The new Black Lightning extended trailer and poster spotlight Jefferson Pierce, as well as his superhero daughters and the villainous Tobias Whale. Cress Williams, whose previous work includes recurring roles on TV series like Hart of Dixie and Friday Night Lights, stars on the show as Jefferson Pierce, aka. Black Lightning himself. Williams is joined by Christine Adams (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Nafessa Williams (Twin Peaks: The Return), and China Anne McClain (House of Payne) as Jefferson’s wife Lynn, as well as his daughters Anissa and Jennifer, respectively.
Black Lightning picks up years after Jefferson first gained his superhuman lightning abilities. In the show’s present-day, Jefferson has been retired from the superhero game for nearly a decade, after one too many nights of crime-fighting started to take their toll on both Jefferson’s physical health and the emotional well-being of his family. Jefferson has spent the years since then protecting his hometown as a law-abiding school principal, doing his best to help young people and prevent them from pursuing a life of crime. However, when trouble rears its ugly head and crime starts spreading once more, Jefferson realizes that he has no choice but to put on his supersuit and return to work as Black Lightning once again.
The CW has now released an extended trailer for Black Lighting online, following the release of multiple teasers for the show during this year’s Arrowverse crossover, ‘Crisis on Earth-X’. A new poster for the series has also been unveiled, with Jefferson standing front and center alongside his two daughters – who, by the looks of it, are already on their way to adapting their own superhero identities as Lightning and Thunder. You can watch the trailer in the space above, then check out the poster below.
Created and overseen by married showrunners Mara Brock and Salim Akil (Being Mary Jane), Black Lightning also stars Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III (Harry’s Law) as Tobias Whale, the crime boss who will serve as the big bad for the show’s first season. The extended trailer for Black Lightning offers an introduction to the villain, establishing that he has a history with the eponymous superhero and revealing that he’s not exactly happy when he learns that his presumed dead enemy is now back in action. Lynn is also shown being not so pleased here, upon discovering that Jefferson has gotten back into the vigilante game.
Black Lightning is already shaping up to be a unique addition to The CW’s collection of DC TV superhero TV series, judging by its marketing alone. The show not only features a black family at the center of its superhero fantasy melodrama, it also has the look and feel of a Daredevil-style comic book inspired gritty crime drama. Like Marvel and Netflix’s Luke Cage series, Black Lightning‘s onscreen inclusivity is reflected behind the scenes too, with the Akils bringing what appears to be a strong sense of authenticity to the show’s family dynamics, as well as its portrayal of life within a predominately black community.
For the time being, Black Lightning isn’t part of the Arrowverse and understandably so. Based on the trailer footage alone, Black Lighting will have more of a grounded tone and style than most of the Arrowverse, save for perhaps Arrow (though even that show has moved away from its roots as a Batman Begins-style gritty superhero saga). It’s certainly possible that Black Lightning will eventually become part of the multiverse that includes Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, but for now it might be best that the former be allowed to exist and hopefully thrive on its own.
Black Lightning premieres Tuesday, January 16 at 9/8c on The CW.