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Applause is a weekly show highlighting Northeast Ohio’s vibrant arts and culture scene. From interviews with artists to special musical performances, the show spotlights creative people in our community and beyond. Watch new episodes here or on WVIZ Ideastream Public Media Fridays at 8:30 p.m. Social: Facebook | Twitter

Afro-Archetypes: A Team of Black Superheroes

For nearly as long as comic book superheroes have been around, characters like Batman, Wonder Woman and Captain America have come together to form super-teams, like the Justice League, Teen Titans and the Avengers. Often, heroes of color weren’t on the roster. Cleveland writer Christopher Appling and illustrator Alonzo Washington are changing that with a new comic book, "Afro-Archetypes," featuring an all-black team of superheroes.

Afro-Archetypes writer, Christopher Appling

Self-published under the banner Pride Comics, the Archetypes consist of eight black individuals from seven different time periods in U.S. history.  The periods range from the Great Depression to the civil rights movement to the disco era. Each member’s codename and super-powers align with the time that they come from. Appling said he "wanted to create a comic that would be both based on actual black history and be culturally-significant and relevant.” 

Afro-Archetypes illustrator, Alonzo Washington

Afro-Archetypes' target audience is African-American males. Appling said the goal of their Cleveland-based, independently-owned comic book company, Pride Comics, is to "edu-tain."