“Black Lightning” Spinoff Spun as Backdoor Pilot

by Jay
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Black Lightning spinoff “Painkiller” is being tailored as a backdoor pilot on the CW.

As its parent series has been announced to end with its fourth season, the timing of this announcement is very convenient. It is the first DC character this season to be developed for a pilot. The verdict on the proposed Arrow spinoff, “Green Arrow and The Canaries,” is still up in the air, as is the 100 spinoff.

“Black Lightning” Spinoff – Who Is Painkiller and What Can Fans Expect?

Starring Jordan CallowayPainkiller will continue the redemptive journey of Khalil Payne, aka Painkiller. This version is based upon a DC character created in 1995 by Tony Isabella and Eddie Newell. His civilian identity, however, was created for TV. Once a promising track star at Jefferson Pierce’s high school, Khalil was paralyzed in the first season by a shot by Tobias Whale’s assassin meant for a pastor. Whale later twisted the facts to turn the embittered Khalil to his own ends and into the enhancement program. The result was the new identity of Painkiller, whose cybernetic enhancements granted him superhuman strength and the secretion of a paralytic agent that could be fired through arm mounted dart launchers. What made his dark journey more conflicted was having to combat Black Lightning while still having feelings for Pierce’s daughter, Jennifer, aka Lightning. Initially with alliances to both Whale and Agent Odell of the nefarious NSA, Painkiller gradually turned on both of his handlers. His rebellion leads to his death and resurrection. This new series will see Khalil attempt a fresh start after relocating to Akashic Valley while combating the darker impulses within. Eventually, his past intrudes upon his idyllic new life and he is forced back into action, this time with justice on his mind rather than destruction.

No official synopsis has been announced, but Berlanti Productions – the backing of the Arrowverse shows on the CW – will not be involved.


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