This discussion will focus on DC's character Black Lighting. For this project, I'll be reading the following comics:

Black Lightning 1-11
World's Finest 256-261
Dc Comics Presents 16
Justice League of America 173-174
Brave and the Bold 163
Detective Comics 490-491, 494-495

Hopefully, I'll be able to do these in order.

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Justice League Of America #173 - "Testing of a Hero!"
Cover Date: December 1979
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artist: Dick Dillin

Superman, Zatanna, Flash, Green Lantern and Green Arrow are in Metropolis. Green Arrow has nominated Black Lightning for membership in the league, and they're there to check him out. They watch as he very competently apprehends several men who've committed a pawnshop robbery.

After it's over, the leaguers discuss Black Lightning. Green Arrow says he should be in the league because he's competent--and Black. Flash admonishes him for suggesting the league take in a token Black, and Green Arrow challenges him on that point. Green Lantern says that Flash didn't mean it that way, but Arrow demands that Flash speak his own mind. Flash tells him that he thinks that Green Arrow is trying so hard to be liberal that it's skewing his judgment The two of them bicker while Zatanna and Green Lantern observe that Barry isn't the man he used to be since Iris' death.

Superman breaks up the argument by suggesting they put Black Lightning to a test. Both Flash and Green Arrow agree as long as Superman is the judge. Superman then suggests that they need to see how Black Lightning will act in a crisis against unfamiliar foes and in an unfamiliar setting.

While all of this is going on, elsewhere in Suicide Slum a strange man in costume is summoning rats. He's been walked over by society and decided to take his revenge as the Regulator.

Later on at the police station, Lighting is talking to Inspector Henderson. Henderson warns him that being a vigilante could work against him as the city council is considering a law to banish them, but Lightning counters that any law that affects him on that level would also affect Superman, and that's just not going to happen. He leaves, and surmises that he hates talking like he's uneducated (a little touch that I enjoy) but that it's necessary to keep people from putting two and two together to figure out his secret identity. As he's leaving, he's being watched by some figures in the shadows.

He's then jumped by two figures--one seemingly made from light, the other big and strong like a bulldozer. They fight, and he realizes the big one is actually a woman. He puts her down, and the figure of light attacks, but Lightning is able to stop his attack with his force field. He then defeats the light character by opening a fire hydrant and soaking him.

As this happens right outside the police station, Inspector Henderson and other officers come out to see what's up. Lightning tells them these figures just attacked him. Henderson tells him he's become a magnet for weirdos, but Lightning ignores him and leaves. After he leaves, the police notice something odd about the figures that attacked Black Lightning.

Elsewhere, outside of STAR labs, the facility is attacked by rats commanded by the Regulator. He has them disable the security system, then prepares to plunder the place.

Superman is monitoring Black Lightning, thinking that so far he's done a good job, but the next test will be much harder. Lightning gets a tap on the shoulder, but can't see anyone. He's then attacked by an invisible man. The man makes himself momentarily visible and identifies himself as the Trans-visible Man. He then attacks Lightning, who's having a difficult time of things. As he grows more and more furious, another attacker appears, this one dressed as a pirate and calling himself the Swashbuckler. Lightning attacks him and manages to separate him from his sword, but then the Swashbuckler pulls a pistol. He shoots, but Lightning stops the ball with his force field.

Lightning is really angry and prepares to electrocute the Swashbuckler. However, he decides against it at the last moment, and the Swashbuckler reveals himself as Green Arrow. The others who attacked him then reveal themselves as members of the league as well.

Lightning wonders why they did this, and Superman explains that it was meant to be an initiation test for joining the league, and that he passed with flying colors. However, Black Lightning then surprises them by telling them he's not interested in joining. He tells them the reason is that he's got too much to do in Suicide Slum to go running around with the league, although he does appreciate the offer. As he leaves, Green Lantern wonders if they'll see him again, and Superman suggests they will.

My rating: 8/10

I think this was well done. Black Lightning gives a good showing of himself and his powers and abilities, as well as how he reacts under stress. He's shown to be competent and resourceful, which is good as so frequently in situations like this heroes are sown to be much less capable than normal in order to make a plot work. I also felt his reasons for rejecting the league were sound.  I'm not sure that the Regulator is going to be much of a Justice League level threat, but we'll see what happens.

