Now that The CW’s Black Lightning has premiered, audiences have been introduced to both Cress Williams’ Jefferson Pierce and Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III’s villainous Tobias Whale, and given hints as to their shared history. That backstory will be key to the series in the coming weeks, as the show settles into the first season’s storyline, while filling in the gaps in Black Lightning’s past. All the while, the series will build tension between the two adversaries, until their inevitable showdown.
As far as Williams is concerned, however, the series is right to delay the meeting between the out-of-retirement Black Lightning and underworld crime boss Tobias Whale, but he promises the two will share the screen eventually in season 1. The wait will give Black Lightning’s audience plenty of time to understand both sides of the story, hopefully making it all the more exciting when the two eventually do meet up.
Both Williams and Jones were on hand at the Black Lightning premiere that was held during the DC in D.C. 2018 event, and the actors had plenty to say about their characters and what the first season had in store for them both. Williams had this to say:
“What you'll discover is that they have a history that goes way, way back. I don't want to like spoil any of that. They're the two archetypes: the hero and the villain of the show. Almost like magnets, you can't get them together too soon because once they're together something has to happen. So, they will be in scenes together at some point, but we get to learn the backstory and learn that their adversarial relationship goes deeper and is personal, which makes it mean more.”
Meanwhile, Jones discussed what kind of adversarial relationship the two share, as well as whether or not Tobias Whale is up to the task of going toe-to-toe with the electricity hurling Black Lightning or if he’ll be toying with his adversary from afar. As far as Jones is concerned, Tobias is ready to face his opponent on any sort of battlefield.
“I think that it’s both physical and mental. And honestly spiritual too. If you think about the opening scene in episode one... there's a spiritual connection that's heavy. Tobias has issues.”
The rapper-actor also discussed how he approached the role, confirming he did indeed read plenty of comics in preparation, but he also drew from other sources as well.
“I did a full dive into the comic books amongst other things; I was always a fan coming up. But playing this role and taking it serious, to want to be ranked up there with some of the greats and some of the people that I admired as a kid. I did do a lot of research, and not just in comics villain world. I went all over, even looking at dictators. I don't want to give too many secrets, but I pulled from a lot.”
With the 13-episode season now officially underway, it will only be a matter of time before Black Lightning and Tobias Whale square off.
Black Lightning continues next Tuesday with ‘The Book of Hope’ @9pm on The CW.