View Poll Results: Should Black Lightning be moved to Freeland in canon?

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  • Yea, move that boy to Freeland

    14 87.50%
  • Nah, keep that boy where he is

    2 12.50%
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  1. #16
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I liked Black Lightning's Superman connection with Suicide Slum in Year One but if we're spinning him as entirely his own IP then Freeland making the jump seems like a must.

    But I think Thunder and Lightning being his actual daughters again and Tobias Whale being Albino are also really important.
    Agreed on everything. I love that Jeff came from Suicide Slum, but in the interest of making him a totally solo IP Freeland is the smarter choice.

    And the daughters feel like an absolute must. Whale being albino is definitely important too, I think, as it gives him a more unique visual. I mean, how many albinos are there in comics?
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  2. #17
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Agreed on everything. I love that Jeff came from Suicide Slum, but in the interest of making him a totally solo IP Freeland is the smarter choice.
    I'd be happier with de-couplling Suicide Slum and Metropolis.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I don't think this is exactly accurate. Flash isn't really known as the lightning hero and he barely uses that ability. It's more for visuals than anything. And the lightning Jefferson generates looks different from Flash anyway (Flash's lightning is yellow, BL's is blue).
    Flash literally has a lightning bolt logo

  4. #19
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    DC heroes of his caliber all have their own city, so yeah. Wouldn't be a bad synergy connection.

  5. #20
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    I think they can do both. Keep the Suicide Slum as one of the cities that Jefferson called home, but retcon in Freeland as his hometown and current base of operations.

    And retcon Thunder & Lightning back into being his daughters.

  6. #21
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    I'd be happier with de-couplling Suicide Slum and Metropolis.
    Really? I love that Metropolis has such a crap neighborhood.

    Shows that Clark's mission isn't over yet.
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  7. #22
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Really? I love that Metropolis has such a crap neighborhood.

    Shows that Clark's mission isn't over yet.
    Moving it to Metropolis left a very sour taste in my mouth with the "Superman doesn't go there" crap because that is so incredibly out of character for Clark to have never been there, and very much diminishes him as a hero. I dislike that intensely.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecretWarrior View Post
    Flash literally has a lightning bolt logo
    Yeah but no one thinks of lightning control as his super power and creating lightning isn't something he does often. Jefferson also has a lightning logo and lightning is in his code name.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    Moving it to Metropolis left a very sour taste in my mouth with the "Superman doesn't go there" crap because that is so incredibly out of character for Clark to have never been there, and very much diminishes him as a hero. I dislike that intensely.
    You can make it that Superman doesn't go there because he doesn't really understand how different things are there and he leaves it to other heroes more familiar with it to handle it. If they need him they'll ask for his help but it has to be on their terms.

  9. #24
    Mighty Member Koriand'r's Avatar
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    It's weird how his creator Tony Isabella doesn't get the appeal of Black Lightning the way other writers do. The family dynamic is essential and yes so is the city of Freeland.

  10. #25
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    You can make it that Superman doesn't go there because he doesn't really understand how different things are there and he leaves it to other heroes more familiar with it to handle it. If they need him they'll ask for his help but it has to be on their terms.
    The first part makes Superman an idiot - there's no reason he shouldn't understand and you don't need understanding to stop muggings or rapes, anyway. Just "leave it to those more familiar" in the worst place even though it never improves? Plus the entire point given there was that Superman had never been there even before they had a hero of their own. I don't see how they can be anything but a put-down to Superman. And it was also a point that the people thought Superman didn't care or thought them unsavable, rather than wanting him there only under "their terms." And really, he's never avoided any other area, so why this one? No - as far I'm concerned, the entire setup was intended to make Superman look blind and ignorant at best and uncaring at a medium and at worst to intentionally be corralling crime there instead of in better area (that is extreme and more potential fan-reaction than canon, I think). Very "mainstream writes off the area" theme or at least "mainstream doesn't think they can improve" or "mainstream ignores the area." Not really "out of sight, out of mind" since Superman's sight extends so far.

  11. #26
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    But Clark had been to the Slums before (the book got that wrong from the start). Its been ages but I feel like he actually spent a good chunk of time there back in the early 90's, maybe late 80's, with the whole Gangbuster arc. And he visited Steel there, before Steel moved back to Washington. And of course it's been established in at least a couple continuities that his first apartment is in the Slum too (which I love. I have a whole plan for Suicide Slum and Clark's relationship with the neighborhood, if I ever somehow ended up writing the books).

    I can see the idea BL:YO put forth that, to the people of the Slum, Superman looks like a white savior showing up from Olympus and they resented the hell out of him for that. These guys live in squalor but are in the shadow of the greatest city on earth. Metropolis has a place called the "Avenue of Tomorrow" where bleeding edge technology is developed every day, yet a few blocks south, here's the Slum looking like the worst parts of NYC during the worst parts of NYC's history. I always took Black Lightning: Year One to be saying that Superman's arrival in the Slum usually just made a situation worse. He'd show up and people would riot, because they don't want his white savior help. And if I recall correctly, this came out when a lot of rough neighborhoods in America were turning cops and first responders away even though that help was needed, so there was a parallel at the time. Though I could be wrong on that one, it's been years after all.

