Picking up with fervent energy where the spirit of the prior issue left off, we come in on the electric hero Jeff Pierce trying to figure out what the heck is happening to his city. More to the point, he’s desperately trying to figure out his super heroic place within it. He can’t just freely be a hero, because he’s been framed for murder. He can’t stop the flood of high tech weapons and drugs, because he hasn’t identified the suppliers yet. And then he can’t do much of ANYTHING because he’s dealing with the very staunch issue of being black in America. Rarely easily trusted, never given the benefit of the doubt, destined to walk a confident life of titanium on eggshells.
And that’s the only qualm I had with this issue. While we do get to see what an invested and heart driven teacher he is by day in the classroom, there’s an undercurrent of excessive deliberation that makes it drag just a bit. We get to see him in action and engage in creative dialogue- we even get a cleverly thematically paralleled play coursing throughout- but he never seems to really do anything himself.
The story pushes him along. He’s not pushing the story.
But what if that’s the point?
What if this all a set up for him to explode out of his pseudo melancholy state and really make decisions, really walk in the reality of his life as it’s always been?
Intriguing isn’t it. Only time will tell.
That being said, there is nothing to complain about in either the dialogue OR the art. I’m actually quite fond of the illustrated renderings, because it’s so inviting. It hearkens back to the old styles where it’s a bit over the top, but just enough so that it’s totally engrossing. Stunning actually. It’s almost like watching a cartoon. And, my word, every action scene of Black Lightning crackling with power…? To die for.
4 Whales out of 5