This one is a reader submission, from Jason Hargrove! I don't think I've ever mentioned this before, but if anyone who reads this blog knows about an awesome Black superheroine, Black female comic book character, or female cartoon character of color that I haven't featured, send it in: email@example.com. I've got like 100 characters backed up, but there are never enough.
The tragic supervillain! Equinox, Terrance Sorenson, certainly fits the bill. He was dealt an unfortunate hand and didn't know how to play it to win. His power of pyrokenesis drove him mad and ruined his life. His mother, Margay Sorenson, a Bard College scientist worked with Spiderman and Reed Richards to get his abilities under control. With her funding in trouble, Equinox turned to crime to help his mother's money troubles.
I'm sensing a comic book/sci-fi theme: the unwilling villain and the mother who tries to save him or her. Think Proteus and Moira Mactaggart, Liz Sherman (Hellboy), et al.
Janet Sorenson, Equinox's daughter, discovered her power to produce energy blasts at age 6 - and her father, remembering his horrible experiences (which were eventually placated by his mother's research), tried everything he could to get her to control her powers, which she couldn't. She was basically setting Harlem on fire, one outburst at a time. Equinox even tried resorting to violence.
The Sorenson women had unfortanate dealings with the men in their lives in general. Margay was abused by Equinox's father, David Sorenson (an explosion in his thermodynamics lab resulted in Equinox getting his powers), and Terry, in turn, was violent with his daughter. I don't want to jump to the conclusion that Black families in comics often deal with abuse, drugs, disfunction, and violence issues, - because that's a theme in comics (AND, unfortunately, LIFE for people of all races) in general - but I've seen it more often than I like.