The morning after the title's launch, Isabella tweeted that DC has reduced Black Lightning to "Batman's support negro."
"Don't try to put a silver lining on DC reducing Black Lightning to Batman's support negro," Isabella shared on Twitter. "It's insulting to the character, his fans and the creator with whom he wouldn't exist. For authentic Black Lightning, read Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands and watch the brilliant TV show."
After calling Black Lightning's inclusion in Batman and the Outsiders "insulting to the character, his fans and the creator with whom he wouldn't exist," Isabella urged everyone to read his Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands miniseries from 2017, and to watch The CW series starring Cress Williams as the titular hero.
Isabella would later back up his earlier statement in another tweet, saying, "If you don't already understand why DC Comics reducing Black Lightning to Batman's support negro is insulting...if you give me the lame 'that's the marketplace; response...you're never going to get it. We don't have anything to talk about."
DC's newest take on Batman and the Outsiders is written by Bryan Hill and illustrated by Dexter Soy, and spins out of the events of Detective Comics #982-987, with Batman placing Black Lightning as leader of the Outsiders team with Katana, Signal and Orphan.
Created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden, the character debuted in 1977's Black Lightning #1 as DC's first major black superhero. He's had various stints with the Justice League and was a member of the original team of Outsiders, alongside Batman, Metamorpho, Katana, Geo-Force, Halo and Looker. Black Lightning also has a starring role in Season 3 of Young Justice, titled Young Justice: Outsiders, airing on the DC Universe streaming service.
The CW's Black Lightning launched in 2018 and recently concluded its second season.