2017 New York Comic Con - Day 2
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Non-DC/Marvel Comics: 15 Black Superheroes You Should Know

For those anxious to see Black Panther, here are a few black superheroes who might not be in a movie anytime soon but you should meet anyway.

When asked to name black superheroes, you'll probably refer to the core four: Luke Cage, Storm, Blade and now Ryan Coogler's reboot of the Black Panther. But the world of superheroes is far more diverse than is reflected by mainstream media. As you may have guessed, a lot of these superheroes are just under the radar and not televised. Black superheroes go back a long way.

As many of the issues plaguing black people are structural and more complex than a simple plot could cater to, visual stories have helped to give out a message and entertain at the same time.

The first black superhero, Lothar, an African would-have-been prince, was actually introduced in 1934. It wasn't said overtly but the implication is that he was a slave to Mandrake. Later, the character was revamped as an equal. In fact, a lot of black comic books included slavery as a contrasting point for progress. Using political discourse to drive the narratives, authors drew and continue to draw from their environments.

For those anxious to see Black Panther, here are a few black superheroes who might not be in a new movie anytime soon but you should meet anyway.

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1. Spawn

Powers/Abilities: Regeneration, shape-shifting, super strength

In Volume 1 of Spawn (1992), Albert Simmons is introduced as the world’s greatest soldier and assassin, escaping deathly battles unscathed and eliminating targets without a trace. He was even called on to protect the president from outside forces and after his success, he proudly joined the U.S. Task Force. As it turns out, Al knew too many government evils and secrets so he was killed—sent to Hell to burn eternally for the assassinations of innocent people. He trades his soul with an evil force in exchange for the freedom to see his wife on Earth again. The demon he makes the deal with disfigures his body so when he returns to Earth, an anti-hero, he fights on the side of humans.

Todd McFarlane, who worked on The Amazing Spider-Man and the original Spawn, is expected to bring Spawn to television again.

2. Bulletproof

Powers/Abilities: Damage resistance, pain suppression

The superhero was born Zandale Randolph, identical twin to Tyrone Randolph. As the point of display for Tyrone's scientific abilities, Zandale was given superpowers. Tyrone was enamored with super dominion so he conducted a project in which he could impart them to someone with his DNA. Zandale was the test subject, but in the process, Tyrone was killed. His brother then adopts the name Bulletproof and takes on a duty to the people after learning to hone his powers. Bulletproof was first seen standing in for Invincible in the comic book after the same name.

3. Marsha Bradley

Powers/Abilities: Harnessing electrostatic energy

When the world was under attack, Marsha Bradley rose to the task, using her ability to manipulate electric currents and emit energy for protection. Her mother, Rapture, was killed when she was just a child and she lived with her father. Shortly after, she loses her father to the fire lords. They then attempted to kill Marsha but Malcolm, the Savage Dragon came to her rescue.

Initially, she thought him to be a villain but Malcolm, her half-brother, confessed this detail to her. Once the two learned that they were allies, they were able to defeat the fire lords and return home. Later, she met Thunder Head, another black superhero. They all battled together to defeat Mr. Glum, a well-known terror to the city.

4. Lothar

Powers/Abilities: Super stamina, super strength, manmade weapon resistant

The hero first appeared alongside Mandrake the Magician in 1934, fitting the description of a manservant and some even went as far as calling him a slave. He wore small shorts, leopard skin and a red fez. Initially, Lothar’s dialog was minimal and if there was any, it was unintelligible. He was brawny and couldn’t speak English well, fitting the Mandingo stereotype. His loyalty was one of subservience as he was the “Prince of Seven Nations” in Africa but he opted, instead, to travel with Mandrake and fight evil (or whatever Mandrake told him was evil). In 1965, Lothar was reinvented by Fred Fredericks and made to be equal.

5. Lady Sentinel

Powers/Abilities: Supreme technological proficiency

Lady Sentinel appears in the comic book, Youngblood. She’s the sister of the tech wiz, Sentinel, and has similar abilities. She crafted her own exoskeleton and, in the comic book, is recognized by Obama’s administration. She joins the campaign trail to contribute to the administration’s appeal and protection.

6. Michonne

Powers/Abilities: Sword fighting, fencing

You may recognize this character from the television show The Walking Dead. The show is actually based on the 2005 comic book. Michonne fenced as a hobby as a child but when the undead return, she revisits the sword to cut the jaws and limbs off of her boyfriend and his friend after they’re infected. To ward off any other zombies, she drags them around in chains. After fleeing to safety and watching a new boyfriend get murdered by a governor, Michonne relocates to a territory where there is no undead.

