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Electric Black Guy

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The First, and undoubtedly still The Best.
"Look, I am solidly aware that an electromagnetic African-American Super is a total cliché. My apologies. I didn't order this power off the menu, I swear."
Volt, Irredeemable

In 1977, DC Comics revealed their first headlining African-American superhero with Black Lightning. But due to numerous controversies and licensing disputes, in the many, many adaptations of the DCU he has often been used via Captain Ersatz. This eventually developed into a consistent pattern in which black superheroes are given Shock and Awe powers.

Examples on this page don't necessarily need to be superheroes though. A Sub-Trope of Fountain of Expies.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Naruto has an entire nation of these. The Land of Lightning is the only one with a visible black population (they seem to be the nation's majority even) and lightning is their most common elemental power. Raikage, Killer Bee and Darui are the most prominent, with Darui even having black-colored lightning that he can shape into a black panther.
  • The most prominent dark-skinned character in Bleach, Yoruichi, relies primarily on lightning-flavoured Shunkou when faced with a serious threat.

    Comic Books 
  • Amazing Age: The Black Knight, who wears armor and wields the "Knight Light", which is basically electricity.
  • Astro City: Rachel "Electric" Brown, an Electric Black Gal.
  • Black Hammer: The titular superhero, an African-American man who can shoot bolts of lightning from his eponymous hammer like a black version of Thor. His daughter Lucy eventually takes up his mantle, gaining the same hammer and powers.
  • DC Comics:
    • Ur-Example: Black Lightning. Most other examples are deliberate Expies or Shout Outs to him. His daughter, Jennifer, inherited his powers. Keep in mind, Black Lightning originally had no natural powers - he just jury-rigged his own electricity weaponry. You're gonna be seeing a lot of him on this page.
    • Static of Milestone Comics, published through DC. One of the more well-known examples of Black Lightning Expies. Possibly more famous than Black Lightning himself, in no small part thanks to having his own cartoon series.
    • Thunder Fall, a member of the Congolese superhero team The Kingdom in the DC Batman spinoff Batwing, can shoot blasts of electricity out of his hands.
    • DC Comics character Coldcast has "electromagnetic" powers which gives him a slightly broader range of abilities (he can theoretically affect electrons on the subatomic level) but largely boils down to Shock and Awe. Somewhat ironically, he's based on Jenny Sparks (a white British woman) from The Authority, rather than Black Lightning.
    • In Kingdom Come Jonni Thunder and Black Lightning have a daughter who has both of their powers, named Lightning. Lightning eventually appeared in the regular DC Universe, except her mother was Black Lightning's ex-wife.
    • In the New 52, the "wizard" who gives Shazam! his powers is actually Mamaragan, an Australian lightning god, who appears as an Aborigine man.
    • DC surprisingly did not use this trope in Teen Titans: Earth One, despite taking the version of Wonder Girl that normally has Shock and Awe powers and turning her black in this 'verse. This version of Cassie is limited to super-strength and has no hints of electrical manipulation powers.
    • The Post-DC Rebirth version of Sparx and the Legion of Super-Heroes' Lightning Lad are both racebent from white to black, making DC's most notable electricity-powered heroes who weren't already black black.
    • The background British heroes in Paul Cornell's Knight and Squire includes a character who is a parody of Black Lightning's seventies look, called Fro.
  • Grimm Fairy Tales: In "Godstorm: Hercules Payne", a spin-off featuring the titular demigod, Andre Payne is a black man from the streets of Compton who discovers that he's the eponymous son of Zeus. After Zeus 'activates' his powers, Andre finds himself capable of discharging electricity from his hands.
  • Alluded to in Invincible with Black Samson, who wore a shirt with a lightning bolt on it before losing his superpowers (which happened to be Super-Strength rather than anything electrical). Also subverted with Bolt from Capes, Inc. (set in the same universe), who named himself that because of how he got his powers (again, non-electric).
  • Marvel Comics:
    • Storm from the X-Men is a Kenyan-American woman who uses lightning as her primary offensive power. She's a non-copycat example, since she appeared two years before Black Lightning, and her overall control of the weather makes lightning only one of her abilities. Though as the most visually spectacular thing she can do, it's one of her best-known abilities (alongside using wind manipulation to fly).
    • Generations (Marvel Comics) makes Canon Immigrants of the Next Avengers (see under Films—Animation below), including Azari T'Challa, confirmed here to be the son of Black Panther and Storm.
    • Spider-Man: Miles Morales has the ability to emit powerful bio-electric blasts as part of his "Venom Blast" attack, an ability not shared by his friend and predecessor, Peter Parker.
      • Marvel doubles down on this in the what-if comic "What If...? Miles Morales Became Thor?", wherein Miles is the literal god of thunder (and all of Norse mythology stereotypically echoes African-American culture).
  • Irredeemable:
  • The Savage Dragon:
    • Rapture is an Electric Black Girl who can fire and absorb electricity, and use it to fly.
    • Marsha Bradley is also a woman of color with electricity-based powers who goes by the alias Lightning Lady.
  • The Wicked + The Divine: Baal Hadad is a god of thunderstorms in an avatar as a black man. Ultimately subverted: he's actually Baal Hammon, a god of fire, and his electrical powers are artificial.

