Black Lightning Strikes Next Spring
DC Comics has been on the tongue of everyone lately. From the big screen trailers for Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad to the announcement of animated retelling of The Killing Joke, and their efforts on live-action television with new costumes for Arrow, The Flash, and of course Supergirl. With all these projects on their plate though, let’s not forget that DC is also making strides in what brought them to the dance: comic books.
Recently, DC has announced a number of new ongoing and mini-series. Spinning out of Convergence, we’ll see Telos, the Pre-Flashpoint House of El, and some of the original Titans together again. One that may fly under the radar though, is the announcement that next spring will see paperback edition of Black Lightning Vol.1 released. A bit of a shock (get it) to say the least, considering the frustration Black Lightning creator Tony Isabella’s had with DC management over the years.
Often relegated to barely-B-list Teams for the most part, Jefferson stands as an icon to DC and indeed Comic Book history, being the first black character to have a solo comic. Created in 1977, Jefferson Pierce grew up in Suicide Slum, where he harbors dreams of success. Becoming an Olympic decathlon star, he marries and moves his family to Metropolis, becoming a beloved and respected figure in the educational community. Using his hidden, electrical powers, Pierce plans to clean up the streets of Suicide Slum after being given a grant to come teach in his old home.
Most notably, Black Lightning has been a founding member of The Outsiders with Batman, and even led the team on occasion. Pierce also fathers two daughters, heroes in their own right named Thunder and Lightning. (Anissa and Jennifer, respectively.) Black Lightning has been a member of the Justice League of America and been considered as a recruit for the Justice League post-Flashpoint.
The character has also made numerous appearances outside of comics. He, along with Katana and Metamorpho formed The Outsiders in Batman: The Brave and The Bold, he appears as a member of the Justice League and potential mentor to Static in Young Justice, and even had his own shorts in DC the DC Nation Block on Cartoon Network.
Normally relegated to…well, nothing really, aside from an odd team-up with Blue Devil, the fact that this book is happening may indicate a renewed sense of potential in Black Lightning. In a statement made on his blog, Black Lightning co-creator Tony Isabella stated “Just as I always have, Geoff sees a lot of potential in my finest creation. It’s a potential the previous DC management clearly never saw,” referring to the discussion about the reprinting of Black Lightning’s first volume.
This isn’t to say that Black Lightning will be getting a feature film, anytime soon, but the thought that there’s at least some interest with DiDio and Geoff shows that the hope for a mini-series at the least isn’t off the table. An appearance on The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, or Legends of Tomorrow? Unlikely, but not impossible.
With a lot of DC’s less main-stream characters getting so much attention, things look to be going an interesting route for DC Comics. Working with Milestone Comics and Earth-M as well as willing to start repairing bridges with creators who have felt spurned like Isabella could mean a lot for a lot of our favorite characters that have gone missing in recent years. With DC’s continued emphasis on giving everyone something to enjoy with DCYou, it’s clear that this is more than just a catchy new tagline. This is an earnest effort on their part, and I can’t wait to see what they have planned next.
For those interested, you can pre-order Black Lightning Vol.1 on Amazon right now!