The story of Black Lightning is set to centre on Jefferson Pierce, a man who hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago but with a daughter hellbent on justice and a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend Black Lightning. The character was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden for DC Comics, making his debut in 1977 and was one of the first major African-American superheroes in the comics. His two daughters also would follow in his superhero footsteps, with Anissa Pierce aka Thunder and become a member of the Outsiders, while Jennifer Pierce aka Lightning would be recruited by the Justice Society of America.
Nafessa Williams (whose credits include True to the Game and Code Black) will be playing the role of Anissa Pierce — passionate and quick-witted, Jefferson’s twenty-something daughter balances the demands of medical school with her job teaching part-time at her father’s school. China Anne McClain (whose credits include A.N.T Farm and Descendants: Wicked World) will be playing the role of the teenage Jennifer Piere, an independent, outspoken scholar-athlete with a wild streak of her own. They will join previous cast Cress Williams, who is playing Jefferson Pierce.
The drama was written by Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, originally given a big order commitment on the FOX network but after much discussion between Berlanti and Co. with the FOX top brass, they came to the decision that the superhero show wasn’t a good fit for the network. The Akil’s will serve as Executive Producers on the pilot along with Sarah Schechter.