Listen, I’m sure you know by now that Black Panther is all the rage right now.

What we’re seeing is an comic hero who is finally getting his time on screen and who has been instrumental in showing the world that diversity is not only needed on our screens but that it matters because it allows black folk to see that they deserve to be represented and that yes, features with lead POC do have box office successes.

It got us thinking about all the underrated and culturally diverse comics that are just waiting to be read.  

And so far I feel like 2018 is really trying to make this the year of the comic book, so whether you’ve been a fan for years or looking for something to get you hooked into the comicverse world, there’s a little something for everyone.

Check out our round-up below:

Kwezi by Loyiso Mkize & Mohale Mashigo

What better way to start with than with some local comic love? Originally started by Loyiso Mkize in 2014, Kwezi follows the story of a teenage boy who discovers that he has super powers in a fictional city modelled after the ever bustling-with-activity Johannesburg.

A cocksure boy with the arrogant attitude to match, Kwezi’s journey is initially one filled with him basking in the attention of his fans at least until he finds out that his powers come with a price and cultural responsibility.

Award-winning author Mohale Mashigo joined the writing team last year and is also a part of the magic of these comics.

Check out a spread of the comic below:

Image: Provided by the publisher / credit: Loyiso Mkize

You can purchase copies of the comic from Takealot.com

Niobe: She is Life by Amandla Stenberg, Sebastian A. Jones

Not only is Amandla Stenberg a brilliant actor but she’s joined forces with Jones to create a comic with a strong, black female lead that made history by according to Huffington Post becoming the first internationally distributed comic with both a black female lead and black female author.

Amazing right?

Described as a coming-of-age tale, Niobe: She is Life is the first in a series about a young elf teen running from her past and is destined to become the saviour of her world according to a prophecy.

Elements of love, betrayal and sacrifice embued into this comic ensures that this premise is the perfect introduction that sets the tone for the rest of the series.

Purchase a copy of the first book from Amazon.com

READ MORE: Why we need more heroes like Black Panther on our screens

Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch

The diverse fantasy comic series you didn’t know you needed. Featuring a kickass group of women who don’t take any crap from anyone, the Rat Queens are a group of battle-thirsty women who make it their business to find out who is out to assassinate them.

Set in a contemporary urban fantasy space where running into elves is as common as encountering orcs, this comic series is sexy, feminist and inclusive.

What we love about these characters is that not only does it feature a group of diverse women (great to see some wonderful lesbian rep here), but it shows women at their best and worst. These girls love a good drink as much as they love a good brawl and don’t hesitate to get themselves into as much trouble as they can.

Our kind of women.

Purchase a copy from Raru.co.za

World of Wakanda by Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates

Our favourite bestselling bad feminist has created World of Wakanda, a comic book series which is a spinoff from author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates’ take on the Black Panther series.

In her world, the comic focuses on Ayo and Aneka, two young women who are in training to be part of the elite force whose aim is to protect the crown at all and any cost. It’s an unabashedly queer love story that’s set against the backdrop of a time that sees Wakanda rapidly being threatened by The Black Order.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there will be more comics added to this particular series as Marvel has decided to cancel based on the lack of sales.  

In a recent interview with Time, Roxane discussed some valid points on what the industry can do to make comics more inclusive and insists that Marvel could work harder to be more inclusive and that they need to risk losing money in order to take a chance of growing a more diverse platform and audience.

In the meantime, you can still purchase a copy of the comic books here.

Champion of Dema by Hameed Catel

Nigerian comic book writer Hameed Catel has created a series that truly celebrates the heart and soul of African culture.

In an article on NBCnews.com, Catel talks about how many people assume that simply featuring black people in comics automatically means diversity.

But in his Champion of Dema comic, which tells the story of a thief named Kade who finds himself the custodian of having to take care of and defend his village, he blends Ethiopian, Ghanaian and Nigerian culture to tell a story that’s filled with fantasy, fun, action and adventure.

We definitely stan this.

WATCH: Diversity in comic books

 Purchase a copy from Amazon.com


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