With news that The CW plans to screen the show’s pilot episode at SDCC – ditto for Syfy and Superman prequel series, Krypton – creator and producer Mara Brock Akil has been soliciting questions about Black Lightning.
Pegged for a midseason premiere on The CW, where it’ll join other DC-related adaptations in the vein of The Flash, Vixen, and Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning places Cress Williams in the boots of Jefferson Pierce, a retired vigilante-turned-family-man who walked away from a life of fighting crime in order to raise a family…only to be pulled back into the game. Widely considered to be one of the first prominent black superheroes of the 1970s, a small-screen rendition of Black Lightning is no small matter, and while chatting to Essence (via Screen Rant), Mara Brock Akil pinpointed its representation of a nuclear black family.
What we want to do is put Black men and the Black family back at the center. A lot of the other shows have been led through the view of Black women, so it’s time to place the Black male back and give him a voice at the table. We have to take back the image of Black men raising their families. His daughters will have powers. So, two young black girls are going to be in a superhero suit. The empowerment that we have to help, save, and be the hope in our own lives is what Black Lightning is all about.
Those two daughters – namely Jennifer and Anissa – will be brought to life by China Anne McClain and Nafessa Williams, while we understand Christine Adams is attached to the part of Pierce’s estranged wife, Lynn.
It’s not considered part of the Arrowverse, nor will it be integrated into any of The CW’s future crossover events, but there’s a tangible crackle of excitement swirling around Black Lightning, and SDCC will no doubt herald a ton of new information about what the show has in store. Expect the Lightning panel to get underway in Ballroom 20 at 4:50 pm – 5:10 pm.