The panel's origin story begins with Black History Month back in February, when TV Guide presented The Rise of Black Superheroes, an in-depth look at TV's Black superheroes, past and present: The Pierces of Black Lightning, the pint-sized star of Raising Dion, Sister Night (Regina King) of HBO's Watchmen, and Iris West (Candice Patton) of The Flash, and many more. We also ranked the best Black superheroes of all time, made a wish list of Black superheroes who deserve their own show, and had an illuminating conversation with Cheo Hodari Coker, executive producer and showrunner of Luke Cage, about what he'd have done for Season 3 had the series continued.
Eight months later, the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have sparked global protests and a reckoning with long-simmering racial injustice. TV Guide wanted to keep the conversation going, so we partnered with New York Comic Con to bring together leading TV and film voices for a panel focusing specifically on Black women superheroes. (We previously hosted a similar conversation as part of ReedPop's Metaverse event.) The panel, titled “Black Superheroes: Are Black Women Finally Flying High?” features four influential Black women: Aïda Croal, a writer/producer on shows including Luke Cage and Jessica Jones; Carrie Bernans, an actor and stuntwoman who was one of the Dora Milaje in Black Panther; Karama Horne, aka theblerdgurl, a culture journalist and influencer in the geek space; and Emmy-winning director and producer Neema Barnette, who's directed on numerous shows including Black Lightning, Raising Dion, Luke Cage, and many more. During their enlightening and poignant talk, the panelists celebrated the great leaps forward Black women superheroes have made, and opened up about the work that still needs to be done. They're smart, funny, and at times emotional, making for a can't-miss conversation, which you can watch above.