Justice League Of America #174 - "TA Plague of Monsters!"
Cover Date: January 1980
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artist: Dick Dillin

The Regulator orders his rats to kill one of the STAR labs security guards, as well as one of the scientists if he doesn't cooperate. The scientist begs him not to kill the guard, and the Regulator relents.

The scientist asks how he got in there past the alarms, and the Regulator removes his helmet, revealing himself to be Barnabas Bolton, former STAR Labs scientist, and the former co-worker of the current scientist, who Bolton accuses of betraying him. Turns out that Bolton had been in a mental asylum, likely due to the influence of the helmet he's currently wearing, the one that gives him control over rats (wondering if there's a Hank Pym dig here?).

Puttnig his helmet back on, Bolton orders his rats into the mutation chamber (uh-oh). The other scientist attempts to stop him but is unsuccessful.

22,300 miles above Earth, in the Justice League satellite, the leaguers are discussing their failure to recruit Black Lightning. Green Arrow blames the others for their testing of the hero, and decides to approach Lightning himself. He's joined by the Elongated Man and Zatanna.

They go to see Inspector Henderson, but he has no idea where to find Black Lightning. He complains about Black Lightning being a vigilante again (why he's on this kick, especially talking to others just like Black Lightning, is confusing to me). While they're there, there's an APB for STAR Labs. The leaguers decide to investigate, hoping Black Lightning will do the same.

Back in the apartment of Jefferson Pierce, he's thinking forward to having to work on his teaching and schoolwork in the morning. He hears about the trouble at STAR Labs and goes to investigate.

At STAR Labs, the police are being assaulted by giant rats and roaches (apparently, the Regulator can control any sort of vermin, not just rats). As the Regulator spurs them on, the leaguers arrive and begin battling the creatures. However, they're unable to stop the tide of giant vermin. They make a distress call to the rest of the League, but a number of them are simply unable to come and help. Only Batman and Wonder Woman are available (Superman is on monitor duty and can't leave--really, one would think they'd make an exemption for Superman).

The vermin continue to run wild. A couple of teenagers are trapped in a subway when Black Lightning saves them. When he leads them out of the subway, he spots the rest of the assembled leaguers and goes to talk with them.

Anyway, they're talking to some folks from STAR Labs, who are explaining what's happening and who's behind it. The professor explains how Bolton used to work for them in a top secret genetics lab and is in control, and sending the rats to the mainland (I guess Metropolis is an island. I didn't know that). Green Arrow turns to consult Black Lightning, but he's already gone.

Batman shouts out orders to the others, and they're off doing what they do. Wonder Woman barricades the bridges out of town, Batman works with the professor on a solution, and the others do their best to contain the vermin. They sport the Regulator atop a factory chimney, controlling everything. Black Lightning sneaks up behind him. The Regulator spots him and wonders how he got past his sentries, and Lightning tells him that he used his powers to get by them--or in the vernacular he used, he "burned them".

The Regulator turns the power of his helmet on Black Lightning--apparently it has an effect on humans as well, but rather than control them, it' causes their destruction. While he's struggling, Lightning gets the Regulator to start monologuing. The Regulator is surprised when Lightning seems to fight through his pain and attack him. As they struggle, Lightning convinces the Regulator that his current strategy is working against the very people he wants to help. However, before he can do anything, he slips and falls into the chimney and is incinerated.

Elsewhere, Batman is spraying Metropolis from the Batplane. He and the professor have come up with something that will hopefully lure them to an area where they're easier to deal with. Herding them towards the docks, he has Wonder Woman set up some type of containment. She whips up a giant rat-catching bowl form some construction supplies and uses that to catch the rats.  Zatanna then seals the rats inside the container, and Wonder Woman tosses it to the other side of the solar system.

Afterwards, they ask Black Lightning to join the league again, and once again he refuses. Inspector Henderson is left wondering how to deal with the blockaded bridges--although I'm sure Wonder Woman removed the blockades, right?

My rating: 7/10

A reasonably solid, if not terribly inspired story. Mutated giant rats running rampant through the city is a reasonable threat--in fact, it's one that should have drawn Superman. I'm sure there are rules against it, but it makes much more sense to me that he wold give, say, Ralph a call and trade monitor duty as this was a problem he was better suited to deal with. For that matter of fact, where are Flash and Green Lantern? Either or both of them would have been a tremendous help in this situation.

I really like this two-parter, clearly set up to make the readers thing Black Lightning was a shoe-in for the next JLA member - before his refusal and Firestorm's  membership.

