The CW has released the trailer for Black Lightning, its fifth DC superhero series. The show kicks off when Principal Jefferson Pierce (played by Cress Williams) has to bring his superhero persona out of retirement to help his neighborhood. “With crime and corruption spreading like wildfire,” reads the logline, “and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns — to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community.”
Black Lightning will not be part of the CW’s larger Arrowverse, which links The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, so don’t expect to see any team-ups with Supergirl. “We do not aim to do a five-way crossover,” said Mark Pedowitz, the president of The CW. “Black Lightning, at this time, is not part of the Arrowverse. It is a separate situation.” That said, Greg Berlanti is serving as an executive producer, so who knows?
Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, the brains behind series like Being Mary Jane and Girlfriends, developed the show for Fox before the CW picked it up instead.
Created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden, Black Lightning was the first black superhero to headline his own DC Comics series. By day, he works as a high school principal; by night, he uses his power over electricity and lightning to fight the One Hundred Gang. That premise carries with it a lot of stereotypes about predominantly black neighborhoods, so I’m glad that the Akils are taking this on. I’m optimistic that they’ll push back against racist tropes, and I’m excited by the series’ seeming focus on family and community. In a superhero landscape with so many lone vigilantes, I’m excited to see a more community-oriented vision of heroism.
Also, DAD SUPERHERO. How can you say no to dad superhero?
Black Lightning will premiere on The CW on January 16, 2018.
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