Black Lightning is officially “back” in action, as seen in the new origin trailer for The CW’s upcoming DC superhero TV series. Black Lightning himself is the newest DC hero to get their own show on The CW, and the first African American superhero to headline his own show on the network.
Following the release of a brief teaser that aired during the Arrowverse crossover “Crisis on Earth-X”, there is now a longer Black Lightning trailer that goes a little more in depth with what we can expect from this new series in terms of tone, action, and stylization. We get a pretty good look here at the title character’s suit, his powers and his reason for picking up his superhero mantle again, at the start of the show.
In a mere 40 seconds, this trailer attempts to lay the groundwork for this new character. Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) has not been active as Black Lightning for years, working instead as a high school principal. A voice-over asks all the boilerplate questions about why Pierce became Black Lightning in the first place, assumingly prompted by Black Lightning’s mentor Peter Gambi. But, as crime is wont to do, a new threat rolls in and he begins to feel the need to protect his city and his family once more. Trading in his cardigans and ties for gauntlets and big leather boots, he steps back out into the city to fight crime. “Black Lightning is back.”
Based on the content of this trailer, it’s looking like we’re in for a great first season of Black Lightning. First off, Cress Williams looks just great in that suit. Black Lightning is skilled in hand-to-hand combat and has the ability to project bolts of electricity, and there’s plenty of electric bolts here. We get to see him in action, dishing out all sorts of blue bolts and roundhouse kicks. There’s also a brief glimpse at a couple of the big bads in the series – Tobias Whale (Marvin Jones III) and Syonide (Charlbi Dean Kriek) – as they walk menacingly down a staircase. In the comics, Tobias Whale is a powerful crime lord and Black Lightning’s archenemy, while Syonide is a professional hitman. Where exactly they fit into this show remains to be seen, but so far, the only deviation from the source material looks to be that Syonide is a woman in The CW series.
Black Lightning is clearly not an origin story, and that’s very much deliberate. After having stepped down from his post to be with his family, how will they react to finding out Jefferson is fighting crime again? It’s interesting that we’re meeting Black Lightning at this point in his life, and hopefully this will prove to provide some creative avenues for telling his story. Origin stories have become a dime a dozen these days, and yeah, it can feel wrong and slightly ungrateful to complain about the over-saturation of superheroes. Still, it’s nice to have a new and fresh approach to a story like this.
Black Lightning premieres on The CW on Tuesday, January 16 at 9 p.m. ET.
Source: The CW
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