Black Lightning, an American TV series, finally premiered on The CW and folks are loving it. The CW is already known as the super hero network, filled with other flashy superheroes from DC Universe, but this is the first one to tackle real-life issues like we have today. Black Lightning seems to be a strong addition to the DC Universe’s television shows, tying its story line to real problems that we all are just a little too familiar with already. Prior to the premiere, it was already one of the top trending topics and now that the premiere has made an impressive debut, people on praising it on Twitter and other social media.
Spoiler Alert. If you haven’t watched it yet, you may not want to read any further as we discuss five things we learned from watching the premiere.
1. The Backstory
Jefferson Pierce, played by Cress Williams, is the superhero persona with the same name as the series. At the beginning of the pilot, he has been retired from fighting crime for the past nine years. He had quit his stint as a crime fighter when he realized the effects it was having on his family; his wife having separated from him as well. Pierce, who has the ability to harness and control electricity is now the principal of Garfield High School. The Williams’ are a tight-knit family despite the fact that the parents are separated. In fact, Pierce and his wife, Lynn Pierce, played by Christine Adams, have just started trying to put their relationship back together.
2. The Return
Pierce returns to his vigilante role as Black Lightning due to a local gang known as the One Hundred. Their numbers keep growing as the gang preys on the innocent people of Freeland, murdering and terrorizing the community while also increasing crime and corruption. After following his youngest daughter, Jennifer, played by China Ann McClain, to the club, he finds her being harassed by Will, a gang member, and other gangsters. He uses his lightning powers in order to take out the lights as well as some gangsters, handling the threat, and retrieving his daughter. Unfortunately, this only makes things worse. After Pierce talks to the One Hundred’s gangleader, Lala, to remind him of their pact, Will then reciprocates, kidnapping both his daughters.
3. The Daughters
Pierce’s daughters are the aforementioned Jennifer, who is described as independent, outspoken, smart, and athletic with a wild streak. She is the younger of the two. Anissa Pierce, the oldest, is played by Nafessa Williams, and is an activist who is protesting the failure of the police as well as the community for not keeping the One Hundred from taking over, murdering and terrorizing as they go. Both daughters have powers similar to their father’s and Anissa will eventually fight crime as Thunder.
4. The Gang
The One Hundred was actually formed by Tobias White, played by Marvin ”Krondon” Jones III, who is a former corrupt politician who’s rise through local government ranks was helped by corruption. He was brought down by Pierce’s father, Alvin, although in the end, he also killed Alvin. He was exiled afterward and that’s when he became the leader of the One Hundred gang. However, Whale is presumed dead until the end of the episode when it’s revealed that he was the one pulling the strings all along.
5. The Tailor
As with many superheroes, Black Lightning also has a mentor, Peter Gambi, which is played by James Remar. Gambi is a tailor who Pierce not only has confided in, but also looks to as a father figure. Gambi prepares his superhero persona outfits, making him a well-dressed hero as well.
Lastly, we’d also like to add that the special effects used for Black Lightning’s powers are awesome! He can shoot and control electricity, but what we really loved was how his powers gave him extra flair when physically striking the bad guys, sparks flying every time he hit an opponent. In addition, the fight scenes were very believable and very well put together. We look forward to seeing next week’s episode.