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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
In doing research for this post, I learned that Strawberry Shortcake fandom is NO JOKE! It's hardcore and very intense. There's merchandise, events, life-size costumes for adults and children, offshoot comics, cartoons, DVDs, and much much more.
I happened upon this character by accident this morning. I was watching some a.m. Doctor Who (couldn't sleep), went to turn up the volume, the remote flips to Strawberry Shortcake on another channel SOMEHOW, and onto the screen pops Orange Blossom. How fortuitous!
The Strawberry Shortcake franchise has existed for almost 30 years - and my aunt, Felicia, LOVED the series, even going as far to insist on being called Strawberry Shortcake as a child. Strawberry Shortcake is an institution and the fandom is EVERYWHERE.
On to Orange Blossom. There are two iterations of this character - the first in the cartoon that premiered in the 1980s - the second in the 2003 reboot of the program. In the 1980s version, Orange Blossom is an urban artist from what I assume is NYC (in the show referred to as Big Apple City - and the show is filled with names like that. The characters live in places like Strawberry Land, Cookie Corners, and Huckleberry Briar. It's all very twee.), with a pet butterfly named Marmalade. In the 2003 series, she lives in Orange Blossom Acres in an orange tree shaped house.
Sandra "Moonday" Hawke briefly dated Oliver Queen, the first Green Arrow. Their tryst led to a pregnancy and the birth of Connor Hawke, who often acted as Green Arrow in his father's absence. Sandra is the daughter of a Korean war veteran and farmer, Nathan Hawke. Because of several misunderstandings and his interpreting her wanting a more serious relationship as a ploy to get money, Oliver and Sandra's love life was often tempestuous. Moonday later remarried a man named Milo Armitage, an arms dealer she, rather than divorcing, decide to abandon in Africa... She also happens to be a half-Korean, former hippie, model, and actress.
In the Marvel comic Captain American and Falcon, Leila Taylor first appears. Soon after she begins a reluctant relationship with Falcon. Taylor, a civil rights activist and journalist, saw Falcon as a conformist, which strained their courtship. After working together to prevent a plot to sneak toxic chemicals onto American soil, Leila and Falcon are able to overlook their superficial differences and eventually get engaged.