By Koppy McFad
February 28, 2009 - 23:38
In this re-telling of Black Lightning's origin, the character learns the secret behind the evil criminal organization called "the 100" that has been plaguing his community. But battling this crime syndicate takes a personal toll in the life of Jefferson Pierce.
This issue is quite effective in showing the odds that Black Lightning was up against and in revealing the extent of his sacrifices for his ideals. In other comics, Pierce sometimes risks coming off as a self-righteous prig but this story makes it clear that he has paid his dues and feels deeply for his community-- both the slum he lives in and the wider world around it.
The revelation about the 100 however detracts from the story. Giving them a 'mystical' background and motive risks turning a story about contemporary ills into just another comic-book adventure. It would be like revealing that Fu Manchu is behind the Crips.
The art is crisp but also too slick. While it makes the story easy to follow, it also fails to capture the urgency and tragedy of Black Lightning's plight. It also makes the environment look a little too clean. Even the fight scenes appear to be too orderly.
This new story isn't completely faithful to the original version of Black Lightning's origins but it does capture the mood of the original version while updating it to fit with modern 'continuity.'
Rating: 6.5 /10