Both the DC and Marvel universes feature a litany of supervillains who wield great power and great intellect and who pose a true threat to the superheroes in these respective universes. However, relatively few of these supervillains are black. As this essay shall suggest, a number of narratological constraints and tendencies that historically have been replete in mainstream comics are largely the cause of this absence. Following a delimiting of the terms black and supervillain, this essay – through an overview of some of the more prominent black villains in DC and Marvel comics – shall evidence why these villains have yet to achieve the same powerful status as their white counterparts. The essay shall conclude by providing a rationale for the creation of more black supervillains.
Source: “The absence of black supervillains in mainstream comics”, Journal of Graphic Novels & Comics, Volume 1, Issue 1 June 2010 , pages 51 – 62
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