10 Great Black Superman Characters That Should Be in "Man of Steel 2"

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10 Amazing Black Superman Characters

Comic panel of Vixen from "Vixen: Return of the Lion" (2008)
Vixen "Vixen: Return of the Lion" (2008) by Joshua Middleton. DC Comics

Here are some of the greatest Black characters that should be in the Superman movies.

This is Black History Month and it's a great time to look back at some of the greatest Black comics that should jump from the comics to the movies.

The DC Extended Universe is just getting started and there are a lot of movies and characters to introduce. DC is already embracing diversity by including diverse characters. Heroes like the African-American Cyborg and the Polynesian Aquaman are changing the game. Here are 10 African-American heroes, villains and co-workers that deserve a place in the next Superman movie.

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1. John Henry Irons (Steel)

Comic panel of Steel
John Henry Irons (Steel). DC Comics

When Superman "died" tech genius John Henry Irons built a suit of armor to give him superpowers like Superman. Over the years, he's turned into an awesome superhero in his own right.

The New 52 reboot changed him from a wannabe Superman to an Iron Man clone but he's still great. We'll even forgive that terrible movie starring Shaq from the 90s. We’ll forgive but we won't forget.

While the movies are ignoring the “Death of Superman” storyline by using Doomsday, hopefully, they find a way to include Irons as a tech savvy Black man. We'll talk about his niece later on, but let's talk about a star co-worker for Clark Kent.

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2. Ronald Troupe

Comic panel of Ron Troupe
Ron Troupe. DC Comics

Now that Perry White is played by an African-American actor there’s some much-needed diversity in the "Daily Planet" building.

In 1991, Jerry Ordway and Tom Grummett created Troupe for Superman #480. He has no powers, but one thing he has over the other "Daily Planet" reporters is that he's no fool.

While all the other reporters are running to get a close-up picture of Zod cutting the building in half, he's watching from a safe distance. A great and brave reporter, but not reckless. The "Daily Planet" could use his level head.

His name has already shown up as the fictional interviewer of Lex Luthor's for Wired Magazine. They're halfway to bringing him into the DC Films.

Next we'll talk about a Black superheroine that's coming to TV.

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3. Vixen (Mari Jiwe McCabe)

Comic panel of Vixen
Vixen. DC Comics

Mari Jiwe McCabe first appeared in Action Comics #521 (1981). She has the ability to mimic the powers of animals. Vixen was supposed to be the first Black female superhero but someone else beat her to the punch.

Since she gets her powers from a magic talisman she can beat down Superman. That's right. This Black woman is a supermodel and can knock out Superman.

She's getting her first live action appearance and possibly TV series on the CW. Megalyn Echikunwoke will play Vixen in the Arrow season four episode "Taken". Since the DC films and Television worlds don’t intersect, they can easily bring her in the movies.

The next African-American character would really cause a stir, but in a good way.

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4. Muhammad X

Comic panel of Superman #179
Muhammad X. DC Comics

Muhammad X has the guts to call the most powerful superhero in the universe a racist and live to tell the tale. Muhammad X's power controls gravity and density. We don't know his real name but he takes his name is a combination of the Muslim prophet Muhammad and Malcolm X. His only appearance is in Superman #179 (2002) and he calls himself the protector of Harlem. Sure Superman stops Lex Luthor and Brainiac, but what has he done for the Black community? Muhammad X's verbal tongue lashing eventually makes Superman question his own place and the role of minorities in the superhero community. He asks Martian Manhunter, "Why don’t we have more Black members in the J.L.A.?”

Jeph Loeb uses the character as a sounding board to question the role of race and diversity in the superhero community. This conversation is already happening for the movies since many of the live-action movie superheroes are White. He could be a great character to challenge the status quo.

The next guy on the list would change the way audiences see Superman forever.

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5. Coldcast (Nathan Craig Jones)

Comic panel of Coldcast from "Action Comics" #775 (2001)
Coldcast (Nathan Craig Jones) from Action Comics #775 (2001) by Doug Mahnke. DC Comics

A big African-American man wearing chains and manacles would make anyone do a double-take. Jones was a member of the violent vigilante team called "The Elite". He has the ability to control electromagnetism. The group mercilessly killed anyone they felt were causing problems.

When they got to Metropolis, Superman tried to intervene. Coldcast stopped Superman's electrons from flowing and he was down for the count. But, Jones eventually saw the evil of his ways and became a hero in his own right.

