ByMichael Johnson, writer at
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Michael Johnson

The CW has become the designated home for most of DC Comics TV series, the major exception being Gotham. The CW has Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. But wait, there's more!

The CW has ordered the series Black Lightning as a regular part of its ever-growing DC family. Black Lightning isn't set to debut until 2018, but with it being ordered to series maybe will see the character sooner on another show. Until then here's what we know so far.

Black Lightning is the First of His Kind

[Credit: DC Comics]
[Credit: DC Comics]

Black Lightning is one of DC's most iconic superheroes, and the first African American hero to hold down his own series for DC. Like his comic book counterpart, a Black Lightning series will be the first superhero series to star an African-American actor. He's The CW's perfect answer to Netflix's Luke Cage in many ways.

The new series will focus on the retired Decathlon gold medal winner-turned super hero Black Lightning-turned retired hero Jefferson Pierce. As the story goes, Pierce hung up his tights in favor of a normal life as an educator. The divorced father of two is principal of a school, but is spurred back into heroic action by local gang activity.

The Brains Behind the Series

Black Lightning comes from Warner Bros. Television, Berlanti Productions, and Akil Productions. It will be written and directed by husband and wife duo Mara and Salim Akil. The two Akils, whether separate or together, are behind a long list of TV staples, from Moesha to Soul Food, and Being Mary Jane. The Akils were the brains behind the WB hit series Girlfriends and another CW hit series, The Game before it moved to BET. They were also the last people to work with Whitney Houston in her last feature film, Sparkle. Fans can expect a unique and socially aware depiction of a great hero especially with such a great cast ─ which stars Heart of Dixie's Cress Williams as the hero.

Black Lightning is a Family Man

Jefferson Pierce's estranged wife Lynn will be played by London-born Christine Adams. She has had a featured role in 's Feed the Beast, along with minor roles in movies like Tron: Legacy and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Lynn is described as a woman who does whatever it takes to protect her family. She's intelligent, confident with a mischievous side. Her daughters will be played by Chyna Anne McClain and Nafessa Williams.

The 18-year old McClain will be the independent scholar/athlete Jennifer Pierce, who is outspoken with a wild streak of her own. McClain is better known for her starring role on shows like House of Payne, and more specifically Disney's A.N.T. Farm. The multi-talented actress will also appear in Lionsgate/WWE Studios Brother's Blood and Disney's Descendants 2.

Nafessa Williams play Anissa, the quick-witted daughter in her twenties who's trying to juggle medical school while teaching part-time at her father's school. Williams has starred films like Streets, Whitney, and The Man in 3B. She has a recurring role on Code Black as Dr. Charlotte Piel, and you can also catch her on the upcoming Twin Peaks revival as Jade.

What Fans Can Expect From Black Lightning

[Credit: The CW, DC Comics]
[Credit: The CW, DC Comics]

Unlike the leaders of other superhero shows, Jefferson Pierce has been there and done that. Arrow, Flash, and Supergirl are still struggling to balance their personal lives and work as a hero. Oliver tried to hang it up in favor of a normal life, and failed miserably, while both Kara and Barry are just now discovering ways to live more regular lives.

Pierce, to some degree, was able to manage both, but we don't know exactly what caused him to retire. Still, he apparently was able to raise two wonderful daughters ─ something Oliver may never get a chance to do.

[Credit: The CW]
[Credit: The CW]

There's a chance that Black Lighting could be connected to the by way of Supergirl. We can expect the show to dig deep into the Suicide Slums neighborhood in Metropolis. Yeah that Metropolis, which ironically enough is the home of the Guardian in the comics, who is now on Supergirl, with Jimmy Olsen operating as the crime fighting hero.

With Superman officially part of the Arrowverse could we see and introduce Black Lightning... backdoor pilot anyone?

Fans can also expect the series to tackle some serious issues ─ if you know anything about the Akil duo you'll know they hold no punches. In addition to their history, Berlanti has shown that he has the fortitude, for better or worse, to challenge the status quo, as with Arrow tackling gun control, or the somewhat controversial Supergirl coming-out storyline. So expect Black Lightning to be a lot deeper than your average hero show.


Do you think Black Lightning will be a CW hit or miss?

[Sources: TV Line, Deadline]


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