Dealing with issues like homework, hormones and parents who just don’t understand can make life difficult enough for any teenager – throw in having to understand and control a slew of powers and you’ve got a recipe for overload. Keloid, a new web series from Huriyyah Muhammad, takes you on that journey to navigate adolescence with the added gift of having amazing superhuman abilities. Or is it a curse?
Keloid follows the path of our eponymous lead, played by newcomer David Nixon, as he struggles to learn how to use his vast powers as well as determine their purpose. Fortunately for Keloid, his mother Marielle (Aba Woodruff) is there to mentor him to gain control of his abilities but even she’s limited in her ability to guide Keloid through his coming-of-age as a Black man in modern America.
The idea of a teen who is a rookie in the superhero game is certainly not new but dropping that into the realistic world of a Black teen adds an intriguing dynamic. Will he be afforded the same allowance to learn by making mistakes? Will law enforcement treat him as an ally or as a foe? Will the public embrace him as a hero or will they fear him as a menace?
When you have series like Marvel’s Luke Cage practically shutting down the Internet and a tremendous hype building around the upcoming Black Panther feature film it definitely feels like the time is now for Black superheroes on the screen. However with the success of Sleight, a film similarly featuring a super-powered Black teen, still fresh on the mind of the public and shows like The CW’s Black Lightning just around the corner you have to wonder if an independent web series can set itself apart without the backing of a major studio or big-name creators like Ryan Coogler or Mara Brock and Salim Akil.
Fans of heroes like Ultimate Spider-Man (Miles Morales) and Milestone’s Static will certainly see some similarities in the premise and in the beginning of the series but Keloid separates itself by its adherence to a more gritty realism. It can be difficult for there to be a true sense of gravity when the setting is a comic book world in which overpowered characters pop up everywhere, death is rarely final, and whole timelines can be reset on a whim. However, in the more realistic world of Keloid the consequences of a misstep are more severe – and this is a lesson our protagonist learns early. Everything from the ominous backing tracks to the dim lighting choices serve to tell the viewer that the stakes are high. The darker tone and overall mystery give Keloid a unique quality as well. Additionally, Keloid provides viewers with a whole new universe to explore and one that doesn’t have to play by any given set of rules.
The creative force behind the series, Huriyyah Muhammad, aims to give a platform to better represent “the browning of America” through Keloid and other initiatives under the umbrella of The Black TV & Film Collective.
Keloid made its debut on July 13, 2017 and new episodes are released every Thursday on The Black TV & Film Collective YouTube channel. View the trailer below!