The Other History of the DC Universe #1
Prev Series

The Other History of the DC Universe #1

Writer: John Ridley Artist: Alex Dos Diaz Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: November 25, 2020 Cover Price: $6.99 Critic Reviews: 12 User Reviews: 33
9.4Critic Rating
8.3User Rating

Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, Let It Fall) examines the mythology of the DC Universe in this compelling new miniseries that reframes iconic moments of DC history and charts a previously unexplored sociopolitical thread as seen through the prism of DC Super Heroes who come from traditionally disenfranchised groups.

This unique new series presents its story as prose by Ridley married with beautifully realized color illustrations from a selection of exciting illustrators and comics artists. Alex Dos Diaz provides art for #1, which follows the story of Jefferson Pierce, the man who will one day more

  • 10
    AIPT - Ben Morin Nov 24, 2020

    Taken as a whole, 'The Other History of the DC Universe' #1 delivers a spectacular debut. Ridley's writing is fresh and challenging alongside the inventive artistic talent of Camuncoli, Cucchi, and Villarrubia. This is a debut that earns its merit as a prestige series and sets the stage for a grand examination of DC's history. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Lyles Movie Files - Jeffrey Lyles Nov 24, 2020

    This was one of the more fascinating books Ive read all year and definitely one worth checking out and passing on to your friends that dont typically read comic books. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Kabooooom - Matt Morrison Nov 24, 2020

    The Other History of The DC Universe goes beyond mere history and nostalgia to present a new view of the DC Universe. If you've ever read the classic Black Lightning comics, you'll want to reread them with new eyes after reading this book. If you haven't, you'll want to seek them out. This book educates and entertains in equal measure and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series. Read Full Review

  • 10
    DC Comics News - Tony Farina Nov 26, 2020

    Reading The Other History of the DC Universe # 1 this feels like a guided tour of Jeffersons life. Black Lightning has been having a bit of a resurgence lately thanks to Cress Williams pitch perfect portrayal of the titular character on the CW, but I grew up loving him. He appeared when I was only 4, and so when I first started reading comics when I was 12, and was reading anything on which I could get my hands, Black Lightening was there for me to capture my imagination in the lore of DC Comics. This story and the set up reminded me of those times back in my childhood trying to piece together everything I could. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Dark Knight News - Kendra Hale Nov 28, 2020

    As a special treat, here's a sneak peek at the covers for issue #2 Read Full Review

  • 10
    COMICON - Olly MacNamee Nov 30, 2020

    John Ridley offers up a very distinct and alternative take on the history of DC Comics' black characters in this out-of-continuity new Black Label series. Told through the rightfully cynical eye of Black Lightning, we get a trip back through time that is as much a reflection of the social and political struggle of Black American as it is about black superheroes and their place in the privileged world of white superheroes. Read Full Review

  • 9.8
    Graphic Policy - Brett Nov 24, 2020

    The Other History of the DC Universe #1 is a triumph of a comic. Though it's main character has amazing powers, in the end it's the man that truly matters. We see his impact, both good and bad, in the streets fighting and his role in the school guiding. Ridley shows us the fallout, the bodies piled up, the marriage shattered. He gives us a realistic and honest take on the superhero. And he does all of this in one issue. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Geek Dad - Ray Goldfield Nov 24, 2020

    John Ridley's long-awaited DC Universe project is unlike any other DC Comic you'll read this year"starting with the fact that it isn't fully a comic. You should set aside a brick of time to read this book, because it's mostly prose backed up with some gorgeous art from Giuseppe Camuncoli, but it's really not a sequential story. Rather, it's a deep dive into the mind and heroic career of one man. Read Full Review

  • 9.2
    The Super Powered Fancast - Deron Generally Nov 24, 2020

    Camuncoli and Cucchi do an amazing job of bringing the story to life visually without taking away from the story or the humanity of the characters. There is a chronicle nature to the story itself and that is brilliantly reflected in the art. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Bleeding Cool - Hannibal Tabu Nov 27, 2020

    There is a deeper world than this, tugging at the capes of some of the biggest names in superheroics. Finally, hear a side of the story not often told. Read Full Review

  • 8.0 - Chase Magnett Nov 25, 2020

    The end result is an enjoyable read filled with engaging compositions and skillful prose, but its success in addressing racist ideas and systems embedded in DC Comics' history is less clear. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Newsarama - Pierce Lydon Nov 27, 2020

    Ridley examines how the prejudices, both personal and societal, that affect our world also affect the world of our favorite heroes and villains. This is meant to be a statement piece about how the world on paper isn't all that different from the world outside our windows because it's still informed by similar structures. Those systemic issues don't just go away when rendered in two dimensions instead of three. Read Full Review

  • 1.0
    MainManDan Nov 25, 2020

    Exposition History of the DC Universe ft. black characters

    Couldn't read all of it and that is a sign of a bad comic.

    Black Lightning is portrayed in way where he's a condescending asshole to superheroes and lacks empathy. The writer Ridley tried to be political but the racial discrimination was too on the nose and lacked a certain nuance that would have made this compelling.

