Who Run the World? Beyoncé, Serena, Marsha P. Johnson, Janelle Monáe, AOC and More Get the Superhero Treatment

Beyonce performs during the opening night of the Formation World Tour at Marlins Park on April 27, 2016, in Miami, Florida.
Beyonce performs during the opening night of the Formation World Tour at Marlins Park on April 27, 2016, in Miami, Florida.
Photo: Frank Micelotta/Parkwood Entertainment

In case your internet is broken, today is the holiday internationally recognized as Beyoncé’s 39th birthday—which means we’ll probably have it off next year for her big 4-0 (you know how Bey feels about a 4). No doubt the Hive will be paying homage to their queen in full today, but DC Comics is celebrating her, as well, announcing that Beyoncé is among a series of real-life heroes featured in their upcoming Wonder Women of History: An Anthology Featuring Phenomenal Women Who Changed Our World.


According to GamesRadar’s Newsarama, the book, due our Dec. 1, highlights 17 women and femmes who have made an impact in the fields of science, social justice activism, politics, sports, and entertainment. Edited by novelist Laurie Halse Anderson (Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed), the anthology profiles a remarkable array of well-known—and a few perhaps not so well-known—names, including not only Queen Bey but Serena Williams, Janelle Monáe, Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes, LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more.

In a very special and appropriate twist, Wonder Women of History’s authors and illustrators are also all women (shoutout to Hood Feminism author Mikki Kendall for penning Beyoncé’s)—and, for the most part, these unsung heroes of the comic world also reflect the cultural identity of their subjects. The roster is as follows:

As Newsarama notes, “In addition to these 17 stories, there will be pin-ups by Weshoyot Alvitre, Colleen Doran, Agnes Garbowska, Bex Glendining, Ashley A. Woods, and Safiya Zerrougui.”

We’re thrilled that all of these women are being celebrated as the heroes they are—and it’s worth noting that it’s a bit of a birthday wish come true for Beyoncé, at least in part, as she told the Los Angeles Times in 2008 (h/t Today):

“I want to do a superhero movie and what would be better than Wonder Woman?” she asked. “It would be great. And it would be a very bold choice. A black Wonder Woman would be a powerful thing. It’s time for that, right?”


Unfortunately, the role of Wonder Woman has remained white, and this October, actress-model Gal Gadot will reprise the role in the upcoming sequel to the 2017 blockbuster film, Wonder Woman 1984. But with talent, beauty and philanthropy to spare, Beyoncé remains a hero, in our eyes.

Similarly, having just become the all-time leader in U.S. Open wins, Serena Williams has long since proven her heroism; but also on our radar is another DC Comics’ honoree who is looking the part of a superhero—actually, she always has. On Thursday, Janelle Monáe, she of the epic pompadours and swingy segmented ponytails, gave us yet another powerful hair statement, revealing a new cropped and copper-hued ‘do that is definitely giving us superpower vibes.


I guess we shouldn’t be surprised; after all, she is the ArchAndroid.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?


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