Comic Book

DC Comics reviews 7-27-21 – Infinite Frontier #3, Strange Adventures #11

The Other History of the DC Universe #5

the other history of the dc universe #5

John Ridley wraps his unique look at the History of the DC Universe. He takes it full circle with a look a focus on Black Lightning’s daughter, Anissa, aka Thunder. Thunder covers another long stretch of history from 1981 to 2010.

Early on in the series, Ridley started taking a hard look at some of the male characters in the DC Universe and essentially dragging them for being crappy dudes. That continues with this issue as Anissa dismisses her Outsiders teammates, Nightwing and Arsenal, as horny dude bros that take advantage of their female teammates. Along with the take of Mal and Karen in The Other History #2 and it’s safe to say Ridley wasn’t a huge Teen Titans fan and would have happily killed off Dick Grayson if he was writing Infinite Crisis.

Ridley doesn’t go as sweeping with major events occurring through the DC Universe like he did in earlier installments. We don’t get much insight on how Anissa viewed Zero Hour, Final Crisis, etc. Instead, the focus is on Anissa trying to be a legacy hero without becoming her father along with her commentary on being a queer woman in the 2000s. With last issue’s spotlight on Renee Montoya, Ridley doesn’t have a lot of new ground to explore from a lesbian’s perspective. There’s not as much focus as it probably should be on Anissa’s relationship with Grace.

This issue felt like a longer slog as Ridley spends most of the issue tearing down Black Lightning. At least there’s some basis for this perspective as there’s several instances of Jefferson Pierce being the overbearing, oppressive father.

Ridley also focuses more on Jefferson being homophobic. Realism in comics is appreciated and not all parents are accepting of their children coming out, but Ridley spends so much time trashing Black Lightning (and Nightwing and Arsenal) that Anissa’s revelations do little to redeem them.

Anissa isn’t the most exciting character from this era as she spent most of her time with The Outsiders and didn’t make a major impact on any huge storylines. Maybe if Ridley spent more time subtly calling out the lack of significant roles for black female characters in big comic events this could have had more impact.

Guiseppe Camuncoli provides the art with finishes by Andrea Cucchi. The art has always been clean in this series and Camuncoli chooses very effective imagery for Anissa’s heroic career. Letterer Jose Villarrubia maneuvers the lengthy text well never allowing it to overwhelm the page and placing it in a manner that’s easy to follow.

The Other History doesn’t have the strongest ending, but it marks an important and worthwhile different perspective on some of DC’s marginalized characters

Rating: 6.5 out of 10