    + LikeComments (3)
  • 10
    King-Maker Psycamorean Nov 24, 2020

    I was slightly wary of this comic. Not for any uncouth reasons, which I'm sure will be shouldered by a very different crowd within the next few days, but just because this is prose with illustrations, not a normal comic. And as much as I like reading comics, I don't much like reading. It's a paradox, sure, but I'm used to reading the average issue in 5 minutes. I had to take a break in the middle of this for work, but this took me over an hour to read. That's a lot for someone as uneducated and easily frightened as I am. If this issue wasn't really well written, wasn't telling an interesting story, wasn't a great display all around, I would've dropped it midway through, cutting my losses. Fortunately, this is a really good fucking issue. I more

  • 10
    TheHyruleElf Nov 24, 2020

    This was such an excellent experiment and I can't wait for the Teen Titans issue in January. Make no mistake, it is dense (since it's largely prose) and it will take you over an hour to complete the issue, but it's absolutely worth it. Jeff's insight is thought-provoking and often poetic and really shows the struggle of a man trying to be something more. Can't recommend it enough.

  • 10
    Toonstrack Nov 25, 2020

    Holy cow. Wow. Not sure how to write this but here goes.

    So right off the bat this thing is fricken fantastic and you should absolutely, 100% buy and read this unless you just really hate superheroes. That's just about the only valid reason I can give for not wanting this book.

    I've always liked Black Lightning, but in a more casual sort of way. A black guy myself I always enjoy representation, not just for being black, but actual, fully realized characters with flaws and personalities who happen to BE black. Jefferson Pierce, aka Black Lightning is one of the best and earliest examples of that in comic books.

    Which is to say he's the perfect charcater for a series like this. Focused character studies o more

  • 9.0
    Spacey Medicine Feb 25, 2021


  • 7.5
    Nihilist Nov 24, 2020

    I was interested in this book for two reason - first, obviously, it seemed like a big, important comic made with proper purpose in mind, and second, it's written by John Ridley, who aside from being beyond talented, is supposed to write short series for the Future State event, so I wanted to see what he has to offer before it all begins.

    There have been attempts in the comic industry to bring TV and movie talent before. Mostly unsuccessful for pletora of reasons, but ultimately screenwriters could not necesarily fit the frames set by the medium. And I'm glad John Ridley did create something that feels like a meaningful comic tale. One that not only is a story on its own, but also acknowledges the rich history of the DC universe, more

  • 5.5
    Gizmo Dec 2, 2020

    Not bad, but not great either. Ridley writes in prose, which does not take advantage of the comic book medium; the story wouldn't be any different without the images.

    The story itself come off as tedious and lacks payoff. Pierce spends most of the book tackling systemic issues by punching "thugs" and tossing bootstraps. He individualizes pretty much everything, including things like the Iran Hostage Crisis, which serves to frame his mindset within the time period but, in effect, also acts as apologetics for Reagan voters.

    In the end, Pierce learns the error of his ways, sort of; he's nice to John Stewart... whom he initially disliked even though he didn't know anything about him.

    In the end, we walk away f more

  • 10
    dante007 Nov 24, 2020


  • 10
    Rauld Nov 26, 2020

    Just... wow. Ridley is one heck of a writer.

  • 10
    UxasIs Apr 27, 2021

    I don't think I have ever been so impressed with a comic book, the ending almost left me in tears. Ridley has written something really unique here that questions a lot of overlooked aspects of DC. Black Lightning is now one of my favourite comic book superheroes.

  • 9.0
    AdmiralWhiskers Dec 4, 2020

    I just finished The Other History of the DC Universe 1 and am blown away.

    It's not as much a history as a memoir of Jefferson Pierce, told in a first person narrative style. John Ridley puts so much depth, perspective and - yes - pain into Pierce's story. The work in lifting up his students while fighting the baddies all the expense of his family. His resentment and jealousy toward Superman and the Justice League. His dismissal of and eventual friendship with John Stewart. The Teacher of the Year surpise that may have been the happiest page of the book. The breakup with his wife and efforts to patch things up with his kids. Ridley writes pages around 99% of what's currently being presented in comics. This is a more

  • 8.5
    Mout Aug 9, 2021

    I'm definitely reading his solo series soon

  • 6.5
    Simon DelMonte Dec 28, 2020

    Well intended but utterly inert, since it tells without really showing. With very few exceptions, comic books that try to be essentially novels with illustrations don't work well. Nothing really engages here.

    Plus Jeff Pierce comes across as a bit of a jerk. And trying to force together real world events with the comics of the time is clumsy. I don't mind calling out DC's racism of the period (and presumably of the moment). But trying to explain why the JLA didn't rescue the hostages in Iran rings false. (Also, Ridley gets his facts wrong. Iran didn't let the hostages go because it was scared of Reagan.)

    Not a bad story, but never a great one, and not worth the high price per issue.

    And where are the cr more

  • 5.5
    KFuqua Nov 27, 2020

    It was a bit long winded and disappointing.

  • 5.0
    letskillrobots Dec 16, 2020

    in the first percentile of words per page

  • 10
    tonpas1989 Nov 24, 2020

  • 10

  • 10
    Luiz_FM Nov 25, 2020

  • 10
    Swanktub Nov 25, 2020

  • 10
    Radar Nov 27, 2020

  • 10
    Bruno Mael Nov 28, 2020

  • 10
    Justin Ray Nov 29, 2020

  • 10
    Ellenkh Dec 6, 2020

  • 10
    Sergione Dec 30, 2020

  • 10
    gustave154 Feb 4, 2021

  • 10
    wing81 May 26, 2021

  • 10
    Nikita14 Aug 26, 2021

  • 9.0
    Frank61 Nov 30, 2020

  • 9.0
    Watchtower022 Dec 3, 2020

  • 8.5
    KittyNone Dec 15, 2020

  • 4.0
    JHugh Feb 12, 2021

  • 4.0
    Silver Rocket Mar 5, 2021

  • 3.0
    Merlyn Jan 26, 2021

Reviews for the Week of...