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Will Smith, Viola Davis “Suicide Squad” Hits Theaters: Black Actors Cashing in On Superhero Genre




By: Leticia Latrice

Will Smith and Viola Davis are learning that you have to have thick skin if you’re going to be a superhero.  Their movie, “Suicide Squad” just landed in theaters this week and already raking in some harsh reviews from critics.  Variety says “On paper, this could have been the antidote to an increasingly codified strain of comic-book movies, but in the end, it’s just another high-attitude version of the same...“, while Vulture added, “As storytelling, Suicide Squad is the worst of the worst, but it’s no different in kind from the best of the best. This is all just high-priced junk…” Not exactly a glowing recommendation, but one thing Marvel has already proven and DC Comics is learning, that not even the villainous poisoned pen of reviewers can drive a wedge between super heroes and the fans that love them.  Even Variety acknowledges that no matter how dumb the plot or bad the storytelling, “Suicide Squad” is poised to be the biggest box office smash of the summer.

Over the years you can count on one hand how many black super heroes you have seen in movies, comics or on television. So why, all of a sudden are there so many black super heroes being cast now? The answer is…the money of course! Marvel comics has been around for ages and has always been able to reinvent the historical super heroes everyone has grown up on.

People truly have an emotional connection with the characters and super heroes they loved as a child. They have supported and followed their super heroes all their life. Many people are diehard fans of their favorite super heroes and will pay the big bucks for it. The millennials are now sharing that experience with their children. So this is an industry that will continue to grow.

The proof is in the pudding. The box office sales for franchises like Batman, Superman and X-Men are off the charts. For example the Iron Man and Avengers franchises have grossed over 1 billion dollars in box office sales. As you can see the world of action and super heroes is lucrative and full of opportunity. If you are a black actor in Hollywood and looking to make the some real money, this is a genre to get into. That is why so many black actors are jumping on the super hero bandwagon.

Aquaman-DC-Comics-Movie-poster-e1451492799723Jason Mamoa is set to play Aqua Man in the upcoming Justice League movie followed by  his first stand alone feature film.

Audiences got an introduction to Marvel’s Black Panther in this year’s mega hit “Captain America: Civil War”.  Chadwick Boseman will be back in

Black-Panther-Cast-EWtheaters soon as the lead in his first stand alone feature. The upcoming Black Panther  movie practically has an all black cast.



Many television shows are also casting more black actors for roles as action or super heroes. Look for black actors in some of the fantasy TV shows coming out like Marvel’s Agent of the Shield. The CW’s Flash has three black cast members and Mike Colter  landed the lead role on Netflix’s “Luke Cage” .

Black people often are stereotyped and cast in the same cliché roles. It is good to see black actors stepping outside of the box and doing something different. There is no reason to miss out on that good super hero Marvel money!  What do you think about black super heroes? What was your favorite super hero growing up?


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