The seventh edition of Lagos Comic-con holds this Saturday, serving as an opportunity to expand the discussion about a little-known part of contemporary Nigerian pop culture – comic books. It is also an opportunity to shine a light on contemporary African superheroes, created by African writers.
Lagos has been described as the new breeding ground for superhero stories, expected to eventually displace locations like Gotham, New York, Metropolis that have long been the darling of comic book writers and publishers.
By blending the Nigerian flavour, tasteful design and storytelling, Nigerian superheroes are simply doing the Lord’s work in providing a rich staple for our growing appetite.
So, ahead of Lagos Comic-con at the Landmark Event Center, here are top five comic books and graphic novels to pick up:
- Blessing in Disguise
Written by the award-winning fantasy writer, Nnedi Okorafor, Blessing in Disguise is an eight-page comic book set in Lagos. It introduces the superhero Ngozi to the Venomverse – thus making her the first Nigerian superhero and the comic the first from the Marvel Universe to be set in Nigeria.
Okoroafor is also writing a comic book on the Black Panther series for Marvel.
- The Vanguards
Created and published by Comic Republic, a Nigerian comic book publishing founded in 2013 by Jide Martins, The Vanguards is the African version of The Avengers as it features a team of superheroes working out of Africa, doing good and keeping us all safe.
- E.X.O. – The Legend of Wale Williams Part One
Set in the future, The Legend of Wale Williams is published by Roye Okupe’s YouNeek Studios. It could easily be called the Nigerian hybrid of the ultra-rich Marvel superhero, Iron Man, and D.C superhero, Batman.
This graphic novel set in Lagoon City, Nigeria, “follows the journey of Wale Williams, an impetuous young man who inherits a suit with superpowers after his father goes missing”.
- Ireti Bidemi
Unapologetically badass, Ireti Bidemi is the Ibadan superhero we’ve all been waiting for. Published by Jide Martin’s Comic Republic, Ireti Bidemi tells a story about the eponymous life of a female University of Ibadan student who possesses superpowers and might be the reincarnation of the great Ireti Moremi of Ife Kingdom.
- Strike Guard
Rising quickly through the ranks of African superheroes, Strike Vortex (published by the Vortex comics) tells the story of Abolaji Coker who goes from being a University of Lagos undergraduate to a superhero with spiritual abilities.