Why Anissa Pierce AKA Thunder From ‘Black Lightning’ Is a Refreshing Superhero

Anissa Pierce may not be the main character of Black Lightning, yet she stands out. Her alter ego of Thunder gives her father, Black Lightning, some stiff competition. Luckily for Black Lightning it’s all friendly competition.

Thunder assists Black Lightning with helping the people of Freeland. She’s also very powerful in her own right. With season 3 of the show fast approaching, let’s get into why she’s such a refreshing take on a superhero, just like her father.

Why is Anissa Pierce AKA Thunder from ‘Black Lightning’ so refreshing?

Nafessa Williams (Anissa Pierce/Thunder) promoting Black Lightning at Comic Con
Nafessa Williams promoting Black Lightning at Comic Con | Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Let’s address the two elephants in the room. Anissa Pierce — portrayed wonderfully by Nafessa Williams — is a black lesbian. Representation in the media matters, which is why her race and sexuality are relevant. Just like her father Jefferson, she is changing the superhero landscape.

While representation probably shouldn’t be noteworthy, somehow it still is. However, heroes like Black Lightning and Thunder change that. They show that anyone can be a hero. Thunder is also refreshing because, like her father, she is a realistic vision of a superhero.

Why is Thunder so realistic?

Thunder is so realistic because Black Lightning, as a show, is realistic. Another reason that Thunder is so realistic is because she is well-rounded. Like with her father, being a superhero is not the only thing in her life. She is a medical student, a teacher, and an activist.

She is also a sister and a daughter, two roles that are key for Anissa. Her family is very important to her. The family setting is part of what makes Anissa/Thunder so unique. She is not only a superhero, she comes from a family of superheroes.

What else makes Anissa Pierce AKA Thunder so refreshing?

Besides the fact that she’s a black lesbian superhero and her realism, what makes Anissa Pierce/Thunder so special? The answer lies in her lack of ego. She does not become a superhero because she thinks it’s so cool, she does it to help others.

Everything Anissa/Thunder does is for the sake of her community and her family. She is an inspiration for many fans. Not only does she save the world in extraordinary ways, she also saves it in ordinary ways. She always stands up for what she believes in, no matter what.

How does Anissa Pierce/Thunder stand up for what she believes in?

Not only does Anissa save the world as Thunder, she also saves the world as an activist within her community. During season 2, she also develops another alter ego which she uses to steal money from the gang the 100 and give it to the community. This money is going to be used to help families sue the government to see their children that are being kept in pods due to access to the drug Green Light.

This is another way that Anissa saves her community. In season 3, she will likely lean on this alter ego a bit more, as the secret government agency the ASA already knows about her identity as Thunder. This will allow her to continue saving the world, at least as long as the government doesn’t find out.

It is easy to see why Anissa Pierce aka Thunder from Black Lightning is such a refreshing superhero. She, like her father, doesn’t have the ego that some superheroes might have. She also is not broody about her powers like some might be, viewing them as a blessing from God. In general, Anissa/Thunder is unique.