role model to his fans and his children who also become heroes.

As he debuted in 1977, Black Lightning is one of the first African American heroes to appear in DC Comics.

Black Lightning is one of those lower ends, weaker heroes, so I personally don't like him too much he's a side character. He has an interesting set of abilities, nothing too impressive but he's a part-time teacher part-time hero which is a common trait in DC comics. However, the series is very well written with a 92% review on Rotten Tomatoes.

8. Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) - Pakistani Muslim

Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) - Pakistani Muslim
Source: Marvel.com

Ms. Marvel is a name shared by numerous Marvel heroes, however, there’s a new Ms. Marvel in town… 

Kamala Khan is inhuman and is the first Pakistani American and Muslim superhero in the Marvel Universe, making her comic book appearance in Captain Marvel #14.

Eventually, the 16-year-old teenage character got her own comic series, which gained the Hugo Award for the best graphic story back in 2015. Ms. Marvel is very different from her namesake Carol Danvers who has been previously called Ms. Marvel but is currently called Captain Marvel.

Kamala Khan has completely different abilities from Captain Marvel; due to gaining inhuman abilities, Kamala has the ability to turn into a polymorph. This gives her multiple powers allowing her to manipulate her body. Ms. Marvel can stretch, expand and compress any part of her body allowing her to elongate it to unlimited distance. She also has a healing factor.

Ms. Marvel is due to appear on the small screen in her own show as well as on the big screens in The Marvels (2022).

Although a child, Kamala Khan grows on you as a character. She's still relatively new so it's difficult to gauge her as a hero, as she doesn't have many feats. But for young fans, she definitely has a connection to them.

7. Shang-Chi - Chinese

Shang-Chi - Chinese
Source: CBR.com

During the peak of love for the martial arts in the US, Marvel aimed to capitalize on this by creating Shang-Chi who has similarities to the late Bruce Lee. In fact, he is a homage to the master of kung fu, in the last 80s, Stan Lee had attempted to get Bruce Lee’s son Brandon Lee to play a role prior to his passing.

The Asian character had premiered in Special Marvel Edition #15 in 1973.  Shang-Chi is the master of kung fu this makes him one of the most skilled fighters enabling him to keep up with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – The Avengers which he eventually joins helping Captain America.

He has the agility and speed to dodge and deflect bullets. There’s isn’t much known about this hero but I’m sure there’s more to know as he’s making his debut on the big screen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Shang-Chi is very intriguing, as a character based on the fan-crazed martial arts movement in the 80s we're 100% going to see some crazy fight scenes in the new upcoming movie. 

6. Green Lantern (John Stewart)- African-American

Green Lantern (John Stewart)- African-American
Source: DC Comics

The Green Lantern is one of the most iconic titles in comic book history, it’s a name shared with various characters, in this instance we’ll be talking about one of the popular Green Lanterns, John Stewart. Prior to being a Green Lantern, John Stewart was a US marine after honorable discharge he returned to civilian life.

After saving a life he earned the Green Lantern powers due to his bravery. With his ring, John Stewart is able to construct hard light creations and the ability to fly. In terms of his creations, the only limitation is his imagination and willpower. Due to being an architect, his powers capabilities extend beyond most lanterns. John Stewart was actually the first African American to appear in DC comics. He debuted in Green Lantern vol.2 #87 in 1972.

Funnily enough, John Stewart is one of my favorite DC heroes. Although he has yet to appear in the live-action he has appeared in the successful cartoon Justice League Unlimited. For me, his most desirable traits are his ability to never give up making him a great role model for young me.

5. Storm – African-American

Storm – African-American
Source: Pinterest

One of the more popular characters on this list is Storm, an African American mutant also a member of the X-Men. The Storm has the power the control the weather, which she uses to do various actions. Notably, she uses the wind to fly and uses lightning in order to attack her enemies these are her powers to its most simple description.

Although it’s a little more complicated than this, Storm is able to modify temperatures, humidity, moisture and can incite the most dangerous forms of weather including hurricanes and tornados. Storm is also married to one of the most popular black superheroes: Black Panther.

Similarly, she herself is one of the most popular black characters due to her African heritage and long-lasting appearances as a main character in the Marvel universe. As she made her first appearance in the 70s. Storm has notably appeared across most of the x-men live-action movies, making her one of the easier recognized heroes on this list.

Storm is unforgettable appearing in over separate movies as a focal part of the X-Men. With themes of segregation, prejudice, and bigotry recurring in her life she's easily relatable to the modern-day ethnic minority. 