7. Elijah Jones

Powers/Abilities: Armed combat

In line with Michonne, Elijah Jones is a former slave with remaining anger. He channels that anger to battle the undead that seems to be crawling from all four corners. Elijah is representative of the surreality of immediate immersion after sustained trauma. In many ways, those "undead" are symbols of the demons or memories that remain in the subconscious after the conditions of slavery.

8. Ebon

Powers/Abilities: Super strength, super speed, flight

Valentine Jones is the descendant of Jom, a man who came to live amongst earthlings generations before him. His ancestor came to Earth to look after mankind eons earlier but died around the time that they “learned” war. Valentine felt lost after the death of his mother but Oju, a black man from another planet, tells Valentine that he is the ancestor of Jom and gives him access to his powers that are similar to Superman’s own. Valentine rechristens himself "Ebon" and continues the work of his ancestor. Ebon is considered the first independent black superhero and was the first comic book to be written by an all-black team.

9. Megaton

Powers/Abilities: Recuperative powers, super stamina, superhuman strength

Megaton is the namesake comic book of the Megaton Comics company. The main character, Matthew Scott, was born with myriad irregularities including two hearts and a hyperactive circulatory system, though they never posed any health risks. He toured with circuses and spent most of his childhood performing. But his hearts began to beat out of sync. A scientist proposed to help him and others like him and when he was the only subject to come out of the experiment alive, he became a superhero.

10. Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline

Powers/Abilities: Street fighting skills, thorough knowledge of law

Antonio Valor follows in the footsteps of his father. Presented with opportunities to navigate the political system, he opts instead to protect the world by his own hands. Valor decides against monetary rewards for the sake of the greater good. His powers aren’t supernatural but they are necessary. Brotherman Comics artwork and memorabilia are on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. His character was meant to promote knowledge as a strategy for protection.

11. Icon

Powers/Abilities: Superhuman strength, unlimited stamina

Icon’s alien ship crash-landed on Earth during American slavery on a cotton plantation. Alien in form, his life pod duplicated the DNA of the closest lifeform, the woman who’d become his Earth mother. He grew to love her and his siblings. Because he was young when he arrived, he was not entirely cognizant of his powers but when he learned that he had them, he used them to lighten the loads of the slaves.

Icon is immortal and has lived through all of the major American events such as the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Harlem Renaissance. He was active in them all. He acquired wealth and grew distant from society, watching his loved ones die off but amid the Harlem Renaissance, he fell in love with Estelle Jackson, another superhero, and had a child. As a superhero, his duty was to protect the rights and safety of blacks.

12. Rapture

Powers/Abilities: Harnessing electrostatic energy

Sharona Jones was a normal woman, kidnapped by Dr. Nirvana, who was trying to create superpowers similar to those possessed by Mighty Man and used the homeless as guinea pigs. All of the test subjects died, but Sharona lived. And the experiment, instead, left Nirvana in critical condition. She became Rapture and her power was generating electricity. She later joined the police force.

13. Spirit

Powers/Abilities: Flight, martial arts, astral projection

Hey Everyone! I want to say from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for supporting my comic book. I recently introduce my comic book character “Spirit” the first female Haitian superhero. I am blessed to have made it this far. To everyone who has been asking how to purchase a book. Please click on the link in my bio. Much Love thanks #RedBand #SpiritBoy #Haiti #Haitian #spiritsdestinycomics #comics #comicbooks #animation #blacksuperhero #comic #comicbooks #comicarts #comicpanel #sequentialart #spiritsdestiny #spiritsdestinycomics #superhero #superheroes #superherione #superheroine #blacksuperhero #blacksuperheroes #comicfan #comicbookfan #haitiansuperhero #indiecomics #toonboom #cartoons #2danimation #haitian #haitiansuperhero #haitiansuperheroine #ShortFuseRedBand

A post shared by Dorphise Jean (@spiritsdestinycomics) on

Destiny Mitsu Jean is just another troubled teen to the rest of the world. She's distant and can be lethargic but it's all a response to childhood abuse. She withholds the information from her mother and grandmother for a long time but she tells them, eventually. She's close to her grandmother, the matriarch, but her relationship with her mother is cleaved. Still, Destiny's mother, a Navy SEAL, nearly beat them to death, and her grandmother cast a spell on them. On an unsupervised and forbidden trip to her mother's lab, Destiny has an accident and chemicals leave her altered irreversibly. Grateful for having lived and now able to communicate with the spirit realm, she uses that connection to rid her community of injustice.