Even then I felt it grated a little as it all felt a bit like reasoning we'd heard from Green Arrow - 'street-heroes should stay street-level.' so I was not surprised he didn't sign up.

The Brave and the Bold #163 - "Oil, Oil Nowhere!"
Cover Date: June 1980
Writer: Paul Kupperberg
Artist: Dick Giordano

Batman enters a scene where a gasoline hijacking is taking place. There's a brief fight, and Batman defeats the criminals.

Across town, Bruce Wayne has been sponsoring an ecology fundraising event. He runs into Commissioner Gordon, who tells him that Batman caught some of the gasoline hijackers that night, but that another group succeeded. Wayne is then introduced to Senator Hargrave, who we discover is not a fan of Batman. He says he spent half of his life in the army, where a real man doesn't have to hide behind a mask.

We switch scenes to Metropolis' Suicide Slum where Jefferson Pierce is up at night worrying about one of his students that's in trouble with the law. He sees a tanker outside on the street being chased by a police car, and decides that Black Lightning needs to intervene. He attack the tanker, and during the brawl the tanker goes out of control and hits an old lady. He stops to tend to her while the crooks get away, but he recognized one of them--a guy named Tyler. e vows to track them down as revenge for the old lady.

The next day, Commissioner Gordon is talking to a Mr. Nast abuot the gas hijackings, as both Gotham and Metropolis are affected--somehow the tankers are disappearing in between the two cities. Batman arrives to offer help. He and the Commissioner talk about the the hijackkings and Batman tells him he's not getting any leads on the disappearing gasoline. They're interrupted by Senator Hargrave who doesn't want Batman there. Batman leaves with a somewhat biting remark for the Senator.

In Suicide Slum, Black Lightning is investigating in his own way. He busts in on a drug dealer baned Nabbt and asks where he can find Willie Tyler, who is apparently Manny's right hand man. Manny tells him he left about two weeks ago, saying something about a trip to the mountains.

In the range of mountains between Gotham and Metropolis Batman is searching for the stolen gasoline. He's discovered a recently built compound built in the area that would be perfect for hiding the trucks, and he goes to investigate. He sneaks in and begins looking around. As he sneaks into an office, he's attacked. It turns out the attacker is none other than Black Lightning. No time for reminiscing, however, as their scuffle has attracted the attention of the security personnel. There's a fight and the two heroes easily hold their own. However, when more security shows up, they make a strategic withdrawal. They escape down a nearby elevator shaft.

When they reach the bottom of the shaft, they smash through the door, only to run into the ringleader of the gang--Senator Hargrave (anyone who is surprised by this hs never read a superhero comic before). Harbrave wants to make America strong again (where have I heard that one before?) by arming real Americans. Black Lightning has heard enough and attacks, and Batman goes after Hargrave.

Hargrave has a plan to get away from Batman. He boards a nearby tank and then threatens to shoot the gasoline, which would kill pretty much everyone around. After making the threat, Hargrave decides that maybe he should just do it anyway, when Black Lightning intervenes. He'd defeated or driven off Hargrave's flunkies and was able to make the save. They say there goodbyes after a job well done.

My rating: 5/10

When I saw that one of these issues would be from the Brave and the Bold, I was looking forward to it. However, it's not Bob Haney, so the wackiness I was hoping for never materializes. Instead it's a pretty by the numbers superhero team-up comic. Black Lightning does make a nice showing, especially at the end, but there's little tension ni the story.

The GCD tells me during Dick Dillin's long run on Justice League of America he only did 18 or 19 covers. 8 of them are from Ross Andru's short period as editor, during which he did them regularly. The two Black Lightning issues are from that run. The covers are both signed "Dillin & Giordano", but #174 looks so much like a Ross Andru cover I think we can take it Andru did the cover-designs. 

Detective Comics #490 - "Lightning Strikes Out!"
Cover Date: May 1980
Writer: Martin Pasko
Artist: Paul Broderick

Jefferson Pierce is working with one of his students after school in the gym. It turns out that the main reason for doing so is to keep the young man, Linc, out of trouble. While Linc is taking a shower, a couple of costumed figures come out of the steam and kidnap him. Pierce walks in after they've left, then figures out what happened as a van speeds away from the school.

Changing to Black Lightning, he locates the van--he'd noticed a Haitian Voodoo Fetish hanging from the rear view mirror--outside of Mama Mambu's Apothecary. He spots a couple of goons who were expecting him and attacks. He gets surprised, however, by an attack from behind.

