Is there a comic book, animation, or any other media where Superman is depicted as being an African American?

I know that there are alternate universes where he is, for example, a Soviet, but I'm more interested if there's a depiction of a black Superman.

And I'm even more interested if in this universe he lives in the USA.

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    If Cavill leaves DCEU, Warner Bros. is planning to feature an African-American as Superman. I was going to ask the same question yesterday after the news broke out.. – Captain Marvel Sep 13 at 21:37
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    "Black" != "African American" – Azor Ahai Sep 14 at 2:04
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    I prefer African-Kryptonian – Nathan Cooper Sep 14 at 7:36
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    @FernandoRibeiro No problem. "Black American" or even "black and American" more accurately describes what you're after, especially since Superman isn't ethnically African. Calling every black person "African American" leaves out people of Carribean descent for example. – Azor Ahai Sep 14 at 18:54
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    As a white American, I would never use the term "Black American". That sounds like a minefield. Even though your logic is fine, the language is heavily connotative in the US. If you don't like it, don't get mad at me. I'm just saying it sounds like a "look over both shoulders before you say it" kind of term (even though its purely and logically not, but the connotations are bad). – Jamie Clinton Sep 14 at 19:36
up vote 50 down vote accepted

There are at least five.

Sunshine Superman

First appeared in Animal Man #23 (1990), as an illusion of sorts (generated by Psycho-Pirate's mask), along with other twisted versions of known characters. Then, his nationality is uncertain.

Sunshine Superman

Kal-El of Earth D

Featured in Legends of the DC Universe: Crisis on Infinite Earths (1999).

This one is part of the "Justice Alliance of America". "America" being often used as a (mistaken) shortcut for "USA" by writers, I would say there is a chance this Superman was an USA citizen too.

Kal-El of Earth D

Kalel of Earth-23

Introduced in Final Crisis (2009).

Also known as Calvin Ellis, and plenty from the USA, which he is President of!

Kalel Earth 23

This is indeed a nod to Barack Obama, as revealed in this Daily Record interview of writer Grant Morrison:

Grant created the characters for the last instalment of DC Comics series Final Crisis 7.

He was inspired by a joke Obama made in a speech - in which he denied he was from Superman's home planet Krypton - and a report that Beyonce wants to play a superhero on screen.

Grant told the Record: "I wanted to do something special for the last part of this huge comic book series.

"As I was writing it, I heard Obama making a joke about being born on the planet Krypton and being sent to Earth by his father Jor-El to save the world.

"I thought it would be a fitting end to all the darkness in America recently.

"All the comics have been dealing with darkness recently and, having defeated evil, it's now time to celebrate."

The comic, which comes out in the UK today, shows the president in the White House's Oval Office as he prepares to transform into his superhero alter-ego.

Grant, who controversially killed off Batman last year for the comic series, added: "In this issue, we don't see him flying to Scotland - but who knows in future editions?

"I hope to do more things with the Obama character next year."

Val-Zod of Earth-2

Who was adopted by the house of El, and took the Superman mantra afterwards.

As for his Earth time, he is first encountered beneath Arkham Base, after having spent a good chunk of his early life in his space capsule. I'm no law expert, but I think that qualifies as USA citizen (or at least resident). As Gaultheria rightly points in a comment though,

I think that Val-Zod, a recent immigrant to Earth whom I believe never took on American citizenship or a secret identity as a human, technically doesn't meet either the "African" or "American" criteria.

He would then belong in the list as "a depiction of a black Superman", as mentioned in the question's body.

Val-Zod

Harvey Dent

Yes, you read that right. You learn something every day, I guess! In the Tangent Comics (1997), Harvey Dent was Black, and discovered he had powers. He reached out to help citizens, which in turn named him Superman. He lived in New York.

Harvey Dent as Superman

Also worth noticing that some of the above made an appearance in the Supermen of the Multiverse panel below. Some extra Supermen are a bit too blurry to be sure they're black, but it's a possibility.

Supermen of the Multiverse

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    Kalel of Earth-23 is basically "What if Obama was Superman?" :) Thanks for the answer, now I'll take a look into the story of each of them. – FernandoRibeiro Sep 13 at 20:15
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    There's also the one that was killed by Superboy Prime at the Fortress of Solitude along with Lois, during his Multiverse rampage. – Petersaber Sep 13 at 20:29
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    The number of them is quite surprising, to be honest. I was expecting two or maybe three, but we are already on 5. I asked this question because of the backlash that occurred due to the rumor that Michael B. Jordan might play Superman after Henry Cavill was dismissed from the role in the DCEU. – FernandoRibeiro Sep 13 at 20:39
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    I think that Val-Zod, a recent immigrant to Earth whom I believe never took on American citizenship or a secret identity as a human, technically doesn't meet either the "African" or "American" criteria. I'd say that he still belongs on the list, but as an honourable mention. – Gaultheria Sep 13 at 20:57
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    "America" is not a "mistaken shortcut" for "USA". The USA is the only place or country that people call "America", lots of people call it that, and no one refers to the continents together as "America" (they're the Americas, or North America and South America). America does indeed mean the USA, and that's correct. Language is defined by usage not technicalities. – only_pro Sep 14 at 15:48

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