    Films — Animation 
  • Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow has Azari, the son of Black Panther; his mother is unmentioned, but presumed to be Storm, given his white hair and electrical powers. He also has his father's strength and agility.
  • Miles Morales's Venom Strike is a bio-electric attack in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Miles is black and Latino.
  • Though he's an anthropomorphic dog using lightning-like pyrotechnics rather than a human superhero, Powerline in A Goofy Movie is a recording artist who leans heavily into his electrical theme and is voiced by black singer Tevin Campbell.

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Aberrant supplement Aberrant: Year One includes the NPC "Electric" William Greene, an African-American "nova" with electrical powers.

    Video Games 
  • Street Fighter:
    • Crimson Viper from Street Fighter IV appears to be, at least, of mixed ethnicity. She also has a pair of hi-tech, electrically-charged gloves that can be used to perform her Thunder Knuckle technique.
    • Laura from Street Fighter V is Afro-Brazilian/Japanese. She can generate electricity apparently by running her hands through her hair.
  • Jada in the Battle High series is an electric elemental, and accidentally blinded herself by showing off her powers. She now "sees" using low-level electrical pulses.
  • Mighty No. 3/ Dynatron from Mighty No. 9 is a robot with dark brown skin tone and powers over thunder and lightning.
  • Mega Man Battle Network: Raoul, a black man whose Navi ThunderMan is an Elec Navi.
  • Dead by Daylight: Herman Carter is an African-American Killer nicknamed "The Doctor". He has access to two kinds of electric attacks: "Shock Therapy" is an electric shock fired directly in front of him, while "Static Blast" is an area of effect attack that hits all Survivors in the Doctor's vicinity. These shock attacks cause Survivors to scream, exposing their positions to the Doctor, and if they take enough shocks they go mad and have to stop to "Snap Out of It" before they can perform any of the actions necessary to escape the match.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville has Electric Slide, who is an Electric Black Lady. Downplayed, however, in that 1) the electricity she fights with comes from advanced technology, and 2) because she's a zombie, her skin is now green.
  • Vainglorious hero Thunder from Fable specializes in Lightning magic.
  • Sentinel from Brawlhalla is this, using katars and grapple hammers designed by himself to have electricity-related signature attacks. During his life he also managed to become a President Superhero.
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales: Just like the comics, Miles Morales is an Afro-Latino superhero who has the powers of Spider-Man in addition to his own unique powers, including the ability to become invisible and emit bio-electricity.
  • Streets of Rage 4 gives us the heroic Cherry Hunter, a guitar-wielding aspiring rocker with electrical chi. There's also the villainous Diva, who charges up her pet snake and uses it as a whip.

  • Jiggawatt of Grrl Power. She is an Expy of X-Men's Storm and may also be a conscious (though female) evocation of the trope.
  • In Monstra, Brooke's aura power forms itself like electricity from her hands.
  • Sister Claire, Jane Jackson is revealed later in the story to be a Weather Witch. Going all out, causes her afro to puff up with electricity while storm clouds form above her.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Black Vulcan from Super Friends, created as an Captain Ersatz of Black Lightning to save on licensing fees. Though some speculate him to be Jefferson Pierce with a different moniker.
  • Juice in Justice League Unlimited (whose whole team consists of Expies of the Superfriends).
  • Soul Power, a retro funk character from the Static Shock animated series. He was originally going to be Black Lightning, until lawyers got involved. Likewise his partner, Sparky (though in his case he uses a suit to make electricity rather then have it as a power) And, of course, there's Static himself.
  • In Young Justice (2010), Aqualad primarily has water powers, but has electricity as a secondary one used to electrify said water attacks. The same show also featured Static, Bumblebee, and Black Lightning; the latter's lightning is also literally black. Interestingly, Static gets to be a Black Lightning stand-in in a series with Black Lightning. Similar to JLU, we get a team of Superfriends shout-out characters. The actual Black Lighting is in the series, but he has a different role in the story that doesn't involve those characters, and is not a teenager like the others, so Static takes the Black Lightning/Vulcan role among them. Black Lightning eventually becomes Static’s mentor.
  • Teen Titans has Bumblebee, a young African-American woman who uses a pair of stingers that blast electricity at the targets.
  • Rallo from The Cleveland Show once attempted to become one of these ("Electro-Boy") by shoving a fork into an outlet while wearing a homemade superhero costume.
  • Sparko from OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes
  • Huey from The Boondocks doesn't have electric powers, but he invents a stun glove that allows him to shock people. He calls it the "Black Power Fist".
  • The version of Electro who appears in Marvel's Spider-Man is an African-American woman.
  • Steven Universe: Garnet is an alien that resembles a black woman and has electrical powers, though she uses them a lot less than her other powers.
  • Total Drama: Aside from his go-by name (his legal name is Rudolph), Lightning wears a lightning bolt pendant and regularly makes puns based on his name such as "You're going to get struck by Lightning". During the finale, he gets struck by lightning, which permanently changes his hair color to white. In his ending, he renames himself White Lightning, but unlike the hair color, this doesn't carry over into All-Stars.
  • My Adventures with Superman: Leslie Willis / Livewire is given a Race Lift from white to dark skinned and retains her electricity-based powers.


Video Example(s):


Black Vulcan

While on the stand, a superhero named Black Vulcan expresses his frustrations over racial profiling in the superhero community.

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Main / ElectricBlackGuy

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