As he's attempting to regain consciousness, he thinks back to a week ago when Linc's sister approached him. Their mother had recently passed, and the sister Wandina tells Pierce it's likely because their mother had stopped taking her medicine and had started taking something from Mama Mambu's instead. Apparently Linc wanted to take out his frustration on the owner of the Apothecary. Black Lightning had gone over there and stopped Linc from destroying the place with a baseball bat. Pierce had gotten him off with the juvenile authorities, but now that act of vandalism was coming back to haunt them.

As Black Lightning recovers he finds himself bound to a wall and confronted by one of the owners of the voodoo shop. The owner reveals a window where a couple of his men are torturing Linc in front of Black Lightning. Once that's complete, the owner then sets fire to a bunch of oily rags, attempting to burn our hero alive.

In another room, the owner is confronted by an old woman in a wheelchair. Apparently they actually need Black Lightning's help, as a dream had prophesied that Lightning would give him his powers. They plan to use magic to steal Lightning's powers when he uses them.

Lightning breaks free of his manacles easily, understanding that they want him to escape, but then is confronted by a steel door. He uses his powers to destroy the lock. He doesn't feel very good afterwards, however, but he goes to save Linc.

Elsewhere, the owner confronts the old woman--he's unable to steal Lightning's powers as they are not magical in nature. He and one of his men wheel the old woman out to the van, realizing they need to escape.

Black Lightning has recovered Linc and is attempting to escape. However, as he's attempting to fry another lock, the sprinkler system activates and seems to knock him dead, leaving Linc in the building with the flames coming closer.

To be continued...

My rating: 5/10

I actually like the plot of this particular story, particularly as it's not one that's been completely overused (well, maybe it has but I'm not recalling at the moment).

That being said there are a  number of continuity errors here about Lightning's powers and how they work, not to mention the way things to down in this story.  For instance, there's a panel where Lightning states that he doesn't have super strength when he's been shown to have had super strength ever since internalizing his powers. Sure it's not Superman level, but he's still possessed of superhuman strength.

Secondly, he bursts through the manacles holding him as if they were papier-mache, after watching Linc get the snot beaten out of him, and seemingly for no reason. He could easily have done something.

Third, I didn't buy that he was defeated so easily in the first place. Throughout this project, I've seen him take on scores of ordinary men and defeat them with ease, and now they're attempting to convince me that someone could easily sneak up behind him and hit him over the head with a sap? He does have a force field.

As none of these inconsistencies was explained during the story, I have to drop points from the rating.

Detective Comics #491 - "Short-Circuit!"
Cover Date: June 1980
Writer: Martin Pasko
Artist: Paul Broderick

Linc is unable to break down the door to escape the room he's in (time out--how did Black Lightning enter the room? What happened to that method or entry and exit?). He thinks that at least the sprinklers will keep the fire from burning him but the smoke will get him instead. He also thinks that Black Lightning is dead and won't have to suffer through this...

Except, of course, he's not dead. With Linc's help, they bust through the door, but then Linc collapses. Lightning carries him out, and sees the owner fleeing the building. He revives Linc and then goes in pursuit.

Traveling over the rooftops, he catches up to the van and lands on top. He listens in to the conversation inside, and discovers that local drug dealers had roughed up the old woman and put her in the wheelchair as they saw the shop as competition for their trade. They'd been forced to pay protection as well, and received no help from the police.

As he's spotted on the roof, Lightning takes out the driver. He then grabs the emergency brake to keep the van from going off of a cliff. AS the men inside come out to confront him, Lightning plans to use the trick of turning the van into an electro-magnet to take their guns (force field, anyone?), but finds out that suddenly his powers don't work)to be fair, he does think of the force field after diving for cover)

Using his wits, he destroys a street lamp, plunging the area into darkness. However once again he's defeated by a blow on the head from behind. As they're about to dump his body in the river, it turns out that Lightning was playing possum for some reason(unsure as to why). He then defeats the rest of the thugs.

As the owner attempts to escape,t he old woman rolls out of the van to stop him. Lightning then puts him down by throwing a manhole cover at him, killing him knocking him out.

Later on as the police arrive, Lightning asks the owner why he thought he could get away with his scheme. He tells them that the plan was for him to kill Lightning and for the body to be thought of as his, so the mob would think he was dead and stop chasing him.

