Superhero fatigue is a real thing these days. The only ones I still watch are Supergirl, Daredevil and Jessica Jones. I’ve given up on Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Agents of Shield. So how does Black Lightning compare? Well, it’s pretty darn good.
The story of a retired superhero who decides to become a vigilante again when his city is in need, Black Lightning injects a lot of freshness into the genre. Not only does it have a black protagonist, it cleverly avoids the origin story route that you’ve seen a million times before. As our protagonist Jefferson Pierce, Cress Williams is a total badass. He’s intimidating in the show’s action sequences, but also extremely likeable and relatable as he tries to juggle his job as a school principal with raising his two formidable daughters. It also helps that he’s surrounded by an all-black cast, which is just so refreshing in a TV landscape that is often so in dire need of diversity.
Speaking of Pierce’s daughters, China Anne McClain and Nafessa Williams are very impressive as Jennifer and Anissa respectively. The pilot manages to give them both a whole lot of personality in a short amount of time, while also dropping a heck of a bombshell by the time the hour comes to a close. Apparently the duo are going to be a huge part of the show’s fabric going forward, and I for one can not wait.
The only drawback? Black Lightning’s suit looks pretty ridiculous with its neon sensibilities. But hey, this is a superhero show after all.
An action-packed and refreshingly original take on the superhero genre. There’s a lot to enjoy here!