Tuesday, November 21, 2017


The Black Lightning TV series debut on Tuesday, January 16, on the CW at 9:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. On Friday, January 19, there will be an encore presentation. After that, the show will air every Tuesday night until its 13-episode first season is completed. Needless to say, I’m excited.

Though Sainted Wife Barb will be off on a cruise - and believe me when I tell you she feels terrible about that, but her plans can’t be changed - our kids Eddie and Kelly want to have a watch party at Casa Isabella. We’re still figuring out the logistics of that. I’m also thinking I might have some sort of encore watch party at some other location. We’ll see.

Some cool news also announced last week is that Cress Williams, the fine actor who plays Jefferson Pierce in the series, is getting a statue from DC Collectibles. Sydney Bucksbaum from The Nerdist website wrote:

Months ahead of his onscreen debut, the star of The CW’s upcoming superhero drama Black Lightning is already getting immortalized as a collectible statue, and Nerdist has your exclusive first look at the 12-inch figure from DC Collectibles. Modeled off of Williams’ titular hero Jefferson Pierce from Greg Berlanti’s next big DC TV series, the statue is dressed in the full Black Lightning super suit, mask and all. It’s so badasshe’s even got blue lightning bolts coming right out of his hand. Talk about being battle-ready!
Williams told Nerdist:

“Wow that is amazing! I’m excited and extremely honored to have a statue in my likeness. It’s very surreal and a bit overwhelming at the same time.”

The statue is available for pre-order at Dccollectibles.com and it will officially go on sale July 2018 for $130.

My thanks to Bucksbaum for the above information and for including in the piece that Black Lightning was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor von Eeden. It really only takes one more sentence for such stories to credit the comic-book writers and artists who created characters. It’s a simple way to show respect for those creators. I applaud The Nerdist for getting this.

There have been so many articles, news stories and reviews on the Black Lightning TV series and Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1 that I can’t link to them all, much less comment on them all. I’ll get to as many of them as possible today.

Author Ed Gosney wrote about Black Lightning and the Akron Comicon on his page. He gives good commentary and shares some photos of the event with his readers. Speaking for myself, though I’m sure Trevor von Eeden feels the same way, I enjoyed talking to Ed and wish I’d been able to appear on his comics nostalgia panel. You can read his convention and comics report here.

Vaneta Rogers interviewed me for Newsarama. I thought it was a good and honest interview, though, of course, it raised the hackles of a few readers. This is why I must resist reading comments even more than I do now; they seldom offer any constructive criticism or anything positive. My suggestion is that you ignore the reader comments and just read the interview.

Chancellor Agard of Entertainment Weekly interviewed artist Clayton Henry and me for the magazine’s website. I thought it was a really good interview. You can read it here.

Jordan C. of Mass Appeal interviewed me for that website. All these reporter are making me look good. I especially liked answering his question as to who were my top five female comic-book characters. I wish he had asked for six because I didn’t include a character I really should have included. Here’s the link.

Eric Cline reviewed Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1 for the Adventures in Poor Taste website. Cline was less than enthusiastic than most reviewers - he gave the issue a six out of, I presume a possible ten - and inspired several jokes about the website’s name. But, though I disagree with some of his statements, I’m not going there. Instead, I’ll suggest you read his review here.

Aaron Young of Comicsverse was a lot more positive about the issue, but wrote that “the reader never gets a great idea of who Jefferson Pierce is.” Personally, I feel I gave the readers everything they needed to know about Jeff for this issue. I figured today’s readers are able to fill in the minor details, based on how much said fans speculate about what’s going to happen in the comics, in the films and on the TV shows. Each issue will give you a little more info on Jefferson Pierce, his super-hero identity, his allies and the city in which he lives. Having him explain every single part of who he is was never going to be on the table for me. I find a plethora of introspection slows down the story. Heck, you’re not even going to get a new origin story in these six issues. Though, if the series sells well enough to continue, that’s one of the future stories I want to write. But I do appreciate Aaron giving the issue so much thoughtful coverage. You can read his review here.

Over at SyFy Wire, Adam Pockross gave some nice coverage to Black Lightning’s January CW debut and mentioned the six-issue comic-book series as well. Just for the record though, the official credit is “Black Lightning created by Tony Isabella with Trevor von Eeden.” There might be a slightly different credit on the show itself, but it’s also a credit I signed off on. You can read Pockross’s piece here.

And because I never get tired of this.

Here’s a long podcast/radio show I did. I haven’t listened to it, but I had great fun doing it:

Brad at Graphic Policy recorded and posted on YouTube what might be my favorite review of Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1. Though Brad says at the beginning of the review that he doesn’t know much about Black Lightning, he nails what I was trying to accomplish in that issue. Watch his review here.

Charles Pulliam-Moore of io9 interviewed me. If you’re realizing I did a bunch of interviews in the lead-up to Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1, you are correct. I think this one is one of the best ones I did. You can read it here.

Comic Chronicle interviewed me and you can listen to it here.

This has nothing to do with Black Lightning, but I feel we need a bit of variety. Prepare to have your heart melt when you watch this Macy’s commercial.

One more link. Corrina Lawson has this cool article at the GeekMom part of GeekDad. Read it here.

Whew! I don’t think I’ve ever included so many links in one of my bloggy things. I probably missed a few articles and reviews, but I tried to avoid too much repetition.

When next “Black Lightning Beat” appears, it will have annotations for Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1. You’ll get to see what I was thinking as I wrote the script and maybe discover some cookies and Easter eggs you missed. I expect the annotations on the issue to run maybe two or three installments. I hope you enjoy them.

Tomorrow is Wednesday and that means “Rawhide Kid Wednesday” as we ride like the night wind towards the end of the Kid’s long-running comic-book series. See you when the sun comes up.
© 2017 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. Tony, I really enjoyed talking with both you and Trevor! Keep up the good work with Black Lightning. I just finished Cold Dead Hands #5 yesterday, and sadly, just one more issue is left in the series.