Black Lightning #1
Cold Dead Hands
Black Lightning has not been active for a while in the DCU, but he is ready to save the day again in a brand new mini-series, Black Lightning #1 (Cold Dead Hands part 1 of 6). Jefferson Pierce is back in Cleveland; dealing with his father’s recent death and trying to prepare his curriculum for the new school year has him busy enough, but when gangs show up with some rather technologically advanced weaponry the cops are severely outgunned, and it is time for the only superhero in Cleveland to step out of the shadows and clean up the city. With everything going on in the world, will the cops trust Black Lightning? Things get only get worse, and in Black Lightning #1 Jefferson Pierce may have wished he had stuck with his teaching and left superheroing to everyone else.
Black Lightning #1 (Cold Dead Hands part 1 of 6) brings back one of the original creators of the hero himself, Tony Isabella, as the main writer for the mini-series, which I guess is pretty cool. The story itself is pretty straightforward in Black Lightning #1; we get a little recap about Jefferson Pierce and what he has been up to. As someone who is not super familiar with Black Lightning, it was nice to get a rundown of what he is all about and his power set. The plot of the mini-series is set up pretty well in this first issue and for the most part, it is a pretty good read. It does not do anything different or really that surprising, but it does tell the story.
Clayton Henry handles the art in Black Lightning #1 and he definitely gives Black Lightning the “superhero treatment”. Henry’s lines are super tight and clean and he gives his character that classic “comic book” look and feel to them. I am not one hundred percent sold on Black Lightning’s costume, well mainly the goggles. The actual costume itself is not bad, those goggles just do not look good. Henry’s art almost feels a little too clean and polished at times, but there are some good panel layouts throughout Black Lightning #1 that does not make it feel too formulaic. Clayton Henry does do a great job of storytelling with his art. You can get most of the story from looking at his art, with great body positioning and cartooning in the characters faces; you would obviously miss some details, but he does a great job of driving the story with his art. The colors by Pete Pantazis match Henry’s inks well and the gold/yellow coloring on the outside of the lightning bolts on his costume is a nice touch that is subtle but really makes it pop.
With a new TV series on the horizon, it is about time Black Lightning got back in the DCU. With Black Lightning #1 (Cold Dead Hands part 1 of 6), he gets back into the fold. While not a perfect starting point for new fans, it does a serviceable job of introducing Black Lightning and starts off the series with some twist and turns. The art is very bold and does definitely catch the reader’s attention more than the story does. While it is good to have Jefferson Pierce back in comic book form, I am not sure if this is his best outing.
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