Black Lightning ‘DC In DC’ Event Celebrates Inclusion In Comics On MLK Weekend

Black Lightning was created by Tony Isabella in 1977 with illustration by Trevor Von Eeden.
Black Lightning was created by Tony Isabella in 1977 with illustration by Trevor Von Eeden. DC / The CW

Black Lightning premieres on The CW Jan. 16, but attendees of DC Entertainment’s ‘DC In DC’ weekend in Washington, D.C. will get an early look. With Martin Luther King Day taking place Monday, DC Comics is celebrating its first African-American superhero with all-day panels at the Newseum and a premiere at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The panel topics are meaningful and timely. Slated for Saturday at 11 a.m. EST is “The Many Shades of Heroism: DC Heroes Through the African-American Lens” featuring Black Lightning producers Salim and Mara Brock Akil as well as series star Cress Williams. The Black Lightning team is joined by 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley, who just announced his return to comic books with “The Other History of the DC Universe.” Black Girl Nerds editor Jamie Broadnax and The Wind Done Gone writer Alice Randall will join the discussion.

At 12:00 p.m. EST, stars of The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow Caity Lotz, Candice Patton and Danielle Panabaker will join a number of DC Comics writers and artists in a panel titled “Wonder Women.” Directly following is “The Pride of DC: The Art of LGBTQ Inclusion.” The DC animated series Freedom Fighters: The Ray was the first to feature a gay superhero lead. Executive Producer Greg Berlanti joins series star Russell Tovey, Marguerite Bennett (Batwoman), Steve Orlando (Midnighter and Apollo) and Mark Russell (Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles) to talk inclusion and representation in the DC Universe.

Mister Miracle is one of the most popular comic books this year, and it’s fitting writer Tom King will lead the “The Aftermath: Battle & Trauma in Comics” panel at 3 p.m. EST. Jack Kirby’s character Scott Free, a.k.a. Mister Miracle, is a hero who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and King will be joined by Gotham actor J.W. Cortes, a 13-year Marine combat veteran and a police officer with New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The day begins on a lighter note. At 10 a.m. EST, Arrow, The Flash, and Black Lightning executive producers Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter will join DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns to trace the explosion of DC’s superheroes in popular culture in “The Art of the Matter: From Sketch to Screen.” The evening will end with a screening of Black Lightning, open to the public.

DC Comics is also brining a Pop-Up Shop. The hours are Friday, Jan. 12–Sunday, Jan.14, 2018, in front of the Newseum. Merchandise, charging stations and most importantly, free Jitters Coffee.

Black Lightning was created by Tony Isabella with illustration by Trevor Von Eeden in 1977. For more information on this weekend's events, check out the DC In DC website. Make sure to follow @playerdotone and @autumnnoelkelly for live coverage.

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