Superhero Comic 'Black' Launching Follow-Up 'White'

The sequel to the acclaimed series puts a racist white president into a world where only black people have superpowers.
Khary Randolph/Black Mask Studios
The sequel to the acclaimed series puts a racist white president into a world where only black people have superpowers.

The first series of the critically acclaimed superhero comic book Black introduced a world where only black people have superpowers, further explored in the spinoff projects Black [AF]: Widows and Orphans, Black [AF]: Devil’s Dye and Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart. But the next chapter in the series threatens to upend the world as it’s known, as a racist President of the United States threatens to strike back against his perceived threat.

The second part of a planned trilogy, the new six-part series called White will see X — formerly Kareem Jenkins, and the star of Black — have to deal with the presidential administration of Theodore Mann, the new leader of the United States and a man with a history of racism who has declared all those with powers as terrorists and has super-soldier plans to the care of the problem.

Black revealed a world where only black people have superpowers, as seen from the perspective of X, a young man struggling to navigate suddenly becoming superhuman,” Kwanza Osajyefo, co-creator of the Black franchise and writer of White, tells The Hollywood Reporter. “In White, he and other characters are now navigating the context of empowered blacks in a nation entrenched in a history of racial inequality. Now, the challenge is to the foundations of white identity propped up by institutional normalization of its supremacy.”

The new series reunites the entire creative team behind Black, including Osajyefo, franchise co-creator and character designer Tim Smith 3, interior artist Jamal Igle, cover artist Khary Randolph, colorist Derwin Roberson, letterer Dave Sharpe and editor Sarah Litt. Igle will be joined by inker Juan Castro on this outing, and is ready to surprise people with the way the book looks.

“One of the elements I wanted to revise with White was the storytelling,” Igle explains. “After a trip to Japan and a visit to the International Manga Museum in Kyoto, I'm leaning much more heavily on manga as an influence. I'm taking how they approach black and white [and], working with my longtime inker Juan Castro, incorporating the speed and dynamism I saw there. I want the action to feel different than [Igle’s AHOY Comics series] The Wrong Earth; I don’t like to tell stories that same way twice. I want it to have a different type of visceral feel. I want White to build on what we did with Black and feel like the dial has been turned to 11.”

“I love to see how other artists add their talents to the characters we created for Black,” Smith 3 says. “It’s going to be even better with the characters for White. I thought a lot about how the characters move, how their hair and clothes would be used to express everything from standing still to high-energy action scenes.”

Adds Randolph, “With this series, the goal with the covers was never to portray what was happening inside the book. Jamal is more than capable of handling that. Instead, we've always tried to showcase a theme for each issue and with that theme evoke an emotional response. In Black, that was through a Banksy-esque street art feel; White, on the other hand, has a different vibe and that vibe I'm attempting to showcase through more of a Russian propaganda lens. It's a tonal shift.”

White is being launched via a Kickstarter campaign that will feature variant covers from a number of high-profile artists including ChrisCross, Denys Cowan and Ashley A. Woods. If the campaign is successful, the first issue will be released in October via Black Mask Studios. More details are available here.