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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 21 February 2018 at 8:11pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Somebody mentioned (I can't find where or when) that Tony Isabella gave BL electric powers in the original series run (I think the person said issue #10).

Natural powers?  I don't remember that.  I thought it was always an electric device until much later.  It's been a long time since I read the originals, but I don't recall that.  (They released a collected edition a few months ago, but I always wait until I can get these for half price at a con.)

I did just see that they released the SECOND collection of BL stories--mostly team-ups (Superman, Batman, the JLA) and his back-up feature in WORLD'S FINEST COMICS.  I looked all through that book and I didn't see him use his powers once--not even from an electrical device!  He was treated as a completely powerless vigilante crimefighter.

With so many on this thread asking for a STATIC show, I think that's even more proof that BL should not have actual powers.  With in-body powers, BL and Static look like practically the same character, just different ages.  I'm sure there are some younger fans out there wondering if BL is just Static grown up or--worse yet--that Static is the original and BL is the copy!  (Shades of THE INCREDIBLES!)

I suppose that may be why DC prefers the older BL, father of two--just to push him farther away from the (previously) more popular and well-known Static.
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Paul Kimball
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Posted: 21 February 2018 at 9:48pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I didn't think I would like Black lightning but what can I say, it think it's been
pretty darn good. Doesn't mean we can't have static too. I would be surprised
if we don't see a version appear either on BL or another show soon.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 22 February 2018 at 10:28am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Eric J., that was this Eric who commented on Black Lightning getting powers naturally from his costume. He originally had them from the outfit by Peter Gambi; but Gambi designed the power belt to transfer the powers into Black Lightning himself. Maybe this was revealed in B.L. #7? Sadly, there's no DC Showcase Presents for Black Lightning...

If I said issue #10, I was slightly off; the series ran 11 issues. After B.L. was cancelled, the Black Lightning strip continued (backup in World's Finest, maybe?)

I might be misremembering (ALWAYS a possibility with me!) but I'm pretty sure that's how it turned out...
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 22 February 2018 at 3:32pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Thanks, Eric!  I just couldn't find that post.

Yeah, he continued on in WORLD'S FINEST and then I think DETECTIVE COMICS for a while.  I should have bought the new reprint when I saw it, so I can't tell for sure what happened in the original 11 issues.  But I just looked at the second volume at Barnes and Noble (reprinting the WORLD'S FINEST series and other post 1-11 appearances) and, yeah, NO powers there whatsoever!

Looking it up online, I see that initially Jefferson got the powers from "internalizing" the belt's powers, but then later they retro-ed it to make him a metahuman from birth.

Maybe I just like powerless vigilantes (who are fairly rare these days) more than yet ANOTHER metahuman/mutant whose name is literalized.  (They changed all of Flash's weapons-based Rogues into metahumans too!)  Someday, we're going to see a Batman who can fly.
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John Bodin
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Posted: 24 February 2018 at 11:09am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

We already got to see a flying Batman in the Christopher Bale Dark Knight trilogy -- I recently rewatched the Dark Knight with my youngest daughter, who is finally old enough to see it, and every time he glided (flew) my daughter cried out, "Noooo!  That's wrong!  Grappling hook!  Zipline!  NO FLYING!"

Good to know I raised her right. 

;-)
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 25 February 2018 at 10:05am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Static was such a well-written character during those early issues of the
original series. The STATIC SHOCK cartoon was a lot of fun, too,
though I wish those in charge had been brave enough to put Virgil and
Frieda’s friendship on screen. My only other gripe is that they had to
make Richie his smarter superhero sidekick. I understand how those
changes made the show more palatable to part of the audience though.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 25 February 2018 at 11:14am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Eric, I didn't have anything to do with changing B.L. - I just remember what I read. :)

However, once he internalized his powers, he WAS a metahuman... unless they changed the damn definition again. Same as Marvel calling their super powered heroes Marvels.

After the Black Lightning run finished, you're right about his powers, and my memory tells me that he never used his powers. Why not? Some editorial dictate, which was stupid in my mind.

I like Batman, Shang-Chi, Hawkeye, Green Arrow, and such of the completely non-powered variants. But I also like Iron Fist, Black Canary, Captain America, Black Lightning, etc. - "street level" heroes, but with some super powers. Not enough to put them at the Green Lantern/Iron Man degree of powers, but enough to make them interesting in a different way. (And yes, I think a little differently about Hawkman, Falcon, Green Arrow, Hawkeye, etc. - normal humans with a little technological emphasis.)

Did it all change? Maybe it did, due to reboots, restarts, whatever. And I thought Black Lightning's origin, powers and Olympian both, was unique at the time, and kinda refreshing.

From the last couple of episodes of B.L., I'm not entirely sure how his powers currently work... and I'm good with that. I'll look forward to see it being revealed on the show.
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