Finally, CW launched TV series on famous Black superhero that it was working on for so many months. And buoy their hard work and toil has paid off handsomely. The ratings of the premiere are impressive and DC fans are looking forward to see what happens next in the life of Jefferson Pierce aka Black lightning.
Black Lightning has had one of the most controversial premieres in the history of The CW’s Arrowverse. Racism, sexism, hate crimes, racial profiling and stereotypes along with rampart police brutality have taken center stage in a world where crime runs as free as the air surrounding us.
The show has introduced us to a dark, bleak world as one man with the ability to easily become a despot decides to take the difficult path to set things straight. Change, in Black Lightning, never comes without a price. And that is something that is shown beautifully in the first episode itself. He is a an old, experienced and almost retired superhero who decided to leave this persona of a vigilante behind and focus on his personal life and two daughters. But even then he could not save his marriage.
The show has struck a chord with young African Americans who are fond of comics and superheroes. This is a great move by CW as it has brought new viewers into the fold and added a bad ass superhero to its roster. There are immense possibilities of Black Lightning crossing over to other shows or bringing characters from CW shows or participate in mega CW crossover next time.
But it is not to say the show is without its flaws. The soulless execution of a somewhat brilliant storyline and shoddy unnecessary pace changes within the plot could be a mood killer for many of the viewers. The dialogue lacks solid punch and visual effects seem underwhelming.
Black Lightning is no Smallville. It is also no Iron Fist either. It lies somewhere in between. It has its ugliness and beauties. It is not the version that CW teases earlier but nevertheless, you will love it if you really want to. Let’s cut some slack and give proper opportunity to the show.
The season premiere of Black Lightning gave us reason to get back on its good side. Jefferson Pierce aka Black Lightning is the principal of his school. He is a former superhero that was a well-known vigilante of his time. Using his electro-kinetic abilities, Black Lightning had made several villains bite the dust and had become a force to be reckoned with.
That was until his vigilante double life had started to take its toll on his personal one. As wounds and blood accumulated, Jefferson’s family grew further apart. Until one fateful day, Black Lightning lost the only thing he cared even more than his mask itself – his wife.
As the first episode progressed, Pierce is seen lamenting everything he did wrong in his yesteryears. In a school fundraiser, he is seen talking to a woman that fans later find out is Pierce’s ex-wife. Lynn Pierce is the same woman that left Jefferson Pierce after realizing she could not see his husband risk his life anymore as the Black Lightning.
Green Lantern has had several human iterations – Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, Alan Scott, Guy Gardner and John Stewart. The Arrowverse has dropped hints at Hal Jordan’s existence in the universe but it was merely done to excite the fans. Those easter-eggs never materialized into anything, but Black Lightning’s link to Green Lantern lore is the strongest one yet.
Green Lantern Corps is an intergalactic space police organization with their headquarters at the center of the universe on the Planet Oa. Every Green Lantern is entrusted with a Green Power Ring – the greatest known weapon of the universe that can create anything by harnessing the sheer willpower of its user. Green Lantern is an extremely powerful superhero and very popular in the comic books.
While The DCEU only gave us vague references to the Guy in Green tights, The CW has been much more direct in the new show. In the comic books, Lynn from Black Lightning is John Stewart’s sister.
John Stewart is known better as the Green Lantern in the animated versions of GL in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. He is not as well known as Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner but he has had his moments in comic books.
In the DC Universe, John Stewart has a sister who goes by the name Lynn Stewart. In The CW’ Black Lightning, that same Lynn is now Jefferson’s ex-wife. Lynn Stewart is now Lynn Pierce.
Lynn Pierce, in the show, is not someone to be taken lightly. She is a grown, independent woman and the driving force behind Black Lightning. It was her who convinced Jefferson to give up on his vigilantism. It was her who pushed him back into action and out of retirement.
The Good news is that Black Lightning and Green Lantern (John Stewart) were introduced into the DC Universe in the same decade. They were street-level superheroes who fought crime and had only one link that connected them together – Lynn Stewart. But there is more to the connection between Black Lightning and Green Lantern as the original plans were to make Jefferson Pierce brother-in-law of Hal Jordan. Will the show go in this direction? Is it too much to ask? Far-fetched?
Does this mean Lynn could become a superheroine in her own right? Or will John Stewart show up sometime later in the show? The CW has already introduced a prominent League core member in one of its shows. But this is not the first time a CW show has referenced Green Lantern. In Arrow, Coast city has found mention multiple times which is the hometown of Lantern; journalist Susan Williams was hired who is the sister-in-law of Hal Jordan in the comics.
Super Girl has the Martian Manhunter as a prominent member of Team Kara. Stewart could be Black Lightning’s Manhunter, providing critical support and insight when Jefferson Pierce needs it the most. The daughters will also be involved in fighting crime and racial discrimination against the African American community.
The official synopsis of the new CW show ‘Black Lightning’ is as follows:
“Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Ann McClain), and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe-haven for young people in a neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero in his community”.
“Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning, but he left the Superhero days behind. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought”.
The next episode of Black Lightning will air on January 23 on CW. Don’t miss this series and if you are late to the party, watch the debut episode and come aboard.