Thursday, May 5, 2016

Black Lightning and Power Man in "The Bensonhurst Benefactor!"

I'm not sure where a live action Black Lightning will show up first, but DC has plenty of opportunities.  He operated out of Metropolis and then later worked regularly with Batman and Katana and even the JLA briefly, so there's plenty of ways to integrate him into the movies.  He is a street level hero that would work well on Arrow, but he does have metahuman abilities so he would fit right in on The Flash or Supergirl as well. Heck, he's cool enough to get a show all his own - let's get on this, DC!

The last time I featured these two one a cover together, they were at odds, so I am glad I finally got around to creating one in which they are fighting side by side.


Richard Fuller said...

Two heroes now totally labeled as 'blaxploitation' under the heading of Bensonhurst. What an odd series of combinations.

First, I've never cared for 'blaxploitation', especially on the comic book superheroes like Panther, Falcon, Luke Cage, and while I didn't care for how Black Lightning was handled more than the ones at Marvel, they at least were all an effort.
The Marvel characters were better integrated into the hero genre than Black Lightning or Tyroc were done at DC.

And I'm a southerner who knows nothing of the appeal or history of Bensonhurst, other than hearing about it in the '80s when an African-American youth named Yusuf Hawkins was shot and killed inquiring about a car for sale in a white neighborhood.

Hollywood then turned around and made a tv series, Brooklyn Bridge, with Marion Ross, about fond remembrances of growing up in . . . Bensonhurst.

I couldn't help but think no one would ever do nostalgia with Selma, Alabama, or Philadelphia, Mississippi.

So it is strange for me to see two groundbreakers in Bensonhurst and wonder what's up.

Cary Comic said...

Who are they supposed to be fighting; Sunturion? I thought he was strictly an Iron Man foe?

Ross said...

Richard - I used Bensonhurst for alliterative reasons more than anything else. I spent 20 years in Brooklyn and I am aware of that terrible crime, but like any place it should not be defined by one event. Mostly I remember Bensonhurst as being the locale of The Honeymooners.

Cary : He's this guy

Anonymous said...

As someone who has never been to the United States, has no idea what blaxploitation really means, and had never even heard of Bensonhurst, let me say that I really like Black Lightning as a character. He's a teacher rather than having a more typical superhero alter ego in the media or as a multi millionaire. And he cares. What more could you want?

Cary Comic said...

@Anonymous: "Blaxploitation" is a slang term first coined in the early 1970's for the exploitation films (low-budget movies inspired by pop-culture trends) featuring primarily African-American casts. The craze began with the original 1971 version of SHAFT (starring Richard Roundtree in the title role) and lasted for, at least, the next five years.

As for Bensonhurst? I, too, was ignorant as to its exact geographic location within the New York City Metropolitan Area. And I'm an American from southern New England (relatively next door)!

Richard Fuller said...

Blaxploitation was an unfair description (my words) of 'African-American' characters before we used the term 'African-American'.

Blaxploitation is a merger of 'black' and 'exploitation' usually used to describe black themed movies from the early seventies, such as Cotton Comes to Harlem, Cleopatra Jones, Watermelon Man, Shaft, Baby Needs A New Pair of Shoes (also called Jive Turkey).

These are now supposed to be offensive in their own right, as Sambo and Mammy portrayals from the '30s and therein.
It's also been applied to Fat Albert, nevermind that Bill Cosby sanctioned the cartoon, the illustration of 'big lips' is now offensive.

Both Luke Cage (mainly for being an ex-con) and Black Lightning (using Black in his hero name, having a personal name from former presidents, Jefferson and Pierce, and working in the streets) are both considered of the Blaxploitation era.

Bensonhurst, as Ross noted, is perhaps best known as the location for The Honeymooners, which I had forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation. I still like the character though. Could never get any interest in Fat Albert: Probably I didn't have the right cultural background to get the jokes.

Sonofjack Well said...

Ross, I haven't thanked you for awhile for all the pleasure your fantasy covers bring to me. As I've said before I wish comics today were half as much fun as your covers. Thanks. I LOVE your alliterative titles. Keep 'em coming.

I have to say that I miss the time (not so long ago) when the discussion on this blog had more to do with how much people appreciated your creativity rather than deconstructing your covers for their supposed sociopolitical content. Sheesh!

Ross said...

Thank you Sonofjack, I appreciate it!

Dylan said...

If they bring Black Lightning into the Arrow-verse, whether on Flash or on Arrow, I certainly hope they keep his background as former Olympian turned inner-city school teacher intact, and don't try to turn him into just another angry black man.

Anonymous said...

@Richard Fuller: Blaxploitation has been reborn on the "Destination America" the paranormal "reality" show GHOST BROTHERS.

Derrick Ferguson said...

Love to read/hear white folks admit they know nothing about the origins of blaxploitation then try to explain it.

Richard Fuller said...

It's the trying to explain what one doesn't know that makes the world go around! Or not spin at all and remain in a stagnated position, whatever the interpretation.

Anonymous said...

They were explaining the origin of the slang term, Derrick. NOT the film movement!

Really big difference.

Anonymous said...

P.S.--- "If conclusion-jumping were an Olympic event, you'd be the gold medalist, right now.

Lionel Braithwaite said...

I'm currently playing a hero in DC Universe Online that's like Black Lightning called Megawatt Kid, so this is a great artwork and team up.

Anybody else see a resemblance to Static with Black Lightning?

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