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Black History Month Day 15: Isaiah Bradley

Written by Greg Anderson-Elysee on Friday, February 26 2010 and posted in Features
He is known as the Black Captain America to many fans and to the black superhero community in the Marvel-verse.

Isaiah Bradley was introduced in comics in the 2003 mini-series, Truth: Red, White, & Black. Writer Robert Morales took inspiration from the controversial Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment to develop Bradley and his story. The U.S., British, and German government collaborated to re-create the Super Soldier Serum that created Captain America. Eugenicists Dr. "Josef Reinstein" (real name Dr. Wilfred Nagel) and Dr. Koch were assigned to lead this project. Reinstein’s early attempts of Project: Reborn were tested on a unit of black soldiers. Three hundred black soldiers were taken from Camp Cathcart and became subjects to inhumane and fatal experiments in which only five men survived the original trial. Among the five was Bradley. In an even more heinous act, the U.S. would eventually assign their soldiers to wipe out Camp Cathcart including it’s commander and 100 black soldiers while the government informed the soldier’s family that they died in battle.

As mentioned before among his test group, Bradley emerged as one of the very few survivors. Bradley found himself with peak human strength, endurance, speed, agility, and slow aging. Before engaging on a suicide mission to destroy the Nazi’s effort to create their own Super-Soldier, Bradley stole a costume and shield originally intended for Steve Rogers where he also successfully assassinated Dr. Koch. Bradley would eventually be captured by the Germans and presented to Hitler. He was rescued but then court-martialed and imprisoned at Leavenworth until 1960 when Bradley was pardoned by President Eisenhower and released. While imprisoned, Bradley’s DNA was continually experimented on to create another Super Solder, the result being Bradley’s son, Josiah X after 39 failed experiments.

Over the years, Bradley has been known as an underground living legend upon the black community and have been visited as a sign of respect by people including Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Alex Haley, Angela Davis, Colin Powell, James Brown, and even Stan Lee. Despite all this, he remains largely unknown outside of the black community showcased in T’Challa and Storm’s wedding where African-American guests and heroes were star-struck and excited to see Bradley while Wolverine himself was confused and clueless as to who he was. Bradley is also the grand-father of Patriot, the leader of Young Avengers.


Adventures of Isaiah Bradley can be found in:

Truth: Red, White, & Black

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About the Author - Greg Anderson-Elysee

Gregory Anderson-Elysee is a Brooklyn born and based filmmaker (director and editor), playwright, comic book writer, model, and part time actor. He was one of the first writers and interviewers of The Outhouse. He is the writer and creator of the upcoming book Is'nana the Were-Spider. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

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