Nigeria is a country that is usually associated with colourful adventures, from jollof rice to masquerade jumping. But now it is also connected to a new brand of superheroes, inspired from Batman and Superman.
A local startup from Lagos, Nigeria that made its debut in 2013 to address a gap space in their market over non-existent African superhero tales, decided to sketch out a new generation of localised avengers. The founder, Jide Martin, as a young child would always base all of his decisions in life re-imagining it in Gotham City or Metropolis and what either of the superheroes that call it home, would do if they were faced with such a situation.
The primary character is Guardian Prime, who hides his identity from the public. A fashion designer by daylight, and a crusader by night, the comic has evoked sentiments such that bad things only happen, according to Prime, when people stand by and do nothing and this is not what a Nigerian is. Nigeria is warped with a lot of troubles and thus it needs a superhero: this is where Guardian Prime comes in. He was drawn with that thought in mind, that he is a hero, who will see through every trouble if you have faith in what you do, if you have faith that what you do will make a difference to Nigeria and enshrine the country in the minds of people, around the globe.
There is also Hero Generation, filled with a myriad of characters, each displaying different kinds of powers and abilities. Max Speed is a rich boy that has an anger management problem that is nothing worth joking about, PowerBoy is a boy from the military and quite tough, and Nutech is a nerd. Although, Hero Generation is most certainly informative, the idea of Guardian Prime as the ultimate superhero of Nigeria sounds more appealing because the land needs one strong hero that Nigerians can put their trust in and identify with in times of grave trouble.
Hero Generation is certainly colourful enough because of the character depiction there: glorified identities like that do exist in the world and they are identified as superheroes. However, Guardian Prime is the essence of Nigeria – it is what makes people recognize Nigeria as a country that has the power to do something about the wrongs in their African society, rather than act helpless because they are alone in the fight against the bad guys. As an alternate course of history in Nigeria, sometimes the superhero can also be the bad guy: this is demonstrated in Eru, a very interesting bad guy. Eru is a lecturer, who works in the daytime in Lagos University but as night comes he distorts into the very definition of everything scary in the world. Why? Eru is tied to the ground by a promise that he must terrorise the night and punish innocent people.