The Last Word on the Last Pantheon

Tade Thompson

Nick Wood

 

Whenever a new African superhero or comic is announced, I prepare myself to be irritated. The inevitable reviews or interviews will no doubt say something like this is the first superhero from the Dark Continent or Africa is finally opening up to the science fiction world or some such. It irritates me that they do not research the topic before writing the piece. There have been African superheroes since the early 70s.

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On February 18, 1979 in Algiers, it snowed in the Sahara for about an hour. This factoid remained in my head for decades, but I always thought it would be a good starting point for a story. Two gods battling it out and hitting each other so hard that for a time the weather becomes deranged.

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This guy called Nick Wood wrote an article on an African superhero called Mighty Man and he was speaking my language. Nick and I had been in the AfroSF Anthology, and we both belonged to The Afro-Punk Collective Facebook group, so in 2013 I reached out to him. We had a long discussion about superheroes and African history and comics. The germ of the idea for The Last Pantheon came when Nick toyed with the idea of writing an article about the lost African superheroes. That evolved into us deciding to write a story together. We didn’t talk of length, but it was to be about deconstructing the African hero and fully illustrated. Ahh, ambition. How cute. That didn’t happen.