HEAT VISION

John Ridley's 'Other History of the DC Universe' to Launch With Focus on Black Lightning

The series reexamines DC mythology from the point of view of the traditionally disenfranchised.
Alex Dos Diaz/DC Entertainment
The series reexamines DC mythology from the point of view of the traditionally disenfranchised.

DC Entertainment has released more details about The Other History of the DC Universe, the upcoming series written by Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley, and in a surprise reveal, it turns out that the five-issue series isn’t exactly a comic book after all.

Ridley’s series, which focuses on familiar DC characters from traditionally disenfranchised groups, will eschew the comic book format to instead be released as a combination of prose and spot illustrations, DC has announced. A different artist will work on each issue, with each issue also focusing on a different core character, according to the publisher.

The first issue will spotlight Jefferson Pierce — aka Black Lightning — as he goes from a young athlete to high school teacher and, eventually, superhero. Art on the $7.99, 64-page issue will come from Alex Dos Diaz. Future DC characters to appear include Tatsu Yamashiro, better known as Katana from Suicide Squad, and Renee Montoya.

Both the title and the prose-centric format of the project recall the 1986 series History of the DC Universe, which attempted to create a coherent timeline for the DC’s entire mythology — including stories set in the 30th century and beyond — for the first time in the wake of the fan-favorite Crisis on Infinity Earths comic book series. In terms of cosmic scope, The Other History is clearly aiming for something more intimate, but by attempting to add voices outside the traditional white straight male norm, it might end up being a far more meaningful project in the long run.

The Other History of the DC Universe, a release from the DC Black Label imprint, is set to bow Jan. 30 digitally and in comic book stores.

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