Tuesday, September 26, 2017


This is where I bring you the latest Black Lightning news I can and am able/willing to share with you. It’s also where I’ll answer your questions on Black Lightning and related subjects. I hope to post a new installment of this blog-within-the-bloggy every two weeks, and more often if breaking news requires it.

Black Lightning has never been more in the public eye. Sometime in the “mid-season” part of 2018, Black Lightning the TV series will debut on the CW. In article after article, entertainment writers are calling it the most-anticipated show of the mid-season. This is exciting.

The Black Lightning series now has an Internet Movie Database page. There’s not a lot on it, but that will change as more episodes are completed and after the show starts airing on the CW.

It also turns out I also have my own Internet Movie Database page. Like the Black Lightning page, there’s not a lot on it. Some of what’s on it is erroneous. All the same, discovering the page came as a pleasant surprise. When I get a spare moment or ten, I try to correct that misinformation and add some new information.

This seems like a good place to remind you that I have no official position with the TV series. I’ve been treated with great respect and kindness by all involved parties, but I can’t get you hired as a writer, a cast member, an extra or any other job with the show. I’m the self-appointed “head cheerleader” for Black Lightning and  I’m content with that.

When it comes to Black Lightning-related merchandise, sometimes I know about stuff and sometimes I don’t. For example, I didn’t know Black Lightning is apparently a “skin” in the video game Injustice 2. If someone at DC had told me this in advance, I would have responded with my own questions. What’s a skin? What’s Injustice 2? Don’t worry. I know how to Google. Once I get a free moment, I’ll do a Google search on that stuff.

When fans ask me what I think about this Injustice 2 thing, all I can say is that I’ve never had any interest in video games or the like. Of course, I’m thrilled for the additional exposure for Black Lightning. Of course, I’ll cash the check for whatever royalties I will receive from this. And, of course, most especially, if Black Lightning fans will get a kick out of this, I’m delighted for them.

In November of this year, DC Comics will publish Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1, the first issue of a six-issue series written by me and drawn by superstar artist Clayton Henry. This is my third time writing my creation and, given remarkable freedom by DC, I’m doing some different things with the character. He’s younger than I’ve ever written him before, but this is not a prologue series of any kind. It’s the start of the new continuity for Black Lightning that will be in place at least as long as I’m writing him. There’s more to it than that, but I don’t want to give away too much before the series debuts. When I feel it’s appropriate, I’ll be happy to answer your questions on the new series.
Black Lightning Volume 2 [$24.99] is scheduled for a late January or early February release. It’s available for Amazon pre-ordering, but the product information listed there is incorrect. This volume will collect the Black Lightning tales that were published between my original 1970s series and my second 1990s series. Those stories appeared in World’s Finest, DC Comics Presents, Justice League of America, Detective Comics, The Brave and the Bold, Batman and the Outsiders and Secret Origins. I wrote the Secret Origins story and, though nobody seems to have noticed, it sets up the Black Lightning series I wrote in the 1990s. At that time, the second series lived only in my mind. In addition to the reprint of the Secret Origins story, I also wrote a new introduction for this volume.

Black Lightning Volume 3, which would reprint the 1990s series, is tentatively scheduled for February of 2019. However, if the Black Lightning TV series is the huge hit I think it will be, and if you buy a whole bunch of copies of Black Lighting: Cold Dead Hands and the Black Lightning trades, I have a hunch it could get into print sooner than 2019. I believe in Jefferson Pierce. 
My next convention appearance will be the Official Buffalo Comicon, September 30-October 1, at the Buffalo-Niagara Convention Center, 153 Franklin Street in Buffalo. Other guests include John Wesley Shipp, Fred Williamson, Eric Roberts, Kevin Nowlan, Graham Nolan,  Steve Geiger and more. There will be great cosplayers and a variety of panel presentations. I’ll be doing my “Tony’s Tips Live!” panel sometime during the weekend. As with all my 2017 conventions, there will be no charge to have me sign Isabella-written comic books and books. That might not be the case at all my 2018 events.

My next-to-last 2017 convention will be the always wonderful Grand Rapids Comic-Con, October 20-22. It’s at the DeVos Place/Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids. There will be lots of terrific guests and more, but I’ll talk more about this convention in a near-future bloggy thing.

My last 2017 convention is the big one for Black Lightning’s fans. On November 4 and 5, at the John S. Knight Convention Center, the Akron Comicon will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Black Lightning with myself, the original series artist Trevor Von Eeden, the original series editor Jack C. Harris, the second series artist Eddy Newell and Mike W. Barr, the writer of Black Lightning in Batman and the Outsiders. This is the largest gathering of Black Lightning professionals ever at one con. There will be many other great guests at the event, but, for now, you can learn more about the show by visiting its website.

I’ve lost track of how many interviews I’ve done in recent weeks. John Burgio and a crew of college film students from Florida came to my home in Medina to interview me for a short documentary called Justice Like Lightning: The Black Lightning Story. The documentary is being edited and, if all goes well, I hope to have a copy to show at future “Tony’s Tips Live!” presentations.

I just finished doing a long interview with Wilson Simonetto for a Brazilian magazine called Mundo dos Super Heróis (or World of Super Heroes). The completed interview, which I assume will be condensed for publication, runs over 3000 words. It’s entirely possible I’ll run some excerpts from it here.

I’m almost finished answering questions asked of me by Keith Reid-Cleveland for Black Nerd Problems. That interview will probably run about 1500 words when it’s completed.

In mid-October, I have two interviews scheduled. I’ll be speaking to the students of Michael Schuldiner’s course on super-heroes at the University of Akron. On the following day, a crew from WVIZ-TV, the local PBS station will be coming to my house and trainwreck of an office to interview and film me for a segment of that station’s arts and culture program. Look at me being all arty and cultured. Who’d a thunk?

Some tips for the well-dressed Black Lightning fan:

Black Action Tees has three different styles of t-shirts that are perfect for your next swanky gathering. There’s the Black Lightning Black Edition t-shirt:

There’s the adorable Soul Power Heroes and Heroines T-Shirt:

And the Black Rushmore T-Shirt:

In addition, from Marvel’s Luke Cage series on Netflix, I love my Pop's Barber Shop T-Shirt:

There was so much news this time out that I didn't have the room to answer any of your Black Lightning and related questions. I’ll do another installment of “Black Lightning Beat” on Thursday and get through as many of your questions as possible. If there’s something you’d like to ask me, e-mail me. The sooner I get your questions, the sooner I can answer them.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of “Rawhide Kid Wednesday,” your guide to the hard-riding reprints of Marvel’s greatest western hero. See you then.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. I hope HQ arrives here in Brazil for me to buy!

    (Sorry for my terrible English)