Updated on 16 October, 2021
What a difference a few years can make in the popularity of a comic. In 2021, DC Comics introduced a new kind of super-being, the Black Superman. Although his origins are the same as every other Superman - from the blueprints to the costume - he was given a brand-new look, and a new mission. What is so different about this new Superman is that he is not human, and as a result, not afraid to take on super villains without being slowed down by being a human.
The first of these characters to appear was Super Boy, who was a boy in a alternate world. As you might guess, he was the Green Lantern of Earth. The Green Lantern's code protected the planet, and any man or women who violated it were put into a cryogenic sleep, only to wake up a few months later in the present day, with no powers at all. Since no one could remember the last person to have been put into this condition, the future seemed bleak for those men and women - and luckily for Superman, they were the very first superman to be introduced to the world.
For five years, nothing happened. No superman comic was produced, and no superheros were sold. Then, a writer named Mark Millar came onto the scene. Millar had worked on some similar concepts for other characters, but when it came to the superman, he knew exactly what to do. He wrote a series of comic books centered around Superman, and called them: the New Adventures of Superman. It was here that the world learned of the black superman, and two of the early stories featuring him proved to be hugely popular with readers.
The New Adventures of Superman featured black superman for the first time. Unlike the previous incarnations, this time around there were actually two black superheroes - Clark Kent and Superman. While no one was quite sure how this would play out (especially when there was a question as to whether or not superheroes even worked), the fans were delighted. The black Superman proved to be a huge hit, drawing in readers young and old alike.
There has been a long standing tradition of creating multi-cultural characters in comic books, but rarely has a character from another culture been so widely represented that his race was emphasized as well. The New Adventures of Superman had done something very smart by writing a black superman who was a superstar in his own right. In this day and age, it's difficult to find a superman who doesn't speak English, and who possesses powers far beyond those of his Caucasian counterparts. It's an exciting time to read comics that feature other races, and it's especially exciting to see black superheroes relaying their story to the world.
Of course, there is a reason why the superman of today has evolved into more than just a newspaper strip hero. Black Superman has always existed - in both the paperbacks and the comic books. It's just that he wasn't recognized as such in his native country. But times have certainly changed since Stan Lee created the modern "superman" in Amazing Spider-Man #1 in comics in November, 1938. And while no one can deny that Lee has created a unique character, no one can deny that his creation has made the world of comic books a richer and more colorful place to live.
One of the most interesting things about black superman is that he makes a perfect foil for other minority superheroes. It was no big deal when The Fantastic Four were given their own comic after all, and black superheroes have had a chance to shine alongside their white counterparts. There is a long history of black and white heroes working together, which helps to ensure that these iconic comic book teams are constantly successful. It shows that diversity is accepted in the world of superhero comics, and that readers don't balk at the idea of seeing two black heroes team up.
Of course, having a black superman comic doesn't automatically mean you're getting a weak comic. Because of his unique powers, black superman has the potential to be every bit as compelling as any of the other comic book superheros out there. You just need to know where to look for them.