14. June X11

Powers/Abilities: Teleportation, telepathy, super strength, invisibility

June doesn’t have any true origin story. All people know is that he’s from Nigeria. His only mission is to bring peace wherever there is turmoil. Not exactly defined as a superhero, he’s on a continued quest for equality and brings about justice when he finds that it's disrupted. The hero's theme of unity is very likely borrowed from the June 12 election of President MKO Abiola in Nigeria. For the first time in a decade, the people voted together, no matter their region and no matter their tribe, to protest the lengthy military coup. June XII is a reminder that the country is a democracy. For that reason, the hero is, himself, a physical manifestation of Justice.

15. Wise Son

Powers/Abilities: Super intelligence, injury resistance

As a member of the Blood Syndicate of Dakota City, Wise Son planned to meet with fellow gang members and opposition for a final war called the “Big Bang,” but police came to stop the battle before it could begin. Gangs were sprayed with a tear gas made with Quantum Juice, killing many and giving powers to the surviving few. Wise Son went down almost immediately but when he woke up, he saw and heard the cops so he ran. Eventually, he bumped into those cops and thought that was it. But their van blew up and he found himself underneath it, unharmed. He then realized that he was indestructible and decided to count his blessings and protect the city. Eventually, he partners with Icon.

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8 Best Samples From Megan Thee Stallion, Tyler The Creator And DJ Khaled's Projects

Megan Thee Stallion, DJ Khaled and Tyler, The Creator have more in common than just a release date. The artists also know a thing or two about thoughtful sampling.

Their projects, which all happen to be some of their best efforts, find inspiration from 70s soul and deep 90s underground jams. Jackson 5, Jay-Z and Sizzla were sampled on DJ Khaled's previous release Grateful, but with Father of Asahd, the producer and proud dad jumps back into the crates. This time around, modern hits are used like Ms. Lauryn Hill's "To Zion" and Outkast's "Ms. Jackson."

Megan Thee Stallion's samples also prove her rhymes aren't the only thing fans should pay close attention to.

Check out some of our favorite samples from this week's releases below.

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Megan Thee Stallion- Fever 

1. "Hood Rat S**t"

Sample: Latarian Milton's Viral Video (2013)

Plucked from the wonderful world of viral videos, Megan uses the then 7-year-old's mischevious joy ride to accurately describe how she rolls with her crew.

2. "Pimpin"

Sample: DJ Zirk & Tha 2 Thick Family featuring 8Ball & MJG and Kilo-g  "Azz Out" (1996) 

There's something to be said about Megan's very clever samples. The chorus to the late 90s underground gem stems from southern legends like Tennesee's 8Ball and MJG along with NOLA's own Kilo-g. Megan grabs a few bars from the track and puts her own twist on them for the chorus: "Stick 'em up, stick 'em up, raise 'em up, raise 'em up Drop it off in his fucking face just to saw it off/Gotta get my a** ate, gotta make that a** shake/Gotta swipe this ni**a card so much they had to call the bank"

3. "Simon Says" featuring Juicy J 

Samples: Billy Paul, "Me And Mrs. Jones" (1972), "Looking For Tha Chewin,'" DJ Paul (Ft. 8Ball, DJ Zirk, Kilo-G, Kingpin Skinny Pimp & MJG) (1992)

Another variation of the aforementioned track is also heard on her collaboration with southern legend Juicy J. The soft intro by way of Bill Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones" also offers a soulful touch to the track.

DJ Khaled- Father of Asahd

4. "Holy Mountian" featuring Buju Banton, Sizzla, Mavado and 070 Shake) 

Sample: "One Spliff a Day," Billy Boyo (1981) 

Boyo's legendary riddim has been used by a bevy of artists including SiR and Wiz Khalifa but Khaled's curation of the track with some of the biggest names in reggae takes it to another level. It also doesn't hurt that his longtime friend and icon Banton opens the album.

5. "Just Us" featuring SZA 

Sample: "Ms. Jackson," Outkast (2001) 

This sample definitely raises the eyebrows, but the careful loop paired with SZA's sing-rap flow makes it worth a listen.

6. "Holy Ground" featuring Buju Banton 

Samples: "To Zion," Ms. Lauryn Hill and Carlos Santana (1999) 

Grand opening, grand closing. Banton closes out the album with soul-baring lyrics and a thoughtful sample to match. Carlos Santana's chords from the original track give the song a sentimental feel along with Banton's lyrics about mass incarceration, cultural warfare and spiritual freedom.

Tyler, The Creator- IGOR

7. "A BOY IS A GUN" 

Samples: "Bound," Ponderosa Twins Plus One (1971) 

Tyler might have gotten inspiration to sample this song from Kanye West (Bound 2), but his take is smooth and subtle as he navigates through love and heartbreak.

