The CW is poised to bring about a superhero series that features a lead African-American cast, rather than African-American actors in supporting roles, in the DC Comics adaptation, Black Lightning. And not just that, the lead is looking like he won’t be The CW’s targeted age of 20/30-something, but rather a middle-aged man with teen and young adult children of his own. At the moment, only a pilot has been ordered by the network, but if it’s anywhere near as good as the quality of The CW’s other DC shows, this one should be a no-brainer to take to series.
Taking a step towards getting that pilot to completion is today’s news, that of a casting description for four leads in Black Lightning. For folks familiar with the comics, it’s the characters you’d probably expect. Here’s how our TV Editor Allison Keene summed up the earliest of information on the planned Black Lightning series:
Black Lightning’s powers are exactly what you would expect: He’s a metahuman who can control electro-magnetic fields around his body, and can use it to stun or even kill as necessary. He can also use it to launch projectiles, and it gives him limited flight abilities as well. In the comics, he’s helped re-start Superman’s heart, and has also honed his combat skills under Batman’s tutelage. So yeah, he sounds like a badass.
Pierce’s two daughters–Anissa a.k.a. Thunder, a member of the Outsiders, and Jennifer a.k.a. Lightning, recruited by the Justice Society of America–are also active vigilantes in the comics, and it looks like the TV series will be headed in the same direction.
Looks like the characters we’ll seen on screen line up with the new, though unofficial, casting descriptions, along with the addition of Jefferson Pierce’s ex-wife, Lynn Stewart. Check them out below courtesy of That Hashtag Show (via HH):
JEFFERSON PIERCE: “Male, African-American, late 30s to 50. Handsome, fit, with an athletic build. Former 3-time gold medal decathlon winner who is now principal of a high school in South Central Los Angeles. A father figure to his student and hero to the local community. JEFFERSON is charming, charismatic, smart, and has both warmth and humor. He is devoted to his two daughters and remains deeply in love with his ex-wife LYNN. He also has a great passion for justice and a quick temper that he has spent years learning how to control. Think Idris Elba. LEAD.
JENNIFER: Female. African-American, LEGAL 18 to play 16. JEFFERSON’s younger daughter. JENNIFER is a scholar athlete; beautiful with a lean, athletic runner’s build. She is the entitled feminist of the Pierce family. Independent and outspoken with a wild streak. SERIES REGUALR, ASP.
ANISSA: Female. African-American, to play 22. JEFFERSON’s elder daughter. Beautiful, quick-witted and intelligent; intense and passionate. ANISSA has a great respect for her father. ANISA balances the demands of medical school with her duties as a part time teacher at JEFFERSON’s school. SERIES REGULAR, ASP.
LYNN: Female, African-American, mid 30s to 50. Exudes confidence and intelligence. Beautiful, but not to be trifled with. Can exhibit both great emotional depth as well as a flirtatious, mischievous side. SERIES REGULAR, ASP.
And here’s the synopsis for Black Lightning:
“Black Lightning centers on Jefferson Pierce. He made his choice: He hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with a daughter hellbent on justice and a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend Black Lightning.”
For more on Black Lightning, take a look at some of our previous write-ups:
- ‘Black Lightning’ Officially Lands at The CW with Pilot Order
- The ‘Black Lightning’ TV Series Could Be Moving to The CW
- ‘Black Lightning’ TV Series Lands at Fox
- A ‘Black Lightning’ TV Series Is in Development from Greg Berlanti