Graphic artist Markus Prime has released a book of illustrations that reimagines beloved heroes as black women. B.R.U.H.: Black Renditions of Universal Heroes plays on iconic characters like Superman, Robin, and Ash Ketchum, swapping out their gender and their race. Prime told Broadly that he considered creating a cast of original black, female heroes, but ultimately decided that toying with existing characters was a more effective way of sparking conversations about representation in popular culture. “I just wanted to put the question out there: What if some of the most popular cartoons and heroes that we grew up watching, what if they were women of color?” he said. “How would that affect the industry, how would that affect us as a society now?”
But Prime wants to do more than raise questions; he believes that seeing black women represented in graphic novels and on screen can shape the hopes and aspirations of young girls of color. In conversation with Broadly, he posited that our culture could have been very different if the Ninja Turtles’ April O’Neill had been black. “Ninja Turtles is already one of the most popular cartoons of all time, so just imagine how many black girls probably would have wanted to become news reporters, or how many girls would’ve been like, ‘I want to be an actress!’ because they saw a black woman featured in some of the most popular cartoons and movies in the country,” he said. “That little change? I really believe it could’ve changed the entire culture.”
Read the full story at Broadly.