8. "ARE WE STILL FRIENDS" featuring Pharell Williams 

Samples: "Dream," Al Green (1977) 

Underneath IGOR's tough exterior lies a gentle soul. The placement of Al Green's "Dream," on the latter end of the album takes the listener on a starry love high. Pharrell and Tyler allow the sample to act as a skeleton for the song as they point out how to keep love alive.

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Issa Vibe: The Best Songs To Fit Your Different 4/20 Sessions

April 20th isn’t a national holiday, but it might as well be.

Although recreational marijuana use is only legal in 10 states, the U.S. is home to approximately 35 million regular users of cannabis, according to a survey done by Yahoo News and Marist University. That's 10.6 percent of the American population and while that may seem minuscule, the numbers are growing daily and it's understandable.

Weed has now become a staple of American culture; it's become a legitimate business in the states where it's legal, it's now part of the way people socialize, and better yet it's a theme in some of the hottest music out today. "Kush" has been included in some of the hardest verses that millennials and generation-z kids have heard in their lifetime.

Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg, amazing emcees in their own right, are also widely known for their love of the green plant. Wiz's biggest album, Rolling Papers is clearly influenced by weed and along with the Snoop Dogg-assisted "Young, Wild & Free" is all about that green positivity.

There's an endless list of hits about rolling up a joint, hitting it and passing it, but what about moods? Whether it's a bowl, a blunt or an edible weed, can leave people feeling a variety of ways and that all can be traced to a certain strand of weed someone's inhaling, or the mood they're already.

Regardless, it's important to be prepared and have music ready to match whatever feelings marijuana concocts; and that's why VIBE compiled an adequate list of songs for each of the main pot moods.

So on this 4/20, sit back, relax, smoke and find the songs that suit the vibe.

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The "Let Me Chill Out" Mood 

Sometimes the best way to come down from an over the top high is to play some tunes with a soft beat and a light voice. The best artists in the game right now, like Jhené Aiko for instance, have created that sound that's perfect for when relaxation is needed, so of course, she made the list.  These are the top four songs that can help anyone kick back and relax if a pull from a joint just isn't hitting the right way.

"Blue Dream" by Jhené Aiko "Muse" by Afro Nostalgia "Summer Games" by Drake "LOVE." by Kendrick Lamar (feat. Zacari) The Bad B*tch Hours or "Top Two and I'm Not Two" Mood 

You look around the room and realize: you're top two and you're not two in it. All it took was one or a couple of puffs and then a pass to make you feel pretty good about yourself. One of the main upsides to smoking that's constantly mentioned in the media is that it can help alleviate chronic pain, well, another positive to it is that it can leave you feeling sexy, sensual and everything in between.

This is that high that can make you feel that you're significant other is lucky to have you, and subsequently makes you hit them up, that tells you: you're single and ready to mingle. It's a smoking session that lets you know: if you shoot your shot now, you'll score and it's a session that you want music playing that only affirms how sultry and seductive you feel. If this is how 4/20 leaves you feeling, putting on some RiRi or even Young Thug can effectively get you 'in your bag.'

"Same Ol' Mistakes" by Rihanna "Tyrant" by Kali Uchis (feat. Jorja Smith) "Worth It" by Young Thug "Smoke Break" by Chance the Rapper (feat. Future) The "Head in the Clouds" Mood 

More often than not, edibles have the power of leaving people spaced out and speaking slowly, after consuming them. Sometimes smoking weed, or hotboxing with friends is a silent event. Either everyone's consumed by their phones, or every other person has been looking at a nonexistent spot on the wall for the past 15 minutes.

Regardless this isn't the high where people want to hear "Act Up" by City Girls, no matter how much they love them. No, this is the high where people need music that takes them on a journey. Songs where the production is out of this world and it seems like the artist specifically made the song for a smoke session like no other. Travis Scott's ASTROWORLD is full of tracks with that vibe, and Lil' Wayne, a weed connoisseur of his own, has songs that fulfill that need too. Smoke a bit and let the weed do its thing.

"ASTROTHUNDER" by Travis Scott "I Feel Like Dying" by Lil' Wayne "Hyyer" by Kid Cudi "St. Tropez" by J. Cole The "Got the Giggles" Mood 

This is when the blunt hits perfectly and there's nothing wrong in the world or when the bowl did its' job and leaves everyone feeling silly. A "feel good high" is the best way to describe and the best way to live through that kind of smoke session is to listen to some "feel good music." These are the songs that can have people swaying unknowingly to its' beat, or the tracks that leave people smiling from ear to ear. This is the session that lets people know that "this is it chief," and here are the best songs to go along with it.

"Pass the Vibes" by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment "Dreamcatcher" by Metro Boomin' (feat. Swae Lee & Travis Scott) "It's a Vibe" by 2 Chainz (feat. Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz & Jhené Aiko) "Binz" by Solange
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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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