Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1
Written By: Tony Isabella
Art By: Clayton Henry
Colored By: Pete Pantazis
Lettered By: Josh Reed
Black Lightning Created By: Tony Isabella & Trevor Von Eeden
Jefferson Pierce, aka Black Lightning, protector of the southside returns to the pages of DC comics from the original co-creator Tony Isabella for an all new Mini-Series Cold Dead Hands. Can this supercharge hero return to his home-town of Cleveland without any trouble? Or will trouble find him? Let’s see if it’s a good read.
What You Missed:
The good thing about this series, from the words of Isabella, all previous continuity for Black Lightning is out the window other than his core values.
He’s a former Olympic athlete. He’s a school teacher. He’s a metahuman. He’s a man of faith and a reluctant superhero. Jeff is a superhero because he knows his abilities and powers come with the obligation to serve and protect his community and his city.” Isabella said in a recent interview with Newsarama.
The downside though is that all of the history is out the window and it’s what made Jefferson such an icon for people like myself. His daughters, Thunder and Lightning are now gone from continuity, other than what was mentioned in Dark Days: The Forge, we really don’t know how much of his Outsiders history is in tact either. So hopefully the future of Black Lightning is a bright one that can restore parts of this history.
We start off with Black Lightning who is confronting a gang of criminals called The Weathermen who are ravaging the streets of Cleveland. Luckily for those streets, the protector of Chicago’s Southside is here to protect their streets, even if the police don’t want him to. Cut to Jefferson Pierce, who is preparing and attending a memorial in his father’s memory. As he reminisces with the people who knew him and his family best, including Detective Tommi Colavito who apparently knows Jefferson’s secret identity. When she receives a call about The Weathermen returning, her and Jefferson spring into action, where a plot by the villainous Tobias Whale, leaves Black Lightning on the wrong side of the law as the comic ends.
Opinions and Such:
This story was exactly what I was hoping for upon seeing this as a bit of a soft reboot for the character. Jefferson hasn’t changed. He’s still the same fighter of equality and protector of the little guy based off his inner monologues. His standing up to the police is honestly what you should expect of an African American superhero in today’s age. And plus, Superman wouldn’t get that kind of disrespect unless you were doing a modern take like Man of Steel where everyone’s afraid of him. The longtime villain Tobias Whale seems to have gotten a makeover and is not as light skinned as previous incarnations have rendered him, but his entrance into this series does show him to be a threat similarly to how he’s been in the past.
The art is very well done, a few more accents and angles and it could be Brett Booth’s work. It does a good job of portraying the emotions of the characters in each seen which surprisingly in 2017, that’s a fair criticism because some aren’t able to perform that. So much kudos to Clayton Henry for being able to do this well.
The only bad parts about this book are the slight sadness of the soft reboot that even the upcoming TV show has chosen to keep somewhat intact, and the fact that it’s only 6 issues! Don’t misunderstand I understand that Black Lightning is a lesser known hero so giving him an ongoing series is a gamble, but in this day and age where DC is striving to be more diverse and they’ve had Jefferson sitting on the sidelines for decades, you’d think he’d be one of the one’s given spotlight and a good team to carry his book.
Other than my fanboy sadness him starting back at virtually ground zero, Black Lightning: Cold Dead hands #1 is an amazing start to a mini series that looks to bring this hero back into the collective consciousness of the comic book community and it does it amazingly and just in time for his television debut. Be sure to pick up issue 2