Writer: Tony Isabella / Artist: Clayton Henry / DC Comics
Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1 was shockingly enjoyable—pun not intended, but still regrettable. Black Lightning is in his native Cleveland and given a fresh new look as he takes on issues relevant to today’s culture while giving nods to his legacy of old. Issue #2 keeps that going. We get an even closer look at Lightning using his new abilities to deflect bullets and come close to flying with the use of electricity.
This issue is full of gems and easter eggs for anyone who’s gotten familiar with Black Lightning, whether it be through old comics or even his occasional television appearances. For example, while thinking of the strategies to take on a drug dealer looking to sell on campus, Lightning considers the risk of retaliation by his crew blowing back on his students much like in his past.
Also-and a lot of people will enjoy this–Isabella found a way to make sure Anissa, commonly known as Jefferson Pierce’s daughter, makes an appearance. Instead of being his super-powered progeny, it appears that she’s his super-powered niece waiting to hit the streets for herself.
The socio-political element of telling a story in the world of a black superhero isn’t lost at all. Despite being a hero, constant pressure from the police is a constant threat. It’s on full display when they’re trying to arrest him at every turn or even when one actually pulls the trigger with the intent to kill. On the other side of the coin, gun violence also plays a role. The last pages of the story serve as a reminder that this problem doesn’t only affect those on the wrong side of a weapon.
Overall, this issue makes this series 2-for-2 and further proves the point that it should be considered for an extension past the mini-series designation it was given. If we can get a couple more issues of this level, the experiment should be declared a success and thinking should go long-term.
Reading Black Lightning? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.