Later on, Linc tells Pierce that he's upset that Black Lightning lost his powers saving him, but Pierce tells him it's okay.

My rating: 4/10

Okay, this did not go the way I was expecting.

When the owner recounted the fact that he was a victim of the mob, I expected Lightning to go after the mob, not the victim--although the owner had certainly committed some crimes, I thought that he'd still be arrested but that Black Lightning would go to bat for him. Instead, the mobsters who crippled the owner's mother are simply allowed to get away with everything. I didn't like that.

I also didn't like that it seemed as if the creative team never read a single Black Lightning story before this. I'm fine with them making the change of Black Lightning losing his powers, but up until that happened, I felt the character was poorly handled. It's as if they showed Superman ducking machine-gun fire--it just doesn't fit what's been established about the character.

Detective Comics #494 - "Explosion of the Soul!"
Cover Date: September 1980
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Gerald Forton

We see a couple of drug addicts running down an alley being pursued by someone. The two of them--Willie Carroll and "Fatboy" Carter--have just pulled off a robbery. Black Lightning shows up and the two of them are happy to see him. Apparently there's been a vigilante called the Slime Killer who's been killing off ne'er-do-wells like themselves. Lightning apprehends them for the police, since they have just committed a robbery.

The next day after class, Jefferson Pierce catches up to one of his students--Jonathan Davis--to return his essay, which Pierce thought was well done. He's attempting to encourage Jonathan, who's recently lost a couple of family members to street violence, and he's attempting to console him, but he tells Pierce that he's okay, as he's lived in Suicide Slum his entire life and people die all the time. As he leaves, Pierce is upset as he thinks the boy needs to change his attitude and fight back.

Later that evening, Black Lightning is on patrol when he runs into the Slime Killer, who's just killed a couple of small time crooks and is leaving a message on the wall in spray paint. Lightning attacks, and he seems to be getting the upper hand when the Slime Killer spray paints him in the eyes and escapes.

The next day, Pierce is wandering the streets, looking for clues that might lead him to the Slime Killer. He runs across Jonathan Davis, who's obviously been in a fight. He tells Pierce that he was jumped by some guys, and Jonathan's father tells Pierce he should leave the boy alone. The father tells Pierce that the world is just like that, and he should just accept it. However, Pierce notices the father wearing a pair of boots very similar to those of the Slime Killer, with spatters of paint on them as well. Jonathan asks Pierce to leave.

Pierce returns later as Black Lightning, but finds no one at home. He hears a scream and goes to investigate. He catches the Slime Killer attacking several gang members with a knife. They fight, and Jonathan shows up, recognizing the Slime Killer as his father by his voice. He enters the fray, and attacks his father, telling him that this won't bring back his mother and son. The father relents, and the police take him away.

My rating: 7/10

It's not the most stirring story ever, but it's well-executed in it's simplicity. No glaring inconsistencies, just a straightforward superhero story.

Detective Comics #495 - "Animals!"
Cover Date: October 1980
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Artist: Gerald Forton

Jefferson Pierce and Lynn Stewart are watching some kids play street hockey in the Suicide Slum Olympics, which apparently was brainstormed and organized by Pierce. They talk to Inspector Henderson and Jimmy Olsen, and the former expresses his relief at being there to celebrate something rather than investigate a crime.

They've just watched a team of female street hockey players defeat a team of males, and a street gang has been watching. They break into the locker room and kidnap the female team. They send a message to Henderson telling him that they're holding the women hostage in the Principal's office and they want to talk to a news reporter. Jimmy Olsen volunteers to talk to them, and Henderson gives his okay, although he thinks it won't work.  Meanwhile, Pierce sneaks off to change to Black Lightning.

Lightning enters the scene and asks the Inspector what he's planning on doing. The Inspector plans to go in guns blazing if Olsen isn't successful, and Lightning reminds him that if he does, it's likely that some innocent students will get shot. Henderson responds that the gang members are all just animals, and Lightning objects, saying they've just been victims of the system.

Olsen talks to the gang members. They aren't exactly kind, pistol whipping him when he asks what they want. They tell Olsen that they're just playing the game the same way everyone else does, citing the Munich Olympic terrorists and the move "Dog Day Afternoon" as inspiration. They then send Olsen back to the Inspector with their demands--a million dollars, five helicopters to make their escape, and passage to Switzerland. If they don't get their demands, they plan to kill one of the girls every ten minutes. Lightning decides to investigate for himself.

