“1972-1995: Jefferson Pierce“
Writer: John Ridley
Artists: Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi
Color Artist: Jose Villarrubia
Letterer: Steve Wands
Review by Kendra Hale
The Blood Didn’t Pool, It Flowed
The Other History Of The DC Universe #1 was honestly unlike most comics I’ve picked up. The story in this first issue featured Jefferson Pierce, also known as Black Lightning. It went into full depth, and was narrated from Jefferson’s point of view. DC has accomplished this many times, where the real world has been brought into play, and where the industry has read the room… so to speak. This is most certainly one of those times, and if there were ever a venue to do so, then Black Label series is it. This imprint is perfect platform in which to be real, and raw. Written by John Ridley, this series takes a look at the side of DC history that isn’t so well known, and these aren’t the topics we normally see.
This book is special, because it shines a completely new light on the DC Universe for many. Jefferson Pierce harbors feelings that eat away and cross over into his home life, and school work. He has a vision of how a hero should be, what a hero should do, and deals with the consequences and rewards simultaneously. The Other History Of The DC Universe #1 shows us 1972-1995 through his eyes; the highs, and the lows. We get the true insight of a voice that’s not usually heard, even when screaming.
In places it’s a hard read, for sure, due to the raw emotion, and bare vulnerability of opening up. The images depicted by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi masterfully show readers the view point from the other side of thinking. In showing this side of DC the creative team has delivered. This book makes you think, and it certainly hurt my heart to read the raw emotions, and see horrors that still exist in the world of today. The book recalls events that, sadly, absolutely mirror the present, and show that we, as a society, have so, SO much more to learn.
The Other History Of The DC Universe #1 hits the ground running, and it doesn’t shy away from showing us a different point of view. It’s important to experience what Jefferson Pierce thinks, and feels. The shades of grey are real, and this world isn’t just black and white, on so many levels. Decisions are made by finding out what the next best step is, or should be. This is the tale of a conflicted, enraged man, but one who steps up in an attempt to give his all, in order to make the world around him make sense. There are moments that will resonate with everyone. His relationships with well known characters really make you reconsider how you view both worlds.
John Ridley and his team have made this book a mandatory read. It’s everything that you expect from a Black Label comic, and so much more. Jefferson truly speaks to you from these pages, and not only gives you a look into his growth and life, but also demands your attention. I highly suggest giving the book a read, even though it’s a big chunk of a comic, coming in at 51 pages. The artwork and the writing make that all go by fluidly.
As a special treat, here’s a sneak peek at the covers for issue #2
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment