Comic book-based films are still dominating at movie theaters and at this point—they are more than a trend. It’s completely understandable as comic books at their basis allow everyone—young, old, boys and girls to escape into a world where anything is possible. Devyn Nicole is one of these visionaries, who is creating a new comic book universe with a superheroine that she hopes will continue to help girls be inspired.
“I didn’t think I had the ‘credentials’ to create a superhero, but that didn’t stop the ideas from flowing,” said Nicole. “Honestly, I was never into comic books, that’s the funny part.
“I was never into superhero movies or comics so when the idea of Zara came to me, I second guessed the idea—more times than I can count.
“The ideas kept coming to me, that’s when I knew I had to move forward with it.”
Originally from Charlotte, NC, Nicole attended West Charlotte High School. After graduating, she attended Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fl but plans would change when she realized “I wasn’t on the path that God had planned for my life.
“After coming to that realization, I moved back to Charlotte, NC for two years.
“That’s when I received the idea for Zara.”
Who is Zara? Well she is a warrior, one of many, who is sent to Earth “with hope to maintain order among humankind.” Zara is of Black descent and joins a noble line of Black, female comic characters across multiple comics. Nicole spoke about her character and how she created her.
“I always say, I didn’t create Zara, she’s manifesting herself through me,” said Nicole. “As crazy as that may sound.
She continued, “As far as inspiration … people see her and read her story and they are encouraged to follow their dreams, despite their circumstances and/or background.”
The Los Angeles-based screenwriter, director and founder of newly established, Heroic Icon Entertainment (HIE) is slowly building a new comic universe. One thing Nicole is intentionally doing is creating Black icons for the Black community in the comic industry.
“I realized there wasn’t a lot of female leads, especially women of color, that had superior roles in the media,” said Nicole. “So, I felt I had to take some responsibility in that.
“Me, being not only a woman of color, but a creator, I had to do something about it.”
As the hugely popular comic book movies continue to bring more attention to comic books in general, the spotlight eventually falls on its creators. The comic industry is filled with talented women, who are writers, artists and editors with women of color still fighting for exposure. Nicole is one of those women who plans on using HIE and Zara to continue the push for diversity.
“I love that more women are popping up in the comic world,” said Nicole. “I feel that many people have paved the way for me and others to get here.
“We have to continue to pave that way for more women. We are coming in and creating our own stories. I just want people, both young and old to look at me and decide not to give up.
“I want them to look at Zara’s story and instantly start believing in themselves. I want Zara to have this driving force of positive energy that causes people to not only feel good about who they are, but to go for what they truly want.”
Nicole has high hopes and aspirations for HIE and the characters that will be born from her publication. She hopes to bring creators who will be as connected to their creations as she is to Zara.
“I see Heroic Icon being a huge entity—the next biggest franchise,” said Nicole. “Not only with Zara, but there are more creators to come.
“We’re creating a very diverse world so that not only people and other creators can fall in love with it, but so that creators can somehow relate to it also.”
Nicole has started The Everyone Can be a Hero Tour initiative, where she visits schools across the U.S. to teach students about the importance of self-affirmation and “unleashing their own superpowers.”
For any schools interested in the “Everyone Can be a Hero Tour,” please send inquiries to [email protected]
You can find out more about Zara on Instagram and Twitter at @Zaraheroic. You can also pre-order the book and purchase additional merchandise at www.heroicicon.com