My black super hero Flex Hectic has a nemesis that fits the description of an all around hustler with ambitions to basically pimp the whole world through high stakes gambling! In an article that I once read the topic of discussion was why black super heroes do not sell. With the revenues earned from Superman, Spiderman, Popeye, and even The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles it does not seem that this should be a problem except for one thing... are we as black men making ourselves out to be the hero personified? When we examine our movies, our music and our overall performance in the media world are we giving examples of what a stand up guy or gal is? Super heroes are often self portraits of its' creator or influenced by what we see in real life and then artistically transferred to the art form of our choosing. Superman does everything he can to make sure Lois Lane is safe. Spiderman actually forgoes his own virginity for three movies while chasing only Mary Jane. Popeye is righteously pursuing the most unattractive woman in colored print. The list of white male super heroes getting cats stuck out of the tree, helping old ladies across the street and stopping natural disasters from wiping out mankind is vast compared to their black counterparts. There is no way that I will blame Marvel, DC, Hollywood or even BET for why we are not super hero conscious. As I sat across the table from Joe Kubert in an admissions interview for his school of cartooning in Dover, New Jersey I could not help but stare at a large poster in the room of Superman squaring off with The Greatest Muhammad Ali! The audacity of anyone to think that even a gifted athlete could get at The Man of Steel in a fair fight minus the kryptonite was ridiculous to me at first. Granted Superman does not really exist in real life but let's be real. It for me was the beginning of my delving into the idea of a black super hero and Ali was in an era that had a lot of black men playing super heroes through civil rights movements. The problem... there are so few inspirations for a black super hero too hope to survive in a sea of heavily promoted white super heroes. Which brings me to my point. The American Gangster!I am not picking a fight with Denzel Washington's movie, Frank Lucas' life story, Jay-z' album or even BET which has a show called American Gangster. Just exactly what do we really want to be? As we act, rap, sing, perform or get our hustle on do we give a damn about our image at all? If being a super hero required us to do the little things like chivalry, manners, chastity and yes living a clean lifestyle to the best of our abilities are we up to it? Or is the lure of the high rolling hustler, pimp, gang banger, thug, drug dealer, mack daddy and over all bad guy too strong? If the safety and growth of the entire black community depended upon us going head up against the scourge of our community even if it were our own brothers and sisters would you put on the cape and tights and crusade against this? Yes I know when I post this in cyberspace it may start fights, but being a super hero aint' easy! I Am Flex Hectic!

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