Cully Hamner on Black Lightning: Year One

Hamner on Black Lightning: Year One

As we reported two years ago Cully Hamner was tapped to illustrate Black Lightning: Year One, a miniseries that was one of five various “Year One” miniseries announced by the publisher. While the scheduling of the five miniseries has been shuffled somewhat, the artist reports that he and writer Jen Van Meter are finally on deck, and the early days of the electric-powered hero will soon be made known.

"It's called Black Lightning: Year One, and it's coming out every two weeks beginning in January until you get all six issues," Hamner said of his new series. "It's written by Jen Van Meter, drawn by me, with colors by Laura Martin, who's one of my studio mates who just won a Harvey in Baltimore.

"It focuses on Jefferson [Pierce] moving back into his old neighborhood with his wife and his daughter and running up against a gang called The 100, which has a dark secret," Hamner said. "Every issue is told from the viewpoint of a different person. So the first issue's told from the viewpoint of his wife. There's another issue that's told from the viewpoint of a cop, Inspector Henderson, whom you might know from the Superman books. Another issue is told from the point of view of Clark Kent. And so on and so forth."

Hamner said Black Lightning: Year One will integrate many of the things we've found out about the hero into one story. "It's a new look at the character. It's the character you know, but it adds a little spice to the mix," Hamner said. "It's not an origin story. You don't see how he gets his powers. But you see how he becomes Black Lightning. When we meet him, he already has the abilities that we know. But we see him moving into the role of neighborhood crime fighter and we see the evolution of the costume and how he sets his mission up."

The artist said he wasn't a big fan of Black Lightning until he started preparing for the series.

"I was always familiar with the character. I remember his comic from the '70s. I remember that he had a back-up feature in World's Finest that I used to read. And I remember him from Batman and the Outsiders. So yeah, I was fairly familiar with the basics of the character," he said. "I would never have called myself a huge fan, but once I got into it and started immersing myself into the character, I became a fan. It's a fun book. It's a lot of fun. Jen is doing great work on it. She's bringing a lot to the character. A lot of writers tend to want to concentrate on external stuff, and I think she's a very internally motivated type of writer, which is great for me. I like to grab that and add that into the action too, so we make a good team on that."

After that, Hamner has a project already lined up, although it's "nothing I can talk about. There is something. You probably won't know about it until February. Right around the time when Black Lightning is out, you'll find out about something I'm very, very excited about."

Newsarama will have more looks at Black Lightning: Year One as the ship date draws nearer.

Twitter activity