Review: Black Lightning 1×02 – “LaWanda: The Book of Hope”

by Shean Mohammed
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[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Director: Salim Akil

Writer: Oz Scott

Starring: Cress Williams, Nafessa Williams , China Ann McClain ,Christine Adams, James Remar, Damon Gupton and Marvin Jones III


As the community struggles with the violence surrounding them, a glimmer of hope appears: Is Black Lightning back? Lynn Stewart, noticing the changes in the community, is also left wondering. While Jefferson Pierce struggles with his decision, Gambi urges him to take up the mantle once more and return to life as Black Lightning. Anissa and Jennifer try to deal with the aftermath of their jolting experience.


This episode deals with the fallout from the reappearance of Black Lightning, as the one question that most superhero shows and movies often avoid is asked — where are these superheroes when crime and violence are commonplace and civilian lives are at risk daily? We find Jefferson Pierce talking to parents in the community, trying to address how the community should move forward with the heavy presence of the 100. This episode also gives the viewer a more layered look at Tobias Whale, as we finally see a villain who you would believe is able to scare anyone and rules with an Iron Fist, as the portrayal by Marvin ”Krondon” Jones III is exceptional, considering this is only his second acting job, as he is mostly known for being a rapper.

Just when I thought this show was hitting on all cylinders, it levels up on this episode by giving a mostly positive depiction of an LGBTQ relationship between the character of Anissa and her girlfriend Chenoa, and what gives it weight is the mere fact that this is not a “coming out” story, as those stories usually occupy most LGBTQ representations.

Lastly, the relationship between Gambi and Lynn is probably one of the more interesting pairs on the show, as their connection is also the source of their rift and they mostly argue about who Jefferson needs to be.


The deaths of two characters already in the second episode is quite sudden and jarring, as it would have been interesting to see how they would’ve shaped the narrative of gang violence in Freeland, but I am pretty sure the showrunners did this to speed up the confrontation between Black Lightning and Tobias Whale.

You should definitely watch this show as it seems to be getting better with every episode!!!!!


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