‘Black Lightning’ EP On Series Dealing With Social Issues, Crossovers & More

Black LightningBlack Lightning will be joining The CW next year during mid-season when Cress Williams brings Jefferson Pierce to life. The show comes from executive producers Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil, and Greg Berlanti as this will be the network’s fifth superhero series.

Akil recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly where he previewed what we can expect from this new DC series and more. When asked if the series will deal with social issues, including Black Lives Matter and more, Akil assured that the series will definitely tackle those themes.

“All of that and more. It’s a wonderful platform to have an American conversation. What we all need to understand is that this is an American story, this is not a black story. This is an American story seen through the eyes of someone who happens to be a black man. Now we do black on purpose, but he is an American. He’s an Olympian who represented his country well. He is the American dream. Black Lightning, Jefferson Pierce, is the American dream. It’s a great opportunity to have a conversation with everyone about a myriad of things. It’s not just Black Lives Matter; his daughter is a lesbian. We’re going to have conversations about what that means in America and in families. So that’s a whole other conversation that we’re going to have. We’re excited because we’re going to represent conversations that are happening in America, but through the prism and the cultural specificity — we’re going to be culturally specific, but universal in our themes so that everyone can see themselves in these stories.”

As of right now, Black Lightning will not be part of Berlanti’s Arrowverse with The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. When asked about the chances for crossovers, Akil stressed that they want to make sure they establish the world of Black Lightning first before starting to think about crossing over with other superhero shows. However, Akil also pointed out that he isn’t opposed to Black Lightning sharing the screen with the Arrowverse heroes one day.

“Jefferson is on planet earth 2017-2018. From my perspective, the reason that we walk down this road was because, let’s all be honest, the majority of people may know the title Black Lightning, but they don’t really know who Jefferson and Black Lightning is, and I felt like it was very, very important for us to get to know who he is and who this character is and what his wants and needs and vulnerabilities are before we start introducing a lot of other things into that. That’s the main reason: I want people to get to know this family. I want them to get to understand what kind of villains that he’s fighting. There ain’t many superheroes down in the ghetto, or so-called ghettos. The communities that Jefferson and Black Lightning is trying to save is the communities like Chicago, Watts, all of the things that we see on television, those are very real villains and very real heroes. We want to explore through Jefferson and Anissