HBO Max, Cartoon Network and Lion Forge Animation Partner for African Teen Superhero Series

By Rebecca Theodore-Vachon 

Iyanu: Child of Wonder will soon be coming to streaming.

HBO Max, Cartoon Network and Lion Forge Animation announced their plan to adapt the Dark Horse/YouNeek Studios graphic novel into a children’s animated series.

Iyanu: Child of Wonder, created by Nigerian filmmaker Roye Okupe, follows a teenage heroine who uncovers the mystery of her newfound powers to save her people from an ancient curse that could destroy them. It’s a superhero tale filled with Nigerian culture, music and mythology.


Lion Forge Animation, a leading Black-owned animation studio that was behind the Academy-Award-winning Hair Love, will finance and oversee production.

Brandon Easton (Transformers: War for Cybertron: Seige, Marvel’s Agent Carter) will head up the writers’ room with Okupe, who will also serve as executive producer, writer and director.

In a statement to Warner Bros., Easton shared the importance of this project: “As a former public school teacher in the Bronx and Harlem, I spent many years with Black, Latino and Asian teens and saw what they gravitated toward. They loved anime, manga and things along those lines, but they all lamented that none of the characters looked like them. So when I was hired to adapt Roye’s amazing Iyanu graphic novel, I wanted the story to reflect Roye’s original vision while also injecting a sense of pride and wonder for all children worldwide, but specifically for kids who rarely see themselves reflected in a positive light or at all.”