Tony Isabella has been talking Black Lighting now that the first shot is out of the bag. On his blog, he writes,
I’m a cheerleader for Salim and Mara Akil…and the CW…and I like this costume. I think it fits the CW super-hero universe perfectly. If it came in “short and chubby,” I’d wear it. Though I would not look nearly as cool as Williams.
But a few things have cropped up.
Black Lightning’s powers are natural. He’s a metahuman or whatever they call people with natural powers in the CW super-hero universe. Don’t worry. Be happy.
I confess I’m getting a wee bit annoyed by fan calls for Static to appear on this show. Now I love Static and the Static Shock cartoon series, but, were it my call (and it isn’t), you would NEVER see Static in this series. Black Lightning doesn’t need Static. Static doesn’t need Black Lightning. They are great characters who can stand on their own.
He also has issues with credits being given for the character, and we know this has been a long fought battle for Isabella. He has long claimed that the publication of Black Lightning was a publishing deal between him and DC Comics, while DC Comics have acted as if it was work for hire, and have cited the visual look of the character created by then-DC Comics artist Trevor Von Eeden as evidence for that. Recently, DC Comics agreed to the credit “Black Lightning created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden” rather than “and”.
So naturally, Isabella is rather protective.
If a site includes the information that Black Lightning was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden, that earns the website two points. Legalese aside, companies don’t create characters. Creators create characters.
If the site gets the credit line correct – it’s officially “Black Lightning created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden” – it gets another point. The difference between “and” and “with” may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but it’s the official DC Comics credit. Use it.
If the site spells my friend Trevor’s name correctly – it’s “Eeden” and not “Eden” – it gets another point. Seriously, kids, turn off your auto-correct and look at the actual comic books Trevor’s been drawing brilliantly for decades.
If the site also mentions my friend Eddy Newell’s name and spells it correctly – it’s “Eddy” and not “Eddie” – it gets another point. Eddy drew my second Black Lightning series in the 1990s.
I’d argue with Tony on the principle here. I will often knowingly not use the official company credit for a character. The Walking Dead created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore for example – and I get grief for it. Spider-Man created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko wasn’t there for a very long time. Officially, Bill Finger has only just been added to Batman and Siegel and Shuster were credited for Supergirl without a word for Otto Binder and Al Plastino. It’s a good argument against laziness but reporters and news sites are not a publisher or a creator’s PR agencies. Or at least they shouldn’t be.
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