CW Reveals Character Descriptions For Black Lightning Pilot

Author Thumbnail BY Cora Llamas - February 18, 2017

Black Lightning, which might turn out to be CW's new and fifth superhero show, is apparently aiming for a more middle-of-the-road family-oriented demographic, based on the character descriptions that the network has released. Jefferson Pierce, aka Black Lightning, is the hero but he's not exactly a man in his prime. He's a middle-aged high school principal who has put his crime-fighting years behind him. His priorities are his two daughters and his ex-wife who he still deeply loves.

Here is Collider's description of these four main characters:

"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."

A sense of family has always been present in superhero shows like The Flash, Supergirl, and Arrow. After all, fighting crime 24/7 can bond you into a relationship that is almost thicker than blood. But the newer superhero shows like the upcoming X-Men series and The Runaways seem to be featuring superheroes who are members of the same family. What makes Black Lightning stand out is that it centers around an African-American super-family, instead of making them the support (ala The Flash).

Who knows? Maybe Black LIghtning can do to superhero shows what The Cosbys did for family programming.

Our guess is that the CW pilot will have a storyline that will force Black Lightning out of retirement. His daughters will also start discovering their own abilities. In the comic books, Jennifer becomes Lightning with powers similar to her dad. Anissa became the mighty, density-packing Thunder.

 And in the best tradition of CW shows, nothing triggers that emergence than supervillains.

What sort of evil doers are powerful enough to go against Jefferson's electric bolts, Jennifer's lightning rays, and Anissa's superstrength? We can't wait to find out.

Click on the video report of The Hashtag Show below to find out more.


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Cora Llamas is a certified Trekker, a Sherlock buff, a comic book collector (mainly DC), and a follower of Game of Thrones and the cinematic LOTR. Other than that, all other sci-fi and fantasy titles in film, TV, and literature are fair game. The same eclecticism follows her professional writing career. In her various stints, she writes and blogs on a wide range of topics from IT, corporate housing, mining, to theater.