Black Lightning

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Diversity is a loaded word when it comes to the four-color world of comic books and superheroes. For some, it’s an eye-rolling attempt at political correctness to force characters of different colors and religious and sexual persuasions into stories that supposedly don’t need them. Others see it as cynical money grab by tone-deaf publishers, namely DC and Marvel, to improve sales by enticing noob readers into buying books with characters who look like them on the covers. Me, I see it as strips of the quilt that has made up my reading material in and out of comics since I foolishly ripped the pages out of a copy of Charlotte’s Web my mother gave me when I was seven to make paper airplanes. I don’t need to be able to relate to a character before I pick up a book no matter the genre because I’m just as likely to be the last survivor of the planet Krypton as I am the reincarnated soul of a bloodthirsty mercenary sent back to Earth as a spawn of Hell. So just make sure the yarn holds my attention and I’ll judge it on its own merits. However, when I do find a character I see some of myself in, I’m hooked for life. Heroes and a few villains like Easy Rawlins, Sherlock Holmes, Batman, Nino Brown, and Black Manta. But when I saw Black Lightning, the protector of Suicide Slum, on the cover of a Justice League of America comic in 1979, I said that’s me.  (more…)