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TV Gets A New Black Superhero
By Brian W. Carter Staff Writer
Published May 25, 2017

Actor, Cress Williams (Courtesy Photo)

Black Lightning is taking on gang violence while raising a family in a seedy part of town

“Black Lightning” is the new vigilante on the block who will be coming to the CW Network during the 2017-18 season. The new hero will be joining the “superhero network” which includes “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Legends of Tomorrow” and “Supergirl”.

Starring Cress Williams (“Code Black”, “Hart of Dixie” and “Living Single”) as the titular hero, “Black Lighting” is a DC Comics character created by writer Tony Isabella with artist Trevor Von Eeden who debuted in his own comic in 1977 and is one of DC’s first Black superheroes. “Black Lightning” is a metahuman, who was born with the ability to generate and manipulate electricity.

During the current superhero era on the big and little screen, Black characters are beginning to take center stage. On the film front, DC Comics’ “Justice League” will hit theaters in November with the African American superhero, Cyborg (Ray Fisher) as part of the ensemble while Marvel’s Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), who wowed audiences with his debut in “Captain America: Civil War”, hits theaters in “Black Panther” in February 2018. “Black Lightning” will join small screen heroes such as Marvel’s Luke Cage (Mike Colter) on Netflix and the non-comic-based television series “Rebel” on BET.

Black Lightning is the new hero on the block (Courtesy Photo)

“Black Lightning” follows Jefferson Pierce (Williams), a high school principal and father to his daughters, Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain), who was the vigilante Black Lightning until it took a toll on his life and marriage with his wife Lynn (Christine Adams).  Recent crime and corruption in the neighborhood by local gang, The One Hundred, is going to pull Peirce out of retirement and back into action as Black Lightning.

“Black Lightning” was written by husband-and-wife duo Salim and Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane”, “The Game” and “Girlfriends”) initially for Fox but eventually found a home on the CW. The superhero drama is from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash”), the Akils and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash”).

The CW recently released a trailer for “Black Lightning” online which shows a world closer to reality. The show captures the very real issue of gang violence and a city tired with corruption. It’s been stated that the Berlanti-produced DC adaptation won’t immediately be part of the same universe as the other CW superhero shows which have all crossed over with each other.

It is also interesting to note in the comics, Black Lightning’s daughters, have both followed in their father’s footsteps with Anissa Pierce becoming Thunder, a member of the Outsiders, and Jennifer, Lightning, later recruited by the Justice Society of America. The trailer eludes to the same happening in the TV series where in one scene on of the Pierce daughters’ hands begin to light up with energy.

“Black Lightning” will premiere on the CW midseason lineup.

Black Lightning the comics (Courtesy Photo)

Categories: Entertainment | TV
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