Fans Learn More Details About The CW’s New DC Super Hero During Saturday’s Comic-Con Panel

AN DIEGO and BURBANK, Calif. (July 22, 2017) — The excitement surrounding The CW’s latest addition to its DC Super Hero lineup was electrifying at Warner Bros. Television’s Black Lightning Comic-Con 2017® panel Saturday, July 22, as fans learned that two new characters will enter the beleaguered community where local hero Jefferson Pierce secretly fights crime as masked vigilante Black Lightning. Executive producers Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil announced at the session that James Remar and Damon Gupton will light up the screen as two new series regulars when Black Lightning premieres midseason on The CW. Fans were also charged up to view a special sneak peak of the upcoming series.

James Remar

James Remar (Dexter, Django Unchained, The Warriors) joins the cast as Peter Gambi, the oldest friend of Jefferson Pierce (series star Cress Williams). Gambi is Jefferson’s father figure, mentor and “tailor.” His history with Jefferson goes back farther and deeper than anyone knows, and Gambi’s role in Jefferson’s life will become a painful window into the past that will affect the future of their relationship forever.

Damon Gupton

Damon Gupton (Bates Motel, Whiplash, La La Land) will play Inspector Henderson, a veteran officer of the law who is now the highest-ranking detective on the force. His role in the community puts him at odds with Black Lightning (Williams), but they soon become unlikely allies.

Based on the characters from DC, Black Lightning is from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Supergirl), Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil (Being Mary Jane, The Game, Girlfriends) and Sarah Schechter (Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Supergirl). The Black Lightning character was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden.

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ClarkKent_DC said:

If the pilot episode helps anybody who didn't already know understand what "driving while Black" is -- and what's wrong with it -- it's worth it.

The writing, acting, and even the editing of this are all top-notch -- this is shaping up to be a much more serious and adult superhero show than we usually get (as opposed to silly but grim, which is what Arrow is) -- and so far it's of a much higher caliber of drama than the other CW shows. The conflict between good and evil is an easy choice. The conflict between two goods? That's hard. And that's exactly what we've got in the divide between Jeff and Lynn.

Also: The music! Black Lightning just flat-out sounds better than any other superhero show!   

We watched the first two episodes and really enjoyed the writing and the acting. When the Black Lightning comic debuted I did buy it but this was the time when everything was being piled up unread, before I quit buying cold turkey. I think I looked at it or maybe even read the first issue. It was probably handicapped by the restrictions of the time. This was much more impressive.

My favorite comic book iteration of the character was the short-lived 1994 series written (briefly) by Tony Isabella with art by Eddie Newell.

My least favorite treatment was when Judd Winick wrote him into Green Arrow back in the early 2Ks. winick was the one who "retconned" Jefferson Pierce's daughters into existance.

In the second episode, someone mentioned how you couldn't look directly at Black Lightning's face -- it hurt your eyes. That's pretty cool.

Yeah, I really liked that -- it struck me as a modification of the old Jay Garrick trick of slightly vibrating his face so his features couldn't be recognized. And it makes it slightly more plausible that his daughters won't recognize him. 

And Jeff, I didn't appreciate Winick retconning daughters for Black Lightning, either, at the time -- but I'm glad they're here now. 

Same here.

Both daughters in the comics have super-powers, and I assume that will happen here. That may give the former Mrs. Pierce some second thoughts about Jefferson's night job -- and a reason to stick around. I hope so. This works as a family drama as much as it does two or three other genres.

I can see the former Mrs. Pierce trying to forbid her daughter AND Jeff from using their powers, which won't go well. Not to mention her blaming him for the kid having powers.

Yeah, it works as family drama too!

Also, does it amuse anyone else that Jeff's cop friend (and apparent neighbor) is "Inspector Henderson"? I get a smile out of that every time.

I think Henderson was in the original Black Lightning comic from the 70s, too. 

My worry with Lynn is that she'll wind up in the role of scold -- wanting to keep the main character from doing exactly what it is the audience is tuning in to see him do. Those characters wind up getting hated by fans -- Skyler on Breaking Bad is a good example -- and I hope for better for her. 

I wonder if, as a neuroscientist, she has any data to back up that Black Lightning is an addiction, as she calls it. Has she monitored Jeff's brain? Has she seen evidence in the neurochemicals that mirrors physical addiction? And wouldn't it be interesting is she's right about that?

That said, I thought the conversation between her and Peter Gambi was the weakest part of episode two -- like they both had to stake out their philosophical territory clearly, and so there wasn't much room for the people behind those viewpoints to shine through.

I think Gambi is the weakest part of the show, period. For my money, he hasn't done a convincing line reading yet -- everything he says is done in the same breathless monotone. Maybe it's the way the character is written, as he's pretty one-dimensional.

As to Lynn, I couldn't conceive of a way for her to stay on the show at all -- for the very reasons you cite -- if it wasn't for the daughters gaining powers. Now, instead of Black Lightning being the one person in the family who has super-powers being advised to not use them, the situation is flipped -- Lynn will be the one person who doesn't have them. That's going to force her to re-evaluate her stance. She may be against super-powers enough to end her marriage over them, but not enough to drive her daughters away. This is a situation ripe with potential for ongoing drama as characters shift perspective and relationships, and so far the writers have given me confidence they can rise to that challenge. It could be a fascinating journey.

Otherwise, yes, if she remains a one-note Dr. No she'll burn up viewer tolerance pretty quickly. 

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