Aggressive Targeted Marketing
Writer: Tony Isabella
Artist: Clayton Henry & Yviel Guichet
Colorist: Pete Pantazis
Letterer: Josh Reed
Cover: Clayton Henry & Mark Morales with Tomeu Morey
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: February 7, 2018
**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
Last time we saw Black Lightning, he was in the middle of a massive fight between White Thunder, his jetpack crew, and the cops—so I hope this issue picks up where that left off! One way to find out is to read my review of Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #4, right now!
It occurs to me that the entirety of the last few issues of this miniseries has taken place over a very short couple of days, as evidenced by the fact that this one picks up precisely where the last one left off: White Thunder and his Rocketeers are blasting alien guns at Black Lightning and the cops, in order to promote chaos, from which Tobias Whale will reap customers for the very alien guns being used. I like that this issue didn’t dilly-dally, but I did have to shift myself into gear a little quicker than expected. White Thunder is all too happy to kill Black Lightning, considering a hefty bounty placed on him by Whale, and his minions feel the same way—a point that Black Lightning exploits when he stays close to the jet packin’ White Thunder and shows him that he’s nothing but collateral damage to the almighty dollar.
Meanwhile, all of Black Lightning’s buddies at Carella’s Gym and McBain’s Bar & Grill—who are all helpfully identified with captions, thank you very much Tony Isabella and his editor(s)—are watching this all unfold on television, even at Grandmother Henderson’s house, where Jefferson Pierce’s two daughters play with some budding electric powers while watching their pop struggle on a laptop livestream. Black Lightning eventually takes White Thunder down, and the cops whip off his mask to discover he’s a lizard person! Which really should have freaked them out more than it actually does, but I guess when you’re a cop in Cleveland, you’ve already seen a lot of shit.
The cops eventually fend off White Thunder’s minions, and then apprehend Black Lightning immediately under strict orders. On the way to the police station, however, his arresting officer allows Jefferson to escape, explaining that he doesn’t have to like him, but they’re gonna need him in the coming days. He just saved your ass like six times, dude, can you cut him some slack? While all this mayhem broke out, Tobias Whale’s assistant Miss Pequod took out all of his alien gun loose ends, so now it’s time to take the bounty off of Black Lightning’s head—and deal with Pierce himself!
This was another fast-paced, action-packed issue that, unfortunately, advanced the overall story incrementally. This whole “alien gun conspiracy” has taken way too long to unfold, and perhaps doesn’t warrant this many issues to begin with. I must give big credit to the nuts and bolts of this comic—the pacing, the storytelling, and keeping the reader apprised of what’s happening, all arts that seem to have been lost in modern comics, are executed very well here. The art team continues to do excellent work as well. This is an excellent issue, but when taking into account the twelve bucks worth of story that preceded it, things start feeling shady. Watch yourself on these mean streets of Cleveland.
Bits and Pieces:
An exciting issue in and of itself that does little for the overall miniseries. Very readable, but not remarkable. Might serve best for instructive purposes in today's comic book climate.