Happy Black History Month! Which Black Superhero is the greatest in your opinion and why?
I say Black Lightning.
Jeffrey is a hero who seldom receives the credit that he deserves. Even more so than the social crusaders Green Arrow and Superman, Black Lightning is incredibly conscious of the issues that are at the root of crime. Jefferson Pierce grew up in Suicide Slum, which got its name from the idea that people only escaped the degradation of the slum by killing themselves. His father--a community leader--was accidentally shot during a mob hit, and times were tough for Jeff and his widowed mother. Nowadays, Jeffrey Pierce is an ex-Olympic athlete turned school reformer with a proven track record of setting struggling communities straight. Usually, he doesn't need to resort to using his powers to save lives. He turns high schools that are dropout factories into high-performing institutions. Jeff--at his core--is a giver. He gives communities hope, and he gives students the opportunity to experience bright futures. When his leadership is not enough to solve problems, he becomes a highly efficient protector and fighter. He's willing to play dirty if that's what it takes to save lives. Pierce does have a kind of righteous indignation that makes his interactions with heroes, villains, and civilians interesting. He's frank, and he's unapologetic. For a more well-rounded description of Jeffrey Pierce, it would be fair to say that he's also compassionate, confident, optimistic, and strong-willed. Jeff's stories are interesting because they not only deal with crime and heroics, but they also focus on family and community. His stories deal with class struggles in a way that many comics don't. As Black Lightning, he's trusted by pretty much all of his fellow heroes. Batman and Superman have called on his aid on more than one occasion. Power-wise, Black Lightning is an incredibly useful asset to the Justice League. Even though his powers are known to stem from a meta-gene, his abilities are not affected by magic. He has shown the ability to operate in magically-sealed or shielded areas unlike other superheroes like Superman. His name "Black Lightning" has caught him some flack in the past because it seems racially charged, but he has displayed the ability to project and manipulate real "black" lightning. This lends further evidence to the idea that his powers are magical in origin. It would be interesting to learn if there have been any black lightning wielders in time periods before him who also fought for Justice. Whatever the case is with his powers, one thing is for certain: Jefferson Pierce is a true hero and a born badass.