Lightning enters the school, stealthily taking out the gang's guards. He's convinced that if he can get into the Principal's office that he can end the crisis with a minimum of violence. Meanwhile, the gang's leader is in the Principal's office deciding which one of the girls to kill first. He tells one o them that ehs shouldn't be scared--after they get to Switzerland, they'll sell their story and be famous.

Outside, Inspector Henderson is talking with Lynn Stewart. He tells her he used to feel the same way Black Lightning did, but he's just seen too many of these kids kill one another with no remorse. Lynn argues back that these particular kids may be a lost cause, but ignoring the conditions that made them the way they are makes them just as bad. Jimmy Olsen has recorded the conversation and wants to use it as a sidebar to the story in the newspaper. Lynn thinks that Jefferson Pierce could be more convincing, and the Inspector and Jimmy Olsen wonder where Pierce has disappeared to.

Lightning gets to the Principal's office, but he's too late--the gang's leader has killed one of the girls. Lightning confronts him, and he threatens to jump out the window. Lightning stops him just as Henderson and his men enter the scene.

My rating: 7/10

Another reasonably well-executed story, although it doesn't quite stir the emotions in the manner it was meant to. The brevity of the story leaves little room for the character development needed to make the reader care that much about any of the principals involved.

So that finishes this reading project for DC's first headlining Black superhero. Sadly, the stories are at best competent, with many slipping into the poor category. The feud between Black Lightning and the 100 ends with a whimper, and other changes really didn't help much one way or the other.

Congrats on completing this reading project, Randy.  I've been remiss on commenting lately but have been reading along.  Here are some final thoughts from me and some questions for you if you wish to respond.

- The series starts out strongly, but sadly the first 3 issues were the high point.  Tony Isabella tries to cram in too many sub-plots and his main storylines suffered for it.  BL taking down the 100 should have been a classic defining moment, but as you said, the feud ends with a whimper.  Isabella writes two more mediocre issues (#9 and 10) and then leaves DC.

- Trevor von Eeden, in my opinion, doesn't get the kudos he deserved for this series.  He was a talented artist.  I always found it strange Isabella downplayed his contributions over the years, at times insisting von Eeden should not be considered a co-creator.  No matter how Isabella tried to frame it, comics are a collaborative medium.  Interestingly, in the credits after BL #10, sometimes it says BL was created by Tony Isabella, but other times it said Isabella and von Eeden.

- I wonder if giving BL a backup series in World's Finest and Detective, and the guest spots in B&B, JLA, and DCCP all happening so close together, were testing the waters for a new BL series.  Based on the JLA two-parter, I think Gerry Conway would have been a good choice for writing one.

Questions for Randy -  

- After BL has the backups and the guest appearances, he disappears for almost 3 years.  Any thoughts on why DC gave up on him?

- How did you feel about BL's depiction when he returned in Batman and the Outsiders in 1983?

- Any thoughts on his appearances after BATO?  Did you read the 90s series which had Tony Isabella writing the first 8 issues?

- With this project and your Cap project ending, what's next for Randy?

John Dunbar (the mod of maple) said:

Questions for Randy -  

- After BL has the backups and the guest appearances, he disappears for almost 3 years.  Any thoughts on why DC gave up on him?

I think they just didn't know what to do with him. They'd given him a number of chances to catch on, but he just didn't--more likely because of lackluster stories than a poor concept.

- How did you feel about BL's depiction when he returned in Batman and the Outsiders in 1983?

I felt it was more of the same. DC had obviously relegated him to second banana status, and that's pretty much what he was.  I thought he was used reasonably well, but he was still pretty much a cipher. Outside of "Olympic Athlete" and "high school teacher" it doesn't seem as if he ever developer much more of a personality than generic hero #5 who happens to have dark skin.

- Any thoughts on his appearances after BATO?  Did you read the 90s series which had Tony Isabella writing the first 8 issues?

I didn't read that series, but I doubt there was much to say about it. I saw a number of his appearances since 2000, and really the only change was that he's now a family man with a number of daughters. I didn't see much in the way of any personality improvements.

- With this project and your Cap project ending, what's next for Randy?

There's still Blue Devil to finish off, and I have some other thoughts on some more modern stuff I'd like to tackle, although I'm toying with the idea of a different format. Stay tuned!

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