Minorities in comics and animation: Darkblade (“Love and Capes”)

TDarkbladehis week’s entry comes from the world of independent comics, though still involves the superhero genre. Darkblade (real name: Paul LaCroix) is an African-American superhero who appears in Thom Zahler’s “Love and Capes,” a “romantic comedy”-styled superhero series. Darkblade first appeared in “Love and Capes” #1. (Some SPOILERS below…)

Darkblade acts as the series’ Batman-analogue, occupying the same non-superpowered-but-highly-skilled “creature of the night” niche that Bats does. Also like Batman, Darkblade’s alter-ego is a millionaire playboy/corporate executive named Paul LeCroix. Similar to Batman and Superman’s friendship, Paul’s best friend is Mark, a.k.a. “the Crusader,” the series’ Superman-analogue. Paul’s also friends with Abby’s younger sister (and Mark’s sister-in-law) Charlotte.

Over the course of the original series, as well as in the recent “Love and Capes: Ever After” miniseries, we learn more about Paul’s past. Paul apparently once had a Tony Stark-like out-of-control playboy nature, prompting his father to have Paul kidnapped by warrior monks (yep, you read that correctly) and put through training/reform, causing some consternation between the two. Paul’s also apparently a legacy hero, as he’s not the first Darkblade.

Paul shares the same dedication to superheroics as his friend Mark; he also has a sarcastic sense of humor. Paul’s moneyed background also seems to influence some of  his actions and views, such as giving Mark and Abby an “inexpensive” housewarming present of a fancy home entertainment system.

Darkblade, along with the Crusader, is a member of the “Liberty League” (read: Justice League of America) alongside Amazonia. Amazonia is the series’ Wonder Woman stand-in and former girlfriend of Mark. Later in the series’ run, Amazonia begins to date Darkblade, leading to some humorous (and character developing) moments for both.

While the recent miniseries has ended, I’ll assume we’ve not seen the last of Darkblade (nor his friends Mark and Abby).

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