Writer: Tony Isabella/ Artist: Clayton Henry / DC Comics
For the first time in more than 20 years, Tony Isabella has stepped back up to write the adventures of Black Lightning, DC’s first major Black superhero. The Cold Dead Hands mini-series is only set up for a six-issue run, but if this issue is anything to go off of it deserves much more.
With a new mini-series, Isabella elected to make some major changes to Jefferson Pierce—read more about them in our interview with him. The Southside of Metropolis has been switched out for Cleveland, Oh., Pierce is younger than he’s ever been and he’s packing some incredible new powers that bring him into a new class of hero.
Oh, and Tobias Whale, Jefferson’s nemesis, got a serious makeover, both physically and mentally as he’s more psychotic and dangerous than ever before. Finding out more about his backstory will surely take this series to the next level. On the other hand, the things that make every Black Lightning story stand out are also here. Jefferson’s still a black vigilante burdened with protecting the community he’s a part of—often from those who are a part of it, or worse, meant to protect and serve it.
Issue #1 is the perfect jumping on point for anyone who wants to get familiar with the character. Even if a show featuring him weren’t on the horizon, this would still be a required reading as far as I’m concerned. The issue does a great job as both an introduction into Black Lightning and an homage to his past stories. Both audiences will be able to get comfortable with the story that’s being told.