Marvelette Missives – Black Lightning

If you’re into comics and superheroes, you have probably heard about a new addition to the CW superhero lineup of shows. It was announced last month that DC’s Black Lightning has received a full series order and will likely show up as a midseason replacement. And though he has been around since the late 70s, he’s not a very well-known character. 

Created by Cleveland-native Tony Isabella (who had previously written stories for Marvel’s Luke Cage), Black Lightning was the first reputable headlining black hero for DC. He has had his own titles, as well as shown up in various other DC books over the years. Most recently, he showed up in conflict with Blue Devil in a New 52 reboot.

Jefferson Pierce, is a metahuman with electrical powers who grew up in a slum suburb of Metropolis and left when his father was murdered. He returns years later to be a high school principal. Of course, considering the setting, street gangs are involved and Jefferson assumes the identity of Black Lightning to clean up the neighborhood after a student is killed. Interestingly, the extent of his powers is unknown – he has been able to stun and kill with his electric abilities. At one point, he even became a human defibrillator when he restarted Superman’s heart (yes, kryptonite was involved).

It has been noted by the showrunner that Black Lightning will not be a part of the established CW superhero universe and there will be no crossovers. Pretty sure that was said when Supergirl hit screens too. But given the characters maturity and family life there is opportunity to make this a more compelling and deeper story than most of the superhero shows on now, which would be great to see.