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Captain South Africa returns to Comic Con Cape Town

Captain South Africa comic book on display during the Comic Con Cape Town on April 27, 2023.   -  
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South Africa

Meet Captain South Africa who’d rather not punch criminals "because that doesn’t end crime," her creator says.

Bill Masuku was inspired by student protests which shook South Africa starting 2015 when he was still at university.

Fast forward a few years, he's returned to the Cape Town Comic Convention with his black super hero who wears the colours of South Africa's flag.

"She is a political superhero, non - violent. One of the most difficult things to write because super heroism by nature is a violent genre," he said.

"Within this, I was inspired by the people I went to university with. By these protests and movements that asked for political change that didn’t incite violence and by the women I was inspired by, I had to tell their story in a way that I knew how and it was through comic books."

Some 5,000 copies of Captain South Africa have been sold and 10 volumes published.

Bill Masuku who lives between Zimbabwe and South Africa happily attends the convention where he gets to meet readers. Discussion and debate sometime arouse as some people challenged the indirect connexion of Captain South Africa to Marvel Comics famous hero Captain America.

"I want multiple reactions to it, one of them which may not be favourable to me," Masuku said.

"I want people to see this and say this doesn’t look like me; we can do better, right. Absolutely, I want them to be like uh, this is more Black American we have absorbed some stuff from western comic books."

Growing visibility

Abigail Daniels, a student is dressed as a Valkyrie [Editor's note: female warrior of the Norse mythology, which was for example portrayed in the movie "Thor"]. The 23-year-old wouldn't have missed the four-day convention ending Sunday (Apr.30).

She grew up loving comics and rejoices at the growing visibility of the community.

"I definitely think it’s long overdue. We have had such a big community here that has gone unnoticed for years and then when comic con first came to Joburg (ed. Johannesburg) I think that was like the first kind of realisation of the extent of the community here."

Comic Con Cape Town gathers hundreds of comics lovers and attracts new comers. The author of the first South African comic super hero known as Kwezi believes the demand for heroes from the continent is growing.

"They are the window into South Africa as it is, the culture in there. I think characters is like having a mascot that speaks of where he comes from, he or she comes from. So I feel it’s important because they’re an addition to a bigger world."

Comic Con Cape Town focusses on all elements of Pop Culture and attracts International & local comic artists, film and TV celebrities and cosplayers to South Africa.

Lagos, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya have been running their own "comic con" festivals for several years.

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