The story of Black Lightning focuses 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.
I knew way too much about the world as a young boy growing up in Richmond, California. I was no stranger to violence, death, hopelessness or the feeling that no one cared about what was happening in my life. Comics were a great way for me to escape. I was about 13 when Black Lightning was created, and finally there was a Black Super Hero that gave a damn about our neighbourhood and our lives. Resurrecting him at a time in our society when a sense of hope is lacking…Black Lightning will be that hope. And in updating the suit, it will signal to a new generation that it’s time to harness and release our power, and become our own Super Heroes.
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. Black Lightning stars Cress Williams, Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain and Christine Adams.