What Is ‘Black Lightning’ About?

Ever wanted to watch Black Lightning? Wondered what the show was about? Well then you’ve come to the right place.

Black Lightning is one of the most underrated superhero shows on the CW. It’s not as well known as Arrow or The Flash or even Legends of Tomorrow. Yet you might want to get acquainted with the CW’s newest superhero. Especially since the titular character of Black Lightning — and perhaps others from the show — will appear in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event.

Though Black Lightning will not contribute an episode to the crossover, some of the main characters will appear in the already existing episodes. So for those of you unfamiliar with Black Lightning, be prepared, because you’re about to get a crash course on what Black Lightning is about.

What is ‘Black Lightning’ based on?

Black Lightning cast at SDCC
Marvin “Krondon” Jones III, Cress Williams, Christine Adams, Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain, James Remar, and Damon Gupton at SDCC | Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Black Lightning is based on the DC Comics hero of the same name. However, there are most likely many changes made by the writers to make the story fit the TV format. For example, in the comics, Black Lightning lives in an area on the Southside of Metropolis, known as “Suicide Slum”, while in the show he lives in a town called Freeland.

In the comics, Black Lightning’s powers come from his suit and belt, made by Peter Gambi. While Gambi still makes his suit in the show, Black Lightning’s powers do not solely come from the suit. It does, however, help him to control and direct his powers.

What is the story of ‘Black Lightning’?

Jefferson Pierce seems like a normal enough guy. He is the principal of a school, a teacher, a father, yet he has a secret. He’s also Black Lightning, the superhero who helps the people of Freeland. In the beginning, no one except his ex-wife Lynn knows his secret. After one too many risks to his life, he decides to give up the superhero thing for good.

Until one day something happens and his daughter Jennifer winds up dealing with local gang The One Hundred. So Jefferson puts on his suit again and goes to save his daughter. The community of Freeland then wonders, is Black Lightning back? Pierce is initially not interested but eventually sees no choice but to resurrect his superhero persona.

What happens once Black Lightning is back officially?

This is where things get complicated. You see, Black Lightning isn’t alone for long. He is joined in protecting the citizens of Freeland by Thunder and a somewhat reluctant Lightning. Who are Thunder and Lightning?

Thunder is Anissa Pierce and Lightning is Jennifer Pierce. That’s right, Pierce’s daughters are superheroes too. Black Lightning is about a family of superheroes, not just one. Although Pierce is initially unhappy about his daughters risking their lives, he eventually embraces it as much as a protective father ever can.

And that’s good because they have a lot of evil to fight. From local gang The One Hundred, to Tobias Whale, who killed Jefferson Pierce’s father, there is never a dull moment in Freeland. And fans likely wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, do you feel like you know more about Black Lightning? Good. And there’s still time to catch up on the first two seasons before season 3 premieres on the CW on October 7th!