This week, we saw the premiere of a brand new superhero series, Black Lightning. In a recent interview with the star of the show, Cress Williams shared that the series will be a rebirth story which has connections with real-life issues. Black Lightning is going to be a milestone for the CW Network as this will be the first DC Comics-inspired television series to tell a story of a black superhero. The series aims to ground it’s story and characters in real-world concerns, according to Williams, which will differentiate itself from the network’s offerings even more.
Even though the series will be tackling racial and other societal issues, Cress Williams assures that the show will be a superhero show through and through. And unlike other superhero shows, the series will not be an origin story, but rather a rebirth story of Jefferson Pierce of how he will take up the mantle of Black Lightning again after he retired a decade ago.
In an interview at the recent DC in D.C. 2018 event, Cress Williams spoke on how the show aims to be more than just superhero action. Williams said:
“[Fans] get their superhero fix with more. Can they get their cake and eat it too. You get all the action you’re used to and the special effects are amazing. The soundtrack is absolute fire. But you also get a great family drama. You get not an origin story but a rebirth story that’s rooted in real-life issues. So I think they’re gonna get action but more.”
He then elaborated what he meant when he said “more”, which is that the series aims to “impact people in a good way” by addressing racial and diversity issues that other shows in the superhero genre simply can’t. It means that it will be creating a series unlike any out there. Williams stated that there wasn’t any real fear of pushback from either the network or the studio.
“As the actors, we wanted to tell truth, we wanted to take the superhero genre to a grounded level that would entertain but also impact people in a good way. Fortunately, if there was any pushback, Salim really protected us from that. He even said to us, ‘Look you guys don’t worry about that. You just do what you need to do and I will take care of the rest.’ Anytime you’re doing something new, people need to see it first. So there’s little bit more pushback, a little bit more ‘Wait, what’re you doing,’ but then once they saw it they were like ‘Oh, okay, go ahead.’ I think there’s less pushback now because they’re really pleased with the product.”
Black Lightning airs Tuesday nights right after The Flash on the CW.