Saturday, December 2, 2017


I received my advance copies of Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #2 a few days ago. That amazing cover is by Clayton Henry with inker Mark Morales and colorist Tomeu Morey.

When the cover was first previewed, I was amused by a comment from some comics pundit complaining it was too political. If someone is looking for a project, I'd love to see a compilation of all the comic-book covers where super-heroes are in conflict with police. That compilation would likely number in the hundreds.

Anyway, I read the issue and rather enjoyed it. There are a couple places where I’m not happy with the captions or dialogue, but that is a common thing with me. Overall, I remain thrilled to be working on a series starring my favorite character/creation and with great creative partners like Clayton, colorist Pete Pantazis, letterer Josh Reed, associate editor Harvey Richards and group editor Jim Chadwick. I’m proud to be part of Team Lightning.

Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #2 should be available from your friendly neighborhood comics shop next week. I hope you’ll continue to support and enjoy this series.


Before we get into the latest news and notes, I have an addition to the Cold Dead Hands #1 annotations. This actually dates back to my 1990s Black Lightning series, which is why it slipped my mind. But Rob Allen reminded me that Ernie and Tommi Colavito are named after legendary Cleveland Indians baseball player Rocky Colavito.

Colavito was my favorite ballplayer as a kid. It was devastating when he was traded to another team. So I wanted to honor him in the 1990s series. However...

Colavito isn’t the only person being honored here. Ernie and Tommy are the names of two of my uncles on my mother’s side. Uncle Ernie is usually called “Uncle Peppy” after his youthful nickname. He’s still with us.

My Uncle Tommy passed away several years ago. He taught me and my brothers how to play chess and used to supply us with all sorts of pads of paper from his job. In addition to this, he served in WWII with actor/war hero Audie Murphy. They exchanged Christmas cards up to Murphy’s passing.

There are other members of the Colavito family who are also in law enforcement, but I haven’t used them in any stories yet. They might not all appear in DC comic books. They’ll turn up when I need such fine upstanding officers of the law.

Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1 got a mostly favorable review from Comic Book University. The amiable fellow had a problem with the final panels in which Tommi whispers to Black Lightning - after he has been framed for murder - to make it look good as he escapes from her. He wondered why Tommi didn’t just throw her rank around as she did elsewhere in the issue. Well, I think the obvious answer there is that these were more extreme circumstances. The police had just seen - or thought they saw - Black Lightning kill a bunch of gang members. Her rank would not have allowed her to order them to not arrest him.

On a more minor note, the reviewer seemed to think Tommi was Jeff’s girlfriend. Given earlier pages made it clear their relationship is basically brother and sister, I don’t know where he got that idea. While I’m sure the “shippers” will weigh in sooner or later, just know that, on my watch, there will never be a romantic relationship between Jeff and Tommi. Besides, Lynn Stewart is mentioned in our second issue and will be seen in our fifth.


Craig Byrne of Black Lightning TV has a spiffy article on the first episode of the TV series - “Dark Matter Of My Brain” - accompanied by some photos from the episode. Check it out.

Byrne is a journalist who always gets the Black Lightning creator credit correct. It’s “Black Lightning created by Tony Isabella with Trevor von Eeden,” though it might be somewhat different on the TV series. Both versions were approved by DC and me.

Many comics news sites never mention Trevor and myself, though it would only take one additional sentence to do so. At least one of these insists on replacing “with” with “and” because they feel they shouldn’t be bound by the official credit line. They know they are getting it wrong every time. They just don’t care. Sigh.

From Heroic Hollywood, Michael Mistroff has a short piece on the TV series and its short “Power Up” teaser promo. You can read this and watch the teaser promo here.

Spencer Perry of Super Hero Hype also wrote a short piece on the teaser promo. I recommend you skip the comments. Just the usual online fools who think they are creative and/or funny. 
Quick tip. If they were creative and/or funny, they would be creating new work and signing their real names to it.

The original preview trailer premiered last year seems to be showing up all over YouTube again. I’ve watched it about a hundred times. You can see it here.

The music used in the trailer is “vertigo” as performed by Raphael Lake. Listen to it here.

Smitha Nambiar wrote about the Black Lightning TV series for Pursue News. You can read the article here.

At 2016's Indy Pop Con, I was interviewed on camera for the League One podcast. The subjects were Black Lightning and Misty Knight. That interview is available on YouTube.

For those of you who have asked when and where you can meet me, ask me questions and have me sign your Isabella-written comic books and books, here’s my 2018 appearance schedule so far:

February 18: Action (St. Clair College; Winsor)

February 23-24: Pensacon (Florida)

March 9-11: Cleveland ConCoction

April 27-29: East Coast Comicon (New Jersey)

May 5: Toys Time Forgot (Canal Fulton, Ohio)

May 18-19: ECBACC (Philadelphia)

July 13-15: G-Fest (Chicago)

July 19-22: Comic-Con International (tentative)

August 17-18: TerrifiCon (Connecticut)

August 19: NEO Comic Con (North Olmsted, Ohio)

November 3-4: Akron Comicon (Ohio)

November 9-11: Grand Rapids Comic Con (Michigan)

November 17-18: Great American Comic Convention (Las Vegas)

I’d like to keep my schedule down to no more than two appearances a month. However, as you see from November’s schedule, that isn’t carved in stone. I’ve never done a show in Las Vegas and wanted to visit the city again. Simple as that.

If you’re a promoter who would like to have me as a guest at your convention or other event, e-mail me and we can discuss terms. I’m not a cheap date, but I’m a fun one.

I try to keep up with all the Black Lightning news and reviews and previews, but that could easily turn into a full-time job. I have one of those already. So, if you see some Black Lightning-related item online, send me an e-mail with the relevant link. As always, I thank you for your support.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a list of 15 “click-bait” comments from me. How much trouble am I asking for? Find out tomorrow.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

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