Black Lightning Joins The Flash On Tuesdays: Get To Know The Cast

Actors Nafessa Williams, Cress Williams, China Anne McClain and Christine Adams on the #IMDboat at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 at The IMDb Yacht on July 22, 2017 in San Diego, California.
Actors Nafessa Williams, Cress Williams, China Anne McClain and Christine Adams on the #IMDboat at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 at The IMDb Yacht on July 22, 2017 in San Diego, California. Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for IMDb

There hasn’t been much news about Black Lightning outside of the first issue of Tony Isabella and artist Clayton Henry’s new series, Cold Dead Hands, but now The CW show has a release date. Black Lightning will take over Legends of Tomorrow' s current timeslot on Tuesday Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. EST. While The Flash returns from midseason on Jan. 16, Supergirl on Jan. 15 and Arrow on Jan. 18, The CW only said Legends will return sometime in February, on a new night.

For those not acquainted with DCTV’s newest hero, the man inside the blue supersuit is Jefferson Pierce. The character, first created by Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden, is the electromagnetic-powered hero who inspired the many to follow, including Static. Like the original comic book series, the TV show focuses on Pierce, his two metahuman daughters, and his ex-wife, Lynn Pierce.

Cress Williams will play Pierce, a man in his mid-forties, principal at the local high school and retired superhero. Pierce’s two daughters, Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Ann McClain) take on the roles of Thunder and Lightning. Christine Adams will bring Lynn to life, after she split with her husband over his return to vigilantism.

James Remar plays Peter Gambi and Damon Gupton is Inspector Henderson, both staple characters from the comics. Gambi appears right off the bat in Black Lightning #1 as Jefferson Pierce’s confidant. He is the only good guy among a family of villains, a tailor in Metropolis' Suicide Slum. When he was a young mob member, he actually killed Pierce's father, but he reformed and designed Black Lightning’s costume and force field belt. Gambi eventually sacrificed his life for Pierce, who forgave him for his past crimes.

Inspector Henderson, head of Metropolis Organized Crime division, doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Black Lightning right away, but they do share the goal of taking down a notorious gang known as The 100. Henderson just doesn’t necessarily agree with Pierce’s approach, but, they develop a mutual respect after Black Lightning saves Henderson from Tobias Whale. Henderson actually entered the Black Lightning comics around the same time Superman and Jimmy Olsen appeared, when Black Lightning was being framed for murdering Joseph Toledo by Merlyn.

As for other canon cast members, Chantal Thuy will portray Anissa’s romantic interest, Grace Choi. Judd Winick and Tom Raney created Grace, who first appears in Outsiders #1 in 2003. That’s where she hits it off with Anissa, aka Thunder. Jill Scott is also set to play Lady Eve, a villain with links to the Kobra Cult in comic lore. In Black Lightning , she is the middleman between Tobias Whale and a secret group of corrupt leaders.

Speaking of Tobias Whale, he’ll be played by Marvin “Krondon” Jones III. An African-American man with albinism, Whale was a corrupt politician until he was taken down by Alvin Pierce, Black Lightning’s father. He killed Alvin in revenge, which drove him underground to build The 100 gang.

Black Lightning put his trust in the system to provide equal justice for all. “But how can there be justice when darkness rules our streets? Our kids are dying and nobody cares. We won’t let this evil consume us. It’s time for him to return and light up the darkness once more,”Pierce says in the voiceover of the first trailer revealed at San Diego Comic-Con. Considering the series premieres in January, hopefully we get some more footage soon.

Are you ready for Black Lightning? Let us know in the comments.

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