Somebody Tell Black Lightning Not to Represent Himself

Batman and the Outsiders #10 - Pages 4-6
There's this humdrum adventure scenario for the DCHeroes role-playing game called Rigged Results that features the Masters of Disaster living out of an oil rig. Little did I know that their HQ has a basis in fact! I'm sure oil companies would pay big money not to have their installations connected to the word Disaster today, but this was the early 80s when oil men were (cough) struggling....written by men who are complete morons, yes. If there's one commodity that's not gonna suffer from a recession, it's oil! I even double-checked with the Internet and it reassured me that my oil rig job is NEVER going to go away, and if it ever does, I can be EASILY recycled into an astronaut. TRUTH!

But we're being shown that rig for a reason. Oh yeah, that's where they're keeping Black Lightning, because ASSASSINS in old comics are really only KIDNAPPERS.
Kidnappers who apparently bribe dock officials with gold doubloons. Hey, it's the coinage of the sea!
Somebody should do a study of superheroes with pets, in particular non-super pets. Because aside from Power Girl (and you could argue that mangy cat has powers), not many of them could find time to take care of them. I only bring this up because Black Lightning can't tell the difference between a fish bowl and a fish TANK. Why is he so?
As New-Wave reveals, he's the superhero who can't get wet because he'd electrocute himself. Yeah, I never bought that either. Fine, water would play havoc with your electrical powers, diffuse them, turn them into an AoE... But kill the guy who is powered by electricity? You'd think he'd have a natural immunity. And can't he direct the lightning from his hands without electrifying his legs? Not that he even needs his powers here. The guy's an Olympic athlete. You're telling me he can't pull on those chains until that pipe gives way?

But of course, you shouldn't be asking those questions. You should be more concerned with whether or not BL is a murderer or not.
The Masters of Disaster - assassins who'll let you confront your victim first. I wonder if that's how they advertize.
So... are we finally going to find out how Trina Shelton died and why BL lost his groove back before the series started? Yes we are. One emorigin story, coming up.
It's a day like any other day, beatin' on some punks on the subway, when strategy struck.
That's it? Some guy was about to fire a gun, you tried to stop him, but the he still fired a couple shots right into Trina? I'm not sure that makes BL a "murderer". Actually, I'm very sure it does not. Hopefully BL can bring that up in his defense.
They wouldn't convict you of murder, but if you really cared so much, you should have turned yourself in for reckless endangerment or something. A life of emo posing that would make Peter Parker turn green with envy is too harsh a price.
No, the way you do it is to leave the costume in a garbage can in an alley and walk away. Haven't you seen any classic comic book covers, BL? And I think Mrs. Shelton would have been happy with that auto-sentencing if Batman hadn't paroled him.
Couldn't you at least have begged her forgiveness instead of putting it like that? Batman's not the only one who needs to workshop social interactions. Now he's all wet.
Hold on. Let's cut through the emo sentiment here and get to the heart of BL's logic (if we can find it). He can't blame a mother for wanting her child murderer dead. I'll buy that, though we CAN blame her for putting out a hit on someone, right? We're no condoning murder, are we? And furthermore, what about the "punk" who actually killed Trina? Is he already dead? The state Gotham City is in has the death penalty (there are references to death's row), but surely, the circumstances make it manslaughter or at the most murder 2. He wouldn't be executed for that. There's no indication that she's had him killed. So geez, who's next? The people on the train who didn't get up to help? The guy in charge of subway security? Is she a Gotham serial hitman hirer in the making?
Apparently not. So Mr. Shelton wasn't on board with the hit, but he's still an accessory. A heavy price to pay just for an "I told you so". As for why they think there's no way out of the contract when BL is still alive, only Mike Barr knows. The Masters don't seem crazy enough to force the Sheltons to go through with it, so long as they get their paycheck anyway. And Black Lightning looks sorry enough that he wouldn't press any charges. It could all have ended right here.

But nooooooo... it just HAD to go on for 17 more pages... some of which we'll look at tomorrow, have mercy.

2 comments:

Teebore said...

It's one thing for this crazy lady to blame Black Lightening. It's another for him to buy into it. Even if this has never happened to him before, it had to have happened to some other hero, right? I mean, you'd think superheroes would be prepared for this kind of thing.

Ah, Black Lightening: as emo as a Twilight vampire.

Siskoid said...

And about as sparkly.

 

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