Written by Brian Flinchbaugh
Black Lightning: Not Your Typical Superhero Show
Black Lightning, The CW’s newest show based on
DC Comics had a hit debut.
This is a different kind of superhero show. It’s not the typical story of a youngster just discovering his powers and the trials and tribulations of learning how to be a hero. This show is centered around the return of an aging ex-hero and the personal life of the character’s alter ego, Jefferson Pierce, played wonderfully by Cress Williams.
Pierce is a high school principal and a retired hero who could shoot lighting from his fingers, giving up the costumed life nine years ago. The rise of a brutally violent gang, The One Hundred, has caused him to take up the uniform and hit the streets once again.
2018 is already a groundbreaking year for diversity in the genre. The show is the first superhero serial on primetime television that is completely African-American. The timing of its debut comes just weeks before the release of Black Panther.
Because the format of this show is new and fresh, we get to see different storylines and impactful events. The Black Lives Matter movement and gang violence are very visible in the pilot.
We see Jefferson Pierce as a father first and superhero second. From bailing out his daughter to their lives being threatened as a big reason for his return to the mantle, he is driven by his family.
We don’t see much of the primary villain, The One Hundred leader Tobias Whale, but he seems like he’ll be a formidable and dynamic enemy.
Unlike Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning is not currently connected to the Arrowverse.
If you want a superhero show simply for mindless action, this isn’t the show for you. But if you’re looking for a fresh take on the genre featuring characters with depth and a look at the more personal aspects of dealing with life as a hero, with some good humor thrown in, Black Lightning will be appease your appetite.
Brian is the lead writer for Geek Vibes Nation. Follow him on Twitter @brflinchbaugh.