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Black Lightning: Shocking the super world

Abigail Wallace, Page Editor

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The newest comic superhero turned television series will certainly shock the super world. Black Lightning premiered on Jan. 16 on the CW channel.

The new superhero is a member of the DC comic family, first appearing in “Black Lightning #1” in April of 1977. He is a human born with superhuman abilities, also known as a “metahuman.” Created by Tony Isabella, Black Lightning is the first starring African American character in the DC universe.

To the ordinary world, he’s known as Jefferson Pierce, Garfield High School principal. Behind the scenes, Pierce fights crime in the Metropolis city with his powerful ability to manipulate electricity. However, in the first episode, audiences begin the series with Black Lightning as a retired superhero, his arch nemesis, Tobias Curtis, believing he’s dead.

Black Lightning is the latest superhero show on the CW among the ranks of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. However, the new show isn’t part of the Arrowverse like all the others.

The first episode had a darker, more realistic tone than the other CW superhero shows. It can be compared to the early days of Arrow in that it’s set in a dark city and the starring superhero is willing to kill.

Black Lightning opens in Freeland, where a gang, “The 100,” is terrorizing the city. Pierce’s daughter, Anissa, is being picked up at the police station after participating in a riot.

Throughout the episode, the audience follows Pierce in his internal struggle over whether or not to bring Black Lightning out of retirement. The episode also explores the topic of racism, as Pierce fights to contain his powers that reemerge with these times of extreme emotion. In one scene, viewers watch as two white cops pull him over and roughly handle him, while Pierce committed no crime.

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Black Lightning: Shocking the super world