"Black Lightning": A necessary jolt to the superhero genre

Carla Harmon
January 17, 2018

History will be made tonight when Nafessa Williams slips into the role of Anissa Pierce, i.e. Thunder, in The CW's Black Lightning.

Will you be tuning in for the first adventure of Black Lightning?

Salim spoke about how it was important for Black Lightning to include elements of black culture while also making the hero's civilian identity, Jefferson Pierce, a man with heroic qualities.

"In my community, I know who the good guys and the bad guys are", he said. Before his daughters get in the superhero business, Black Lightning has an ally in James Remar's Peter Gambi, a seemingly mild-mannered tailor who has a knack for designing super suits, like the updated and illuminated outfit donned by Jefferson when it comes time to save his daughters from a violent member of the city's organized crime syndicate.


The series stars Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie), China Anne McClain (Descendants 2), Nafessa Williams (Code Black), and Christine Adams (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D).

The CW has not announced the date of the season finale for Black Lightning. "I really want people to get to know this family". We know that she is an activist. His younger daughter Jennifer, has similar powers to Black Lightning, but does not have a good handle using them.

Curious about the latest superhero show to grace the small screen on the CW? Anissa's activism reflects movements in contemporary society like Black Lives Matter and Me Too.

The new year isn't even a month old, and a new superhero is charging onto the scene, smashing into the jam-packed universe already occupied by Superman, Batman, Thor, Wonder Woman and a seemingly endless parade of costumed crime fighters. Even when she is arguing with her father she is rational and likeable - which is quite an accomplishment considering the fact that Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce is a bag of charm with charisma for days. Writers Mara Brock and Salim Akil defy stereotypes of black masculinity and femininity, constructing characters who feel so grounded you could run into them at the grocery store.


Black Lightning premieres Tuesday, January 16 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

"I hope that this will spark conversation about what's going on in our world, and I hope that it will change their appetite for what they want their television to be", Williams said.

The final moments of the episode make "Resurrection" stand apart from other DCTV pilots. In a world where more people are divorced than married, presenting a vision of a successful co-parenting situation is vital for a series that will attract a young audience. As a 6-foot-4-inch, physically fit thespian, he's auditioned for superhero roles that eventually went to other actors. With that said, Black Lightning and his family are ready to take back their block, and the cast couldn't be more excited. He was a superhero, of course, he's a father, ex-husband, principal, a friend. Those will get 23-episode seasons. But Jefferson just can't do it when he's close to getting Lynn back. "I tried to do it the right way", Jefferson says to the police at one point before taking them out and you can see he really, really tries to suppress all of his anger surrounding the escalating tensions and violence in Freeland, to try and play by the rules even when it seems like it isn't doing much.


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