4. Luke Cage – African-American

Luke Cage – African-American
Source: Marvel.com

A Hero For Hire, Power Man, Carl Lucas… Luke Cage has gone through a lot of editorial names but is mostly known for this name (Luke Cage). As a former criminal Luke Cage had undergone human experimentation to mimic the experiments done on Captain America the Super-Soldier experiment. This granted him new abilities but not the same as Cap.

Luke Cage has superhuman strength and a healing factor allowing him to recover from injuries quicker than the average human being. However, Luke Cage is mostly known for his invulnerability, Luke has skin that’s as hard as steel allowing him to have unbreakable skin. This durability enables him to keep up with the strongest superhumans in the Marvel Universe.

Luke Cage is a relatively known superhero due to his new-ish Netflix series that was released in 2016. The show tackles political issues like racism and police brutality as well as the hardships of being of color in the modern-day USA. Like most Marvel superheroes, Luke Cage is a member of the Avengers and has even led them at certain times. He made his first comic book appearance in Hero for Hire #1 in 1972.

With indestructible skin and a lack of crazy powers, Luke Cage struggles to develop an interest in new users. But he's a character worth getting behind as he's a people champion. His new Netflix show is relatively good as part of the Defenders universe, it's a much-watch. 

3. The Falcon – African-American

The Falcon – African-American
Source: Marvel.com

Falcon is one of the first African-American superheroes in Marvel Comics to make his debut in Captain America #117. Similarly, he’s one of the first black superheroes whose name didn’t reflect his race.

Falcon is generally regarded as an ordinary man, however, there are two versions of him. The original comic book version and the Marvel Cinematic Universe version.

The original Falcon has a telepathic connection to his bird pal Redwing and more birdlike wings. On the contrary, in the MCU he has a more mechanical modernized makeup. Where Redwing is now a drone and Sam Wilson has mechanical wings.

If you’d like to see The Falcon televised, he appears across a range of Marvel movies and has his own TV show. The Falcon and Winter Soldier. This is more of his more notable appearances and where fans will mostly recognize him.

Falcon transitioned from a side character to the main character during his last features in the MCU, from a nobody to a loved character which is admirable. As a normal guy with military training Falcon still manages to make himself stand out from the rest of the heroes. His joint show Falcon and The Winter Soldier hit 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

2. Spider-Man (Miles Morales) - Black and Puerto Rican

Spider-Man (Miles Morales) - Black and Puerto Rican
Source: Marvel.com

Miles Morales is the newest Spider-Man and inherited the mantle of Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man in an alternate reality. The biracial hero has a similar set of powers as Peter Parker with enhanced agility, super strength, stamina as well.

In terms of spider-like abilities, Miles can crawl on all surfaces and has a spidey sense allowing him to perceive dangers before they occur. Unlike the original Spider-Man, he has bio-electrokinesis enabling him to camouflage and stun enemies.

After debuting in August 2011 Miles had quickly become one of the most loved Marvel characters as his young age and ethnicity made him an easily appreciated character and a role model to young comic book characters.

Miles Morales has already appeared across many Marvel media including his own animated movie, as well as a video game. In 2018, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was released in cinemas and was deemed one of the best superhero films of that year. Later in 2020 the Playstation exclusive Spider-Man: Miles Morales was released and had won 3 awards at the Game Awards 2020.

1. Black Panther – African

Black Panther – African
Source: Wiikia

T’Challa is the king of the fictional African nation, Wakanda the most technologically advanced country in the world, and is also home to the rare metal vibranium. A nearly indestructible element that helps the country create its technological advances.

Black Panther is similar to other heroes on this list like Falcon, he’s not as powerful as the other Marvel heroes, however, he’s stronger than an ordinary human being. The Black Panther has a range of physical enhancements due to his consumption of the Heart-Shaped Herb; he has enhanced strength, speed, agility, durability, and reflexes.

He’s mostly known for his vibranium armor that covers his head to toe. As previously mentioned, the vibranium armor is lightweight and near indestructible protecting him, similar to Captain. America’s shield. As well as his vibranium which has the same capabilities but is used offensively.  

Black Panther is one of the most popular ethnic superheroes as he was in fact the first. As the pioneer for black characters, Black Panther was created before the likes of Green Lantern and Black Lightning.

He appeared in Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966) created by the late Stan Lee and Jack Kirby notably in the civil rights era. In 2016, he made his first appearance in the MCU in Captain America: Civil War played by the late Chadwick Boseman.

Then in 2018, he featured in a solo film “Black Panther”. This movie in particular had the biggest opening weekend of all time and the biggest superhero launch of all time: winning countless awards and breaking countless records… The Black Panther is 100% the biggest superhero in comic books.

I'm an entertainment lover, a huge fan of music diving into the nitty-gritty of what the world has to offer.

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