The CW's upcoming DC TV series Black Lightning has just cast its main villain for its first season. Marvin "Krondon" Jones III will be playing the crime boss and DC Comics character, Tobias Whale.
Tobias Whale will serve as the "big bad" of Black Lightning season 1; finding himself at odds with the eponymous superhero (Cress Williams.) Whale is an African-American albino and the leader of a gang called the 100, who has personal history with Black Lightning's family. In the past, he was a corrupt politician whose schemes were ruined by Alvin Pierce. When Whale murders him in retaliation, Pierce's son, Jefferson, once known as the superhero Black Lightning, comes out of retirement to deal with his father's killer.
Executive producer Salim Akil says he was pleased with Jones' performance in his audition and promises that Jones, a rapper who has been never been cast as a regular in a TV series before, will make a "great" Tobias Whale in Black Lightning. Here is the statement that Akil gave Variety, with respect to Jones:
His authentic street sensibility along with an insightful intelligence is perfect for the Tobias character arc. Not to mention his regal physical bearing will be additive to making our show exciting and different.
The comic book version of Tobias Whale, nicknamed "The Great White Whale," is a 400 pound villain who has been compared by fans with Marvel's Kingpin, as both are known for being extremely large, yet covered in muscle rather than fat. Whale also dresses like the Kingpin, who is typically portrayed wearing a suit jacket.
In the comics, Whale had a significant role in the life of Black Lightning. The character actually debuted alongside the hero in the pages of Black Lightning #1 in 1977. The two became enemies after Pierce, a schoolteacher, spoke up against Whale's criminal activities, which led to Whale's decision to murder one of Pierce's students. Pierce took on the identity of Black Lightning and took on Whale's gang. Thanks to Pierce's efforts, Whale was sent to prison, but like most comic book villains, Whale managed to escape to continue his life of crime.
As one of Black Lightning's villains, it shouldn't come as a surprise to fans that the character will be featured in the show. Tobias Whale was confirmed to appear on the show back in June by Akil, who referred to Whale as being an interesting villain who won't simply "twirl his moustache." Instead, the series will explore the hatred he has for both himself and others.
Black Lightning is expected to debut on The CW in January 2018.