Charlamagne tha God to create new original comics to "amplify Black and brown narratives"

Darkstorm art by Ken Lashley
Darkstorm art by Ken Lashley (Image credit: Black Privilege Publishing)

Throughout his career as a bestselling author, radio personality, and talk show host, Larry "Charlamagne Tha God" McKelvey has always maintained his love for comic books. Now, Charlamagne has decided to publish comics of his own, as a "strategic expansion of his media empire."

Larry "Charlamagne Tha God" McKelvey (Image credit: Larry "Charlamagne Tha God" McKelvey)

Charlamagne plans to create new lines of comic books and graphic novels, "filled with Black and Brown GOD Level superheroes," according to a press release.

Charlamagne is taking a two-pronged approach to publishing original comics. The first is through his own publishing house, Black Privilege Publishing [BPP], an offshoot of Simon & Schuster. BPP will publish the original graphic novel Darkstorm, co-created by comic book writer and screenwriter Kevin Grevioux.

Grevioux, who has worked with DC, Marvel, Valiant, and more is perhaps best known for creating the original story for the Underworld horror/action franchise and co-writing the original's screenplay. He also acted in the original film.

A "signature superhero epic," Charlamagne and Grevioux's first original IP to be published as graphic novels and comics Darkstorm is about a reluctant superhero of the same name who struggles with PTSD that is "projected as an anti-hero except to those that know him best."

Charlamagne and Grevioux's projects will reflect Black Privilege Publishing's mission to "amplify Black and brown narratives."

Darkstorm is illustrated by artist Ken Lashley.

Darkstorm (Image credit: Black Privilege Publishing)

"When you get the opportunity to work on some great characters you jump at the chance," says Lashley. "l am drawn to strong characters of color, and there are not many in mainstream comics, but Darkstorm is just that. It's also created by Kevin Grevioux who is a very talented writer and created another powerful character in The Blue Marvel, so it's a win-win... it's very exciting."

"The world's really not ready for what we have in store," says Grevioux about Darkstorm.

Charlamagne's other comic book project is called The Vindicators, which is about a diverse superhero team with an "uber-realistic origin basis that is relatable even against the backdrop of a dystopian future, a backdrop that is admittedly bleak." 

That title will be published through AWA Studios, founded by former Marvel executives Bill Jemas and Axel Alonso that has featured the talents of industry veterans like J. Michael Straczynski, Frank Cho, and Garth Ennis.

"[Charlamagne's] passion for comics was abundantly clear when we met him," says Jemas. "But what truly blew us away was his handle on comic storytelling. We look forward to working with him and bringing his amazing concepts and vision to life starting with The Vindicators."

The Vindicators (Image credit: AWA Studios)

"If you know anything about me, then you know how much I love comics. I'm the guy who got Wolverine holding a microphone tattooed on his arm when he was 17 because of my love of comics," says Charlamagne. 

"Partnering with Kevin Grevioux to present this new universe, filled with Black and Brown GOD Level superheroes is a dream come true. A lot of the black superheroes I loved growing up were street level and that's cool, but I want to see Omega Level superheroes that look like me and people around me and that's exactly what we are giving you with Darkstorm and The Vindicators."

No release dates have been announced for Darkstorm or The Vindicators.

Charlamagne is setting out to create a non-Marvel, non-DC superhero universe, but he's not the first to do so. Check out Newsarama's list of the best other superhero universes to read more.

Grant DeArmitt
Freelance writer

Grant DeArmitt is a NYC-based writer and editor who regularly contributes bylines to Newsarama. Grant is a horror aficionado, writing about the genre for Nightmare on Film Street, and has written features, reviews, and interviews for the likes of PanelxPanel and Monkeys Fighting Robots. Grant says he probably isn't a werewolf… but you can never be too careful. 

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