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Black Lightning co-creator Tony Isabella, whose relationship with DC Comics can be kindly described as contentious, would like you to know that, yes, he’s seen the announcement about the character’s reintroduction in DC Universe Presents — and, no, he doesn’t want to comment on it.
“You don’t have to e-mail me, private message me, phone me, or post links on my Facebook page,” he wrote on his blog. “My only public comments to date have been ‘Words fail me’ and, to my friend Dan Mishkin, ‘Forget it, Dan. It’s DC Town.’ But, really, if you’ve ever read anything I’ve written about Black Lightning and DC’s continued refusal to honor its agreements with me, and if you have half a brain, you already know how I feel about the news.”
Mishkin is, of course, co-creator of Blue Devil, who’ll share the spotlight with Black Lighting, as well as co-creator of Amethyst, who will anchor the upcoming Sword of Sorcery anthology. He’s already spoken publicly about the relaunch of Amethyst, telling Comic Book Resources he thinks “what they’re setting out to do isn’t worth doing” because of central changes DC is making to the character. His former collaborator Gary Cohn was more blunt, saying, “I really don’t have anything to say about Amethyst that I haven’t said many times before, except maybe, R.I.P.”
Isabella has long contended he’s the sole creator of Black Lightning, a character who wasn’t introduced under a work-for-hire agreement but rather a partnership between he and DC. It was only after he sought to buy out the publisher’s interest in the character following the cancellation of the first series in 1978 that he says DC declared artist Trevor Von Eeden as Black Lightning’s co-creator.
The new Black Lightning will debut alongside the new Blue Devil in October’s DC Universe Presents #13. The five-part story by Marc Andreyko and Robson Rocha will team the two disparate heroes in a scenario the writer has likened to Lethal Weapon and Moonlighting.
With DC’s “New 52″ titles hitting in a few short weeks, cartoonist Jon Morris has recruited a whole bunch of indie comic artists to put their own spin on what the relaunch could have looked like. Today he officially launched DC Fifty-TOO!, a blog that will feature mock relaunch covers by T.J.Kirsch, Marc Palm, Ryan Cody, Thomas Perkins, Robert Wilson IV, Matthew Allison and Benjamin Marra, among others. Morris asked them the question, “If DC approached you and offered you any DC property – past or present – of your choice to be your own new ongoing part of the DC Universe, what would the cover to the first issue look like?”
The first cover, featuring Blue Devil, is by Indigo Kelleigh, co-founder of Stumptown Comic Fest and creator of The Adventures of Ellie Connelly. Expect some others later today, with many more on the way.