(p) Robson Rocha
This is what DC Universe Presents is all about – reintroducing characters into the DCnU in fun and inventive ways. The “Kid Flash” issue two months ago was an agonizing display of unnecessary excess, and last month’s “Issue Zero” was fun, but it was about characters we already knew. DCUP #13 starts a four-part story featuring both Blue Devil and Black Lightning, two characters who never had any connection in the pre-“Flashpoint”. While the idea came from the concept of ‘black and blue’ – an admittedly silly reason to pair these two characters – the end result is actually really great.
What we get from Marc Andreyko is two subtly interwoven stories that don’t seem so at first, but slowly come together to the surprise of even the two protagonists. The most interesting part of “The Devil Made Me Do It” is that Blue Devil and Black Lighting are just as mystified and nonchalant about their meeting as the reader before finishing this issue. While the story’s not metafictional, per se, it straddles the fence by playing the uncommon situation of the editorial decisions into the literal narrative. Fascinating.
Daniel wants nothing more than to make a name for himself using his grandfather’s mystical blue demon suit. He has all the passion but none of the discipline or experience. On the other hand, Jefferson’s black electricity powers give him the opportunity to watch over the Los Angeles and, more specifically, his father. Black Lightning is a like a military call sign than a superhero moniker – Jefferson is all about getting the job done as quickly and quietly as possible. On the surface, these two characters have nothing in common. Andreyko begs to differ, as Blue Devil’s protectiveness over his grandfather, and Black Lightning’s ‘guardian angel’ role watching his detective father both show that these men act out of great respect and admiration for their father figures.
With DC’s January solicits out, we learned that Andreyko’s take on Blue Devil and Black Lightning was cut from five down to four issues for some reason. It could mean that Andreyko overextended his outline, it could be that DC has something planned for the title in February, or it could mean, unfortunately, that DC Universe Presents might get cancelled. I don’t want to wildly speculate, but this new arc might just be what the series needs to pull itself out of the low rankings if it is indeed on the chopping block.