Comic Publishers

November 7, 2017

DC Reviews: Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1

Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1
Publisher: DC
Writer: Tony Isabella
Artist: Clayton Henry
Colorist: Pete Pantazis
Cover: Clayton Henry & Tomeu Morey

With a new show coming to the CW and recent video game appearances it was only a matter of time before DC hit us with a new series for Black Lightning. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the hero in action so this series announcement was some very welcome news.

For the uninitiated comic reader this is quite the comfortable introduction to the character as Isabella makes sure you don’t need years of backstory to enjoy this issue. You get an equal amount of character development for both sides of Jefferson Pierce’s life. As Black Lightning there’s some exciting superhero moments scripted here that not only show off his abilities both new and old but help breathe some new life into the character. When Isabella focuses on the Jefferson Pierce side of things the momentum shifts but never wanes. What is surprising is that the biggest surprise in this this issue has to do with a longtime villain, Tobias Whale. Let’s just say that I didn’t see that coming. Much like Tobias’ mother. All we know is that he’s going to be a problem for Black Lighting and he likes boats. A lot.

The main reason this series was on my radar was that Clayton Henry would be providing the visuals here. He’s been one of my favorite artists since way back and if the story was lacking in any way then I could at least be assured that the art would be on point. Henry of course met expectations and in a few panels even exceeded them. His action scenes are dynamic and do a wonderful job of moving things along. The costume redesign is just the right amount of classic mixed with the new hotness as well. Henry also gives us more intensity with Black Lightning by allowing the goggles to be see through so we get the full hit of those expressions to sell the moment. All of the fine detail and tense visual storytelling isn’t just reserved for the action as the daily life stuff looks just as good. All of this is heightened by the colors by Pete Pantazis making this a story very much worth looking at several times.

This is looking good so far with a creative team delivering right out the gate for the readers. Black Ligtning: Cold Dead Hands is a superhero comic in the truest sense and worth putting into your read pile immediately!


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