Why Jefferson Pierce Of ‘Black Lightning’ Is A Refreshing Superhero

Superheroes are seemingly everywhere. Yes, the genre is oversaturated with DC and Marvel and more. Yet, Black Lightning stands out. Why is that?

How does Black Lightning rise above the typical tropes and bring a nice, new, refreshing take on the superhero? It’s all to do with its titular character. Jefferson Pierce is a high school principal by day and a superhero by night, which may sound a bit cliche but it somehow isn’t.

Pierce is a well-rounded superhero and stands out even amongst the crowd. Let’s get into why.

What makes Jefferson Pierce so refreshing?

Cress Williams and Christine Adams promoting Black Lightning at Comic Con
Cress Williams and Christine Adams promoting Black Lightning at SDCC | Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room: Jefferson Pierce, also known as Black Lightning, — portrayed beautifully by Cress Williams — is a black man. That is part of what makes him so refreshing as a superhero. Perhaps it shouldn’t be noteworthy but somehow it still is. Representation is important and isn’t as widespread as it should be…yet.

However, heroes like Black Lightning are slowly but surely changing that. Fortunately for fans, Black Lightning isn’t the typical superhero. He’s much more grounded in reality than that.

Why is ‘Black Lightning’ so realistic?

Not only does Black Lightning deal with real life issues, from racism to family dynamics, but the show is far more realistic than typical superhero shows. It shows realistic people making realistic choices. It also is strongly tied to the community it takes place in.

Jefferson Pierce and his family all care deeply about their community. They do what they can to help it and to save it when necessary. The Pierces also truly feel like a family, with all the complications that brings as well as all the joys. Pierce is a truly unique superhero in many ways.

Why is Jefferson Pierce of ‘Black Lightning’ such a new take on superheroes?

Another reason that Jefferson Pierce is so refreshing as a superhero is that he’s not just a superhero. He has other aspects to his life. He has a job and a family and is somewhat of a hero to his community outside of his Black Lightning persona.

It’s nice to see a different kind of hero. One who tries his best to be a hero in ordinary ways as well as extraordinary ways. A hero that truly fights for his community.

Though all superheroes care about the fate of the world, not all superheroes are like Jefferson Pierce. Pierce truly is a hero in every sense of the word. Not only does he have superpowers, but he really does his best, in every aspect of his life, to help others.

How does Jefferson Pierce help others?

Not only is he a superhero, he’s also an inspiration to his community. Jefferson Pierce’s day job is being principal of Garfield High School. He inspires his students to be the best people they can be and to rise above what others may think of them or their community. He emphasizes that only they can live their own lives and that is key to his success with the students.

Of course, Pierce also helps others as Black Lightning, yet most of the community doesn’t know that. Regardless, Pierce is known as “Black Jesus” and is respected and loved within his community. He is seen as a success story and a role model.

It’s easy to see why Jefferson Pierce is such a refreshing superhero. He does not have the ego that some superheroes might have. He genuinely comes from a place of wanting to help his community. And he’s doing a pretty good job of protecting them.