Black Lightning

Electricity is what, the third most popular energy blast in the superhero biz…? Fire is first, then ice, and then electricity—maybe tying with lasers—for third. Out of all of those I’d go with ice. Less chance of electrocuting a friend or setting their house on fire when messing with ‘em. I should never get super powers.

Moving along, the topic this week: Black Lightning

Blaxploitation name aside, Black Lightning is a relatively new favorite of mine, mostly due to his appearance in Brad Meltzer’s JLA run. Cool character, compelling personal life and they FINALLY got him into a good costume. Yeah, it’s a little Lightning Lad-ish, but Black Lightning wears it better.

Ingredients: Base body is a…man, I am blanking on this one. I know the head is a Black Lightning (Collateral Damage) and those lightning blasts come courtesy Mary Marvel (Crisis), but the rest? Dunno. I seem to remember he was at least two figures; a lower torso from one fig, the upper torso of another. If you can lend a hand and name ‘em, toss the info in the comments section below. Costume trimming are index card held in place with a pinprick of Elmer’s to hold it in lace and then hardened with Krazy Glue. Acrylic paint and matte spray sealed the deal. Custom Black Lightning dial here.

EDIT: Lower torso is probably a Nightwing (HyperTime) and special thanks to Mr. Nobody who, in the comments section, pointed out that the upper body is a Booster Gold (Origins).

Bonus twofer! The above Black Lightning is the second custom I’ve made of the character. Years back I made a mod based on BL’s original costume, lemme see if I can find a pic of it that is in no way dated or ridiculous…

…okay, in all fairness, once you get past that “jive turkey” line, take a closer look at the characters behind Superman. Caveman Woman? Cyrano de Bergerac? And is that Green Starfish Man? Jive turkeys indeed.

Anyway, old school Black Lightning…

Want some behind-the-scenes Black Lightning insanity? Click this.


Ingredients: Base body is a repainted Nightwing (Hypertime) with costume trimmings made with the same index card/glue trick outlined above. His afro is a small tear of TP rolled into a ball, pushed into place with modeling tools and hardened with a small drip of Krazy Glue.It also looks like a muffin top.

Assorted Black Lightning stuff from around the web

First—and most importantly—the “Superman Funeral” SNL sketch with Sinbad stealing the show as Black Lightning. Cool old school fan art. Modern Black Lightning, DC animated-style. And finally, two Black Lightning costumes, one taken at the start of the day when BL is full of pep and enjoying the comic convention and the other…well, it’s been a long day.



7 Responses

  1. They need a story where Black Lightning shoots Billy Shazam in the face with a lightning bolt and turns Billy into Shazam. Awesome twist. Grant Morrison should write this story. He used Black Lightning in Final Crisis for a whole book and in there Black Lightning like.. did.. stuff?

  2. Not weird enough to be a Grant Morrison story.

    How about: Black Lightning redirects the magical lightning that Billy Batson calls down, funnels it into a parallel universe where it hits M.O.D.O.K. and SHAZAM!, “M.O.D.O.K. Marvel” uses his new powers to travel dimensions, hunting down and devouring every kryptonian super pet he finds.

    Run, Krypto, RUN!!!

  3. M.O.D.O.K.S.H.A.Z.A.M. would jump realities with the power of his ridiculous acronym. He’d have to actually say all the words in the whole thing for anything to work. I hope he writes it down.

  4. You can only defeat M.O.D.O.K.S.H.A.Z.A.M. by getting him to say his name backwards.

  5. modern black lightnings arms/uppertorso looks like Origins booster gold to me.

    Cant tell whose legs they are tho

  6. Hmmm…yeah, I think you’re right.

    Good call.

  7. Another video I dug up when looking for that Sinbad/Black Lightning sketch, this one–another SNL bit–has Bill Murray as Supes, Dan Akroyd as the Flash, John Belushi (I lamost wrote “Jim”) as the Hulk and Garrett Morris as, well, he steals the show…

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