BLACK LIGHTING: COLD DEAD HANDS #5 BY TONY ISABELLA AND CLAYTON HENRY
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
The legendary creator of Black Lightning, Tony Isabella, has written an electrifying new story with the awesome artwork of Clayton Henry. The clash between Black Lightning and his archenemy Tobias Whale is one you won't want to miss!
90 %
Bringing the Thunder!

The fifth installment of Black Lightning’s six-part series packs an electrifying punch. Tony Isabella, the legendary creator of Black Lightning, has written an all-new story featuring the hero like you’ve never seen before, while still staying true to the heart of the classics. Paired with the awesome artwork by Clayton Henry, BLACK LIGHTNING: COLD DEAD HANDS #5 deserves thunderous applause.

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The Story of BLACK LIGHTNING: COLD DEAD HANDS #5

This issue can be split into two parts. The first half begins with a time skip, one week after the attacks on Cleveland. The city is picking up the pieces in the aftermath of the destruction. Jefferson Pierce takes a moment during his somber monologue about the aftermath of the tragedy to pay tribute to the fallen officers. Tensions with law enforcement are high. Black Lightning has an uneasy relationship with the police and the community as a whole. It’s interesting to see him, as a superhero, dealing with this strained alliance. We also get a look into Pierce’s life as a teacher directing a school play and being a role model to his students.

BLACK LIGHTNING: COLD DEAD HANDS #5
BLACK LIGHTNING: COLD DEAD HANDS #5 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

In the second half of the comic, the narrative switches the focus from Mr. Pierce the teacher to Black Lightning the hero. Black Lightning intentionally walks into the trap set by Tobias Whale and his associate, Miss Pequod. When he enters the room, the windows and doors are sealed, turning this highly anticipated showdown into a cage match. Black Lightning versus Tobias Whale. Lightning powers versus dangerous alien weaponry. They pummel each other to bloody pulps in this fight to the death. The battle got so intense, I was actually biting my nails. Will Black Lightning survive Whale’s final punch? You’ll have to keep reading to find out.

Some Major Changes

Don’t expect a perfect throwback to the original BLACK LIGHTNING comic. Tony Isabella has reinvented Black Lightning in this new miniseries while keeping the core values of the classic comic perfectly intact. In this incarnation, Pierce is younger, only twenty-eight-years-old, and isn’t married, nor does he have any daughters. I’ll miss that family man quality about him; however, he’s still a great teacher who works to be a positive role model in his students’ lives. This is also a new incarnation of our hero’s archenemy. The villain in this issue is actually the uncle of the previous Tobias Whale. He’s more physically fit and not albino, but is still just as powerful and dangerous as the original.

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Both Sides of Jefferson Pierce

What I really like about Pierce’s character is the juxtaposition of his double life. One minute, we have the teacher who’s involved in the school play, the next, there’s Black Lightning fighting Tobias Whale. This sudden change is jarring, but keeps the readers on their toes. This issue does a wonderful job of highlighting the contrast between the ordinary human life and vigilante one of Pierce.

BLACK LIGHTNING: COLD DEAD HANDS #5
BLACK LIGHTNING: COLD DEAD HANDS #5 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

An Epic Showdown

Prior to his appearance in this issue, Tobias Whale had been working behind the curtains, supplying gangs with alien weapons. He’s indirectly the cause of the destruction of Cleveland. As soon as Black Lightning came face-to-face with Tobias Whale, I expected an epic showdown. There was a solid build-up to this climactic fight, and the entrance of Tobias Whale lives up to the hype. This issue didn’t disappoint, especially with the awesome artwork by Clayton Henry. You can really feel the animosity these two character’s have for one another through Henry’s visuals.

Final Thoughts

Tony Isabella’s return to writing for this iconic hero, the one he originally created, was such a treat to read. BLACK LIGHTNING: COLD DEAD HANDS #5 was a fantastic issue. Hardcore fans of Black Lightning won’t be disappointed in this revamp of a classic character. Henry’s artwork, especially in the fight scene, was excellent. There was a perfect amount of build-up leading to the brutal showdown between Tobias and Black Lightning. So I predict the final installment will be a thrilling conclusion to this action-packed series.

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