Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is officially back in the superhero game in the trailer for the Black Lightning TV show's next episode, 'The Book of Hope'. Black Lightning is The CW's latest DC Comics TV adaptation, but exists separate from the rest of the shared multiverse that Green Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and the Legends of Tomorrow occupy... for the time being, anyway. Creators Mara Brock and Salim Akil announced the show's arrival with a pilot episode that likewise aims to break the mold for superhero television on the network, adding a heavy dose of social and political relevance to its comic book soap operatics and stylized superhero action.
The Black Lightning premiere further changed things up by skipping over the origin story for its namesake, by instead picking up with Jefferson at a point where he's long been retired from the superhero game. Now leading a quieter life as the principal of Garfield High School, Jefferson is thrust back into his former career as a crime-fighter when his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) are kidnapped, and it falls to their dear old dad to save them. 'The Book of Hope' will pickup that plot thread in particular, when Jefferson sets out to take those responsible down.
The trailer for 'The Book of Hope' shows Jefferson suited up and back on the job as Black Lightning in the aftermath of the premiere episode, putting him both at odds with his estranged wife Lynn (Christine Adams) and in the good graces of his sidekick and superhero tailor, Peter Gambi (James Remar). Black Lightning big bad Tobias Whale (Marvin 'Krondon' Jones III) only made a brief appearance toward the end of the first episode, but he will begin to play a more prominent role as the season progresses - as the trailer for 'The Book of Hope' suggests. You can watch the trailer in the space above, then read the synopsis for the episode below:
As the community struggles with the violence surrounding them, a glimmer of hope appears: Is Black Lightning (Cress Williams) back? Lynn Stewart (Christine Adams), noticing the changes in the community, is also left wondering. While Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) struggles with his decision, Gambi (James Remar) urges him to take up the mantle once more and return to life as Black Lightning. Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) try to deal with the aftermath of their jolting experience.
Black Lightning has a history with both Tobias Whale and the crime-riddled city of Freeland at large, and it sounds as though 'The Book of Hope' will only start to scratch at the surface of that backstory. Similarly, Anissa had only begun to tap into her own metahuman abilities near the end of the show's premiere episode, and is still a ways off from joining her dad's fight as the costumed superhero Lightning. Neither the trailer nor the synopsis for 'The Book of Hope' make any references to Anissa coming into her own as a superhero, but the actual episode will presumably continue to progress that narrative thread to some degree.
Having now established a unique identity for itself apart from the rest of the superhero television show crowd, Black Lightning will hopefully continue to refine its storytelling techniques and enrich the fascinating themes/issues that its pilot episode brought to the forefront. That's not to say the show is without its flaws; Lynn, for example, unfortunately fit the "disapproving wife" archetype in the premiere, and 'The Book of Hope' may not evolve her much in that respect. The series is only getting started, fortunately, and could be on its way to greatness as it continues to find its footing and further establish its sense of purpose.
Black Lightning continues next Tuesday with ‘The Book of Hope’ @9pm on The CW.
Source: The CW