    You're right that it's a damning commentary on Superman (and I dont appreciate that either). But given the version of Superman DC was working with at the time it's one I can see as (regretfully) accurate. That version of Superman left a lot to be desired when it comes to being a hero of the people. It wouldn't work with most versions, but the early-ish post-Crisis Superman? Yeah, I can see how he couldn't figure out how to navigate those social waters. Thank the gods we've moved beyond that version.

    In any case, I have no problem with Jeff living in the Slum. Even if we have a Superman who is welcome there, Metropolis is full of monsters and superhumans and aliens (not to mention Clark protects the whole damn universe), and those things require a lot of his attention so he's got a lot less time to tackle street crime. That's where Jeff, Gangbuster, and other street-level guys come in.

    But it's all immaterial anyway, since it'd be better for Jeff to have his own setting and city. I say let Black Lightning have Freeland and send Nightwing to Suicide Slum for a while. He hasn't spent much time with Uncle Clark and the Kent family lately, time for a reunion!
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  12. #27
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    But Clark had been to the Slums before (the book got that wrong from the start)
    Certainly - the execution was nuts. Nonetheless, Suicide Slum in Metropolis is forever associated with that for me, and so I don't like it.

    I can see the idea BL:YO put forth that, to the people of the Slum, Superman looks like a white savior showing up from Olympus and they resented the hell out of him for that.
    I haven't read it, but it seems to make the people look bad because they resent someone who isn't only trying to help, but is helping (at least when he shows up and intervenes in violent crimes). Also not a good idea to me. Especially if they violently riot, causing injury and property damage, when someone shows up to help in a fire or a mugging or whatever. They look irrational and unreasonable and self-sabotaging. It perpetuates the idea they are responsible for their own problems and refuse reasonable solutions/aid and harm themselves and make the neighborhood worse over it.
    Last edited by Tzigone; Today at 07:06 AM.

  13. #28
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    Certainly - the execution was nuts. Nonetheless, Suicide Slum in Metropolis is forever associated with that for me, and so I don't like it.
    Ah, was this your first exposure to the neighborhood? I can see how that'd leave a bad first impression. BL:YO was a decent read, aside from how they handled Superman's dynamic with the Slum, but I can totally understand where you're coming from.

    I haven't read it, but it seems to make the people look bad because they resent someone who isn't only trying to help, but is helping (at least when he shows up and intervenes in violent crimes). Also not a good idea to me. Especially if they violently riot, causing injury and property damage, when someone shows up to help in a fire or a mugging or whatever. They look irrational and unreasonable and self-sabotaging. It perpetuates the idea they are responsible for their own problems and refuse reasonable solutions/aid and harm themselves and make the neighborhood worse over it.
    Like I said, if my memory serves me right this book came out when the same thing was happening in real cities and getting a chunk of media attention. There'd be a shooting in Chicago, cops would try to show up and help, and people would throw stuff at them (including Molotov cocktails), their cars, etc. The cops, despite trying to help, just incited the deep-seated anger the neighborhoods had at those they felt had left them behind.

    Yeah, its a "cutting off your nose to spite your face" sort of thing, but one that happens in the real world all the time so I don't put too much blame on the people of the Slum for it. I grew up in a crappy, super poor neighborhood (third poorest in America at the time!) and I too had nothing but resentment for the people from the nice places full of opportunity and good jobs. In my mind, they lived in a very, very different America than I did, and they got everything while I struggled to eat. And if one of those people "from on high" had come down and offered me a hand, I'd likely have spit in their face too, just out of stupid pride and resentment. It's not rational. But it is human.
    Last edited by Ascended; Today at 07:24 AM.
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  14. #29
    Astonishing Member j9ac9k's Avatar
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    I like the idea of BL being in Freeland, but only if a writer who has an idea about what makes that city unique and wants to have it be a part of BL's story and life the way Gotham, Opal City, Hub City, etc reflect their hero's identities. I also think moving him from any kind of slum might be good because not every black character needs to be associated with "the street" and inner cities. We have enough of that - Freeland being a whole city opens up more opportunites, imo and with his powerset, BL shouldn't be considered a "street level" hero - or at least be able to have a wider variety of stories the way Batman can beat up muggers but still hang with the JLA punching Darkseid in the face.

  15. #30
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    The nice thing about fictional cities is you don’t run into what’s happened to Marvel with NYC, where the comics portray an outdated NYC from the 80s with crime happening on every street while in real life NYC is safer than its been in years and crime is on the decline. Fictional cities can incorporate events that are happening in the real world cities also. But if you want to build up a fictional city you should really read Astro City by Busiek and use that as a blueprint. What are the different districts of your city? What’s the history? Where’s it located? What’s the culture like? Even something as simple as what national sports teams play there and what’s their names and mascots can really give a city character.

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