Jide Martin’s dream was to create a universe of superheroes like the ones in the comic books he read as a teenager.

“My mother bought me comics. I just loved them and what they stood for. I used to put a blank paper underneath the comics and trace them,” he said.

That childhood dream would come true when Martin started Comic Republic in 2013, a Nigerian multimedia company focused on creating and distributing original African comic books — a dream that took an even bigger leap forward last week.

In a “first-of-its-kind partnership,” American television production studio Universal Content Production (UCP), which operates within the Universal Studio Group, announced that a number of TV shows will be developed based on characters from Comic Republic’s “Vanguards.”

The “Vanguards” comics tell the story of members of the “first race,” who have superhuman powers. In the Vanguards Universe, heroes come together as humankind’s first line of defense, protecting the people of Lagos from members of the first race seeking to punish them.

The new live-action TV series will be produced by Guyanese American screenwriter and comic book creator, Selwyn Seyfu Hinds. Through his studio, Mad Massive Entertainment, Hinds will work with UCP and the Comic Republic team to execute the production.


“I’m just amped all the way up to work with our partners to build an entirely new, entirely different comic book universe that will entertain and inspire,” Hinds said of the deal in a press release. He added that he is excited about the “incredible world of stories and characters built by the wonderful team at Comic Republic.”

African comics go global

Martin told CNN he is looking forward to working with UCP to give African stories much-needed global representation. “I’ve always wanted to show that you can provide quality output out of Africa, because at the time we started, there wasn’t any such thing coming out of the continent,” said the Comic Republic CEO.

He added that Comic Republic is well-suited for this deal because the company has worked hard over the past 10 years to build an interconnected superhero universe in its comics. “We’re the only ones that have a well elaborated universe of superheroes,” he said. “There are Black creators all over the world, but they’re all doing single title superhero characters. But we, with Vanguards, have a universe of characters like with Marvel or DC.”

While the specifics surrounding the deal are not yet public, Martin said it will likely start with an 18-month phase for developing the series. “It’s possible that things will change, but we are expecting to go into development, casting and things like that,” he explained.

Beatrice Springborn, UCP’s president, said in the release she is confident that all parties will bring the characters and stories from the Vanguards Universe to life “in the most brilliant and big way.”

Sulaimon Babatunde

I am an internet search engine marketer, graphic designer and web designer based in Lagos, Nigeria. I always get orientation to do my things from the Google search results.


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