Black Lightning is the next DC TV show coming to The CW. The series is being produced by Greg Berlanti – co-creator of The CW’s Arrowverse (which includes Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl) – and features the husband and wife duo of Salim Akin and Mara Brock Akil, as its showrunners.
Black Lightning focuses on the alter-ego of Jefferson Piece (Cress Williams), who is forced to return to his abandoned superhero identity in order to protect his daughters. Pierce is usually depicted in the DC comics as a teacher, although he has been Secretary of Education in the past. Per DC Comics continuity, Pierce’s daughters Jennifer and Anissa follow in their father’s footsteps and become superheroes in their own right – the duo known as Thunder and Lightning.
Deadline is reporting that China Anne McClain (House of Payne), will be playing the role of Jennifer Pierce and Nafessa Williams (Code Black where she previously worked with C. Williams), will play Anissa Pierce on Black Lightning. Jennifer is the younger of the two daughters. She is an accomplished student fixated on justice, whereas Anissa is an adult who’s in medical school and working part-time at her father’s school.
Black Lightning has the potential to focus on family as much, if not more so, than any of the other current DC TV shows on The CW. Supergirl and The Flash certainly focus heavily on related themes of family, but Black Lightning could be the first of The CW’s DC television shows to feature an entire family’s worth of superheroes (Jefferson, Jennifer and Anissa) at its core.
If Williams and McClain are able to handle the unique demands that will be placed on them as superheroes, then they should be nothing but assets. However, DCTV shows don’t have the best track record with their younger cast members, who sometimes get relegated to being irrational and only serving to create conflict for the lead characters at inopportune moments. Hopefully this will not be the case and fans will get to see Thunder and Lightning in their full glory on Black Lightning.
Black Lightning starts filming this month, but has no official premiere date yet. We’ll let you know when that changes.