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Electric Black Guy

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The First, and doubtless 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. However, 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 African-American superheroes, or black superheroes in general, had 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.

    Comic Books 
  • 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. When Milestone was folded into DC, Black Lightning became his mentor.
  • Storm from the X-Men is a native African 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 weather makes lightning only one of her abilities.
  • 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.
  • Volt from Irredeemable (another Black Lightning Expy too); he's also very self-conscious about the trope.
  • Incorruptible very briefly features a man with electrical powers who is revealed to be a black guy when they fail.
  • 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, while he's a Captain Ersatz of another DC character, instead of being based on Black Lightning, he's based on Jenny Sparks (a white woman) from The Authority.
  • 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.
  • Rapture from The Savage Dragon is an Electric Black Girl who can fire and absorb electricity, and use it to fly.
    • Marsha Bradley from from the same comic is also a woman of color with electricity based powers who goes by the alias Lightning Lady.
  • Baal Hadad of The Wicked + The Divine, being 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.
  • In "Godstorm: Hercules Payne", a spin-off of Grimm Fairy Tales 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.
  • In the New 52, the "wizard" who gives Shazam his powers is actually Mamaragan, an Australian lightning god, who appears as an Aborigine man.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Amazing Age has the Black Knight, who wears armor and wields the "Knight Light", which is basically electricity.

    Films — Animation 

    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 a But Not Too Black example. 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.

  • 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 and, when going all out, causes her hair to afro to puff up with electricity while storm clouds form above her.

    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.
  • Aqualad in Young Justice 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's got 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.
  • 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".
  • Garnet from Steven Universe is an alien that resembles a black woman and has electrical powers, though she uses them a lot less than her other powers.
  • The version of Electro who appears in Marvel's Spider-Man is an African-American woman.


Video Example(s):


Static Shock Opening Season 2

Static Shock's opening sums up the protagonist's powers quite nicely.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / ElectricBlackGuy

Media sources:

Main / ElectricBlackGuy