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‘Racially charged reinterpretation’ of Black Terror hits at just the right time

by  in Comic News Comment
‘Racially charged reinterpretation’ of Black Terror hits at just the right time

Sometimes the right project hits at just the right time to take advantage of the 15-second media frenzies that pop up … take, for instance, Eric M. Esquivel and Ander Sarabia’s Blackest Terror, “a new, racially charged reinterpretation of the 1940’s superhero ‘The Black Terror.'”

You guys know who the Black Terror is, right? He’s a public domain character from the 1940s who has popped up often in comics over the last 20 years or so, in places like Dynamite’s Project Superpowers, Image’s Next Issue Project and more. You can find more information on him at the Public Domain Super Heroes wiki.

This latest version is one of five self-contained one-shots coming from Moonstone Books by Esquivel and Sarabia, as they reinterpret Golden Age characters like Black Terror, Moon Girl and Super American. Here’s the description of the book:

The Blackest Terror is a pioneer in what sociologists have dubbed “the super hero subculture,” a collection of racial and social minorities who feel underserved by the mainstream legal system and have decided to take matters into their own costumed hands. How will the world react to these benevolent outlaws? Will they become celebrated symbols of humankind’s capacity for good or hated catalysts of a bloody revolution?”

Now there’s probably no way that the creators could know that Marvel was planning to introduce Miles Morales to the world at the same time that their book would hit Diamond’s Previews catalog, but they were quick to take advantage. Thus the headline for the press release that Esquivel sent over earlier today: “If Glenn Beck hates the new Spider-Man, he’s really going to loathe ‘The Blackest Terror,'” followed by the subhead “A new, racially charged reinterpretation of the 1940’s superhero ‘The Black Terror’ debuts in Previews (the comic industry’s advance ordering catalog) the same day as Marvel Comics’ announcement that the new Spider-Man is Hispanic/African American–to the dismay of frustrated racists everywhere.”

Although the subhead is a bit long, their headline gets an “A” for having SEO written all over it. And it wasn’t even the first time I’d heard of this book … someone sent Robot 6 a link via Twitter to Eric’s blog post about it, noting the Spider-Man connection. Zeitgeist!

The comic is due in October and will be followed by four more Moonstone Modern Myths one-shots:

  • Thor: Unkillable Thunder Christ (the adventure of a pagan pugilist)
  • Super American: The Red, White and Blue Knight (a multiracial extraterrestrial from America’s distant future)
  • Moon Girl: Princess With a Punch (A kung fu feminist from another world)
  • Modern Myths: In The Company of Immortals (In which our heroes trade blows & ideological critiques with their Golden Age counterparts)

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