Right now, people are enjoying dark and violent heroes. Characters like Coldcast believe violence is the ultimate solution. His appearance and redemption would go a long way in establishing heroes like Superman who believe justice still matters. Plus, anyone that can beat down Superman is worth bringing to the screen.

The next hero is so bonkers he's perfect.

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6. Flipper Dipper (Walter Johnson Jr.)

Comic panel of Walter Johnson
Walter Johnson (Flippa Dippa). DC Comics

Walter "Flipper Dipper" (or "Flippa Dippa") Johnson Jr. is an African-American youth and a member of Jack Kirby's "Newsboy Legion". He wears a scuba outfit and is obsessed with underwater maneuvers.

"Flip" is a minor character at best, but his real skill is being totally bonkers. He wears a wetsuit most of the time and loves being underwater. He'd make a great character to vibe with Superman's buddy Aquaman.

It's kind of a silly character, but if they could make him work it would show they're committed to making strong characters. If Marvel can have Ant-Man, then DC can have Flippa.

On the other side of the coin is a Black woman that is totally serious, but amazing.

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7. Natasha Irons

Comic panel of Natasha Irons
Natasha Irons (Steel). DC Comics

Natasha first appears in Steel #1 (1994) and is John Henry Iron's niece. At first, she wears the superhero Steel armor and becomes a female version of him. Natasha has a ton of attitude and clashes with her Uncle, so he takes away the armor. But she gets superpowers thanks to Lex Luthor. Eventually, she gains the power to turn into mist and takes on the name "Vaporlock."

With Luthor screwing around with Kryptonian technology in Batman v Superman, she could be another of his experiments. She’s a wonderful example of the non-stereotypical Black woman. Natasha Irons needs to be in the mix.  

While Natasha could bring conflict the next character is a cold killer.

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8. Bloodsport (Robert DuBois)

Comic panel of Bloodsport
Bloodsport by John Byrne. DC Comics

While DC doesn't have many strong Black villains, Bloodsport could be one of them. Robert Dubois is a supervillain equipped from advanced weaponry from Lex Luthor. He can immediately teleport weapons into his hands. Besides bazookas and machine guns, he can shoot Kryptonite bullets.

He styles himself as a Vietnam vet but is actually a draft dodger. His brother took his place in  the Vietnam war became a quadriplegic.The guilt turned DuBois into a murderous psychopath.

It's one of John Byrne's great forgotten characters. But, with the war on terror, this kind of character could resonate with people.

The next character is a strong, powerful Black man that would challenge the way African-Americans are seen in the business world.

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9. Franklin Stern

Comic panel of Franklin Stern
Franklin Stern (New Earth). DC Comics

Franklin Stern is a Black man and the former owner and publisher of "The Daily Planet". He's a good friend of Perry White although they sometimes disagree on politics. He first showed up in Superman: The Man of Steel #27 (1993). 

Stern has shown up in two live-action television shows. Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman played by James Earl Jones. Stern also appeared on Smallville played by Blu Mankuma.

In the movies, editor-in-chief Perry White is played by African-American actor Laurence Fishburne. That makes "The Daily Planet" a very progressive newspaper, but how progressive would it if the editor and owner were Black? Would it turn the paper into a "Black" newspaper? No, but it would challenge the notion that you can't have a fair-and-balanced paper with "People of Color" in charge.

The last person on our list is the goofiest Black character to ever show up in DC. That's why she'd be perfect.

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10. Black Lois Lane

Comic panel of "Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #106" (1970)
Black Lois Lane in "Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane" #106 by Werner Roth. DC Comics

While most African-American characters are born that way, there is one truly bonkers one from the 1970s: Lois Lane. While the DC comics often tackled racial issues, this story by Robert Kanigher kind of misses the mark. In Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #106 Lois decides the only way break through the “wall of suspicion” is to become Black.

Thanks to a Kryptonian machine Superman has lying around she lives the life of a Black woman for 24 hours. She even convinces a Black man not to be racist thanks to a blood transfusion. Ah, those wacky 70s.

I dare Zack Snyder and Warner Bros to make Amy Adams a Black Woman. Just for one scene. I double-dog dare you!

So, that's the list. There are many other great African-Americans in the DC movie universe, but these are the ones that would bring the greatest change to the DC films. From supermodels to superheroes, it's time to embrace the culture and diversity of all comic book characters.