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Friday, 19 May 2017

Multiverse 101: Who Is Black Lightning?

Yesterday, The CW dropped the first official trailer for Black Lightning, the newest addition to the ever expanding DC TV Universe. Set to premiere during the midway point of the 2017-2018 television season, the show follows Jefferson Piece as he steps into the role of superhero once again to save the city he loves from the criminal organization known as The 100.

Given that we're still a good ways away from the show's small screen debut, we felt it was time to take another trip across the Multiverse to answer the question, Who Is Black Lighting?

First appearing in the pages of Black Lightning #1 back in April 1977, the character was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden, and has the distinction of being DC's first African-American superhero to headline his own comic book series. Born with the ability to generate and manipulate electricity, Jefferson Piece spent most of his life hiding his metahuman abilities.

As a child, Pierce grew up in an area of Metropolis nicknamed Suicide Slum. This was an area of the city overrun with crime, where criminals had full control and no fear of superheroes like Superman. As an adult, Pierce would return to his old neighborhood to serve as the principal of one of the local high schools. Although he initially resisted the call to become a hero, Pierce eventually took up the role of Black Lightning in an effort to combat the ever growing presence of crime and corruption in the city he once called home. Aside from battling the criminal organization known as The 100, Pierce would end up going toe-to-toe with several DC Comics villains including Cyclotronic Man, crime lord Tobias Whale, and even the long-time Green Arrow foe known as Merlyn.

In 1978, DC Comics would cancel the initial Black Lightning comic book, forcing the character into a string of guest appearances throughout the 1980's. He would even end up joining The Outsiders, a group of young heroes handpicked by Batman.

A second series was launched in 1995 with Tony Isabella back on the title. This new book would reunite readers with an older version of the hero, now operating out of Brick City. Following the end of that series, the character of Jefferson Pierce would return to a supporting role. He would end up serving in the administration of President Lex Luthor during the early 2000's and, in 2007, author Brad Meltzer would add the hero to the ranks of the Justice League.

Jefferson would go on to have two daughters, Anissa and Jennifer. Both of the young women would inherit similar powers to their father, and the duo would go on to battle crime as  Thunder and Lightning respectively.

We've been excited by the prospect of a Black Lightning TV show since it was first announced, and after seeing that awesome trailer yesterday, we can't help wishing the clock would jump ahead to next spring so that we can finally watch the newest DC TV series.

If you need a little more convincing that this new show is going to be awesome, be sure to check out the full-length trailer released by The CW yesterday afternoon during their Upfronts presentation!

Until next time, Infinite Earths fans!

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