The CW is known for its well written and interesting takes on comic book lore. From the decade long view into the life of a teenage Superman in Smallville, to the expansion of the DC universe encompassing Green Arrow, Supergirl, the Flash and Batman’s James Gordon, the CW has done a marvelous job of developing likable characters in fictitious worlds. The latest DC entities is also the least popular in terms of historical promotion. Superman and Batman are well known properties and the Green Arrow and the Flash had the pleasure of being introduced before hand, but for Black Lightning, it’s a bit different.
Black Lightning revolves around Jefferson Pierce, a High School principal “who returns to his hometown to find it overrun by a nasty gang called the One Hundred.” The One Hundred “kidnap local girls and put them to work turning tricks at the Sea Horse motel. The gang is clearly a menace to society and run from afar by Black Lightning’s archenemy, Tobias Whale (Marvin “Krondon” Jones III).” Initially wanting to stop the gang through nonviolence, when his daughters get caught up in the madness, Pierce brings out his Black Lightning powers and gets entangled into a war with the One Hundred.
The premise is not unlike Marvel’s Luke Cage who, first unwilling, decides to put his powers to use protecting the innocent in the inner city. A key difference is that for Black Lightning, his family is the key to his change, while for Cage, it’s his adopted home of Harlem. Another key to Black Lightning is his age. Usually the CW looks to focus on young superheroes, but for this rendition the middle aged Pierce is the key to the story. A very different play, but also intriguing as we see the story unfold from an older weary hero.
The first diverse superhero for a DC push will be an interesting one, especially with its lack of notoriety for now. The key is building an intriguing storyline with characters people can find interesting while putting their own spin on it. Tough to do I know, but still the opportunities are there and can be met in a big way.