Why Do So Many Black Superheroes Have Electricity Based Powers?

July 6, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Storm. Black Lightning. Static. A lot of black superheroes have electricity related superpowers. Charles Pulliam-Moore looked into the reasons:

  • Black characters are often written to be closer to nature – an unfortunate trace of when they were depicted as savages.
  • The tamable nature of lightning might also be an unconscious expression of bias.
  • Lightning is powerful enough to make yourself known in a fight. But when you’re teamed up with, say, Superman, it’s not enough to win the battle. Since black characters are often side characters this suits writers well.
  • There’s probably an element of competition. DC has Green Arrow. Marvel has Hawkeye. There’s also Deadpool and Deathstroke, and Darkseid and Thanos. When one company released a black lightning character the other eventually followed.
  • Nonetheless heroes like Storm have grown to become strong characters who are more than just their electric powers.

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