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'I wanted a technology superhero': St. Louis area teen creates 'Tech Boy' comic book

"It promotes Black and tech literacy and STEM"

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — By day, DeJuan Strickland is your average 7th grader at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Catholic school in Florissant. He is into all the things you’d expect a teenager to like. 

“Love video games, TV shows and all that,” he said. 

But he also has an alter ego. In the pages of his comic book, he takes care of the bad guys as “Tech Boy.”

“I wanted a technology superhero. Tech Boy is about a young high schooler who has a path to technology and uses the power of STEM to defeat the villain in the story,” he said.

The story is one that he wrote himself and got published. 

“I wrote ideas down, typed ideas down and looked for information on google,” DeJuan told 5 On Your Side. 

He did all of the work after realizing that aside from Black Panther, there were no Black superheroes in the universe. 

“I saw that there was a lack of Black protagonist and Black representation,” he said. 

DeJuan also wants Tech Boy to enlighten kids like himself about the benefits of science, technology, engineering and math. 

“It promotes Black and tech literacy and STEM. I decided to implement all the knowledge that I’ve had and put it into this story,” he said. “I feel like that’s important because a lot of kids especially of color don’t get this opportunity.” 

Now that he has had to opportunity to create the Tech Boy comic, the 13-year-old has plans for a Tech Boy franchise.

“Movies, books, TV shows, everything,” he laughed. 

DeJuan’s big dreams were encouraged by his mom, who happens to be his other superhero.

“She’s like her own superhero herself,” he said. 

If you would like to order his book or learn more about STEM, click here to visit his website.