The newest review finds us in Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, taking place in Cleveland Ohio, Jefferson Pierce is a teacher and role model for his students, and as Black Lightning, he protects his City from Criminal threats but now a gang armed with super-weapons have taken over the streets and Black Lightning is framed! Real-World Issues come crashing into the Superhero World! Before the television series premiered on the CW Network, Black Lightning seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth in the New 52, with him his family disappeared as well. Then the man who created the Electrokinetic Super-Hero, Tony Isabella, and Co-Creator Trevor Von Eden returns to tackle the tough issues that are plaguing the African American Community such as Racial Profiling, Systemic Racism, Police Brutality, Gang Violence (A Problem in any community as well.) Before I start the review I would like to say that Red’s Nerd Den stands with the Black Lives Matter Movement and stand for Equality. If you would like to donate or help the cause, click on this link and it will show other ways to help the cause.
One of the things I would like to get off my chest on this interview was that this version of Black Lightning was that he wasn’t married and he didn’t have children, while it didn’t serve as an Origin Story, it gives the reader an understanding of who Black Lightning is and what he stands for. Tony Isabella writes a solid story and it is well-structured, plus it balances that with what is going on with the world today; as mentioned in the paragraph above that it tackles such topics as Police Brutality and Systemic Racism. For example, the beginning of the third chapter of this story had a Black man and his wife gunned down by police, the officer made the quick assumption that the man was reaching down for the “Sci-Fi Gun” and his wife was caught in the crossfire; while this might be just fictional world, Isabella has done extensive research on this subject, while most find it cheesy or stale and gripe that it there is too much “Social Justice” and loses track of being a Super-Hero story.
Another character who changed was Tobias Whale, originally a heavy-set African American albino man who was a Kingpin and ties with the Organized Crime group known as The 100. More menacing than his ‘imitator’ this version of Tobias is more calculating, cautious, and intimidating; it is possible that the television series also used this version’s character as a reference in Krondon’s portrayal of Whale. The artwork in this book is well-done, for the artistic team you had the pencilers, Clayton Henry, Yvel Guichet, Colorist Peter Pantazis, and Inkers Mark Morales and Tomeu Morey; the art was well structured, the emotional reactions matched the situation that Tony had written for the story. While this collects Issues One through Six of the Mini-Series it is one of the perfect things to introduce Black Lightning to a new generation if you want to learn more about Jefferson Pierce and Black Lightning’s World I would recommend reading Brick City Blues and the first series of Black Lightning.
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