‘Black Lightning’ is a DC comics superhero TV show developed by Salim Akil, his wife Mara Brock Akil & Greg Berlanti, who is also known as the father of the DC tv universe which spawned with the inception of ‘Arrow’ back in 2012. However, ‘Black Lightning’ is not connected to the Arrowverse shows but a future crossover may be in the cards; if the showrunners decide to go with the idea. The series airs on the CW and first premiered on January 16, 2018.
‘Black Lightning’ was created by writer Tony Isabella with artist Trevor Von Eeden, first appearing in ‘Black Lightning #1′ (April 1977) during the Bronze Age of Comic Books. While his origin story has been told several times, his current origin story states that he was born in the DC Universe as a meta-human with superhuman abilities.
Black Lightning is DC Comics’ second African-American superhero and the first black DC Comics hero to lead his own TV series played by Cress Williams as the titular character alongside China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin Jones III, Damon Gupton, and James Remar.
The show’s focus on a stronger narrative and the grittier grounded approach makes it a more relatable and a realistic tv show like ‘Arrow‘. Its main strength lies in the message it’s trying to convey regarding equal rights and privileges for the African-American community. It further delves into the realistic consequences of gang violence, corrupt law enforcement, and racism. Considering that we have seen Marvel’s own Luke Cage do this on the Netflix series, message-wise this superhero is not offering anything novel. However, if we put the Marvel versus DC argument aside for a moment and look at the bigger picture of the mainstream representation of black people in the media, especially as superheroes, it indeed speaks a message of inclusiveness. Naturally, this has drawn fans to the show, and critics have also praised it saying, “Black Lightning doesn’t reinvent superhero TV, but it does give the genre a necessary jolt with real-world plots, scary new villains, and a star-making performance from Cress Williams”.
Black Lightning Cast: Who is in it?
‘Black Lightning’ was renewed for a second season at the CW network and came back stronger than ever. Most of the main characters in the series returned for the sophomore season. This includes Cress Williams as Jefferson who is joined by China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Marvin “Krondon” Jones III, Christine Adams, Damon Gupton, and James Remar. Jordan Calloway joined the main cast after being promoted from a recurring cast member from the previous season.
As for the upcoming season, not much is known about the introduction of newer characters from the DC lore but the original cast would return again once it is renewed.