As those with an interest in comics history (and specifically when it comes to the super-hero genre) know, Black Lightning is an African-American super-hero created by writer Tony Isabella with artist Trevor Von Eeden for his own short-lived title under the DC Comics banner back in 1977. While it was one of many casualties of the DC Implosion, which saw the cancellation of a slew of titles, the character has lived on through the decades, both under Isabella’s guidance (sporadically, due to conflicts with the publisher over the years) and in stories penned by other writers.
Recently, the character’s profile in the broader pop-culture consciousness has seen a huge bump with the success of the first season of the Black Lightning television series on the CW.
But when perusing a back issue of another DC title recently, I discovered Black Lightning debuted long before 1977. In fact, the name showed up in a DC comic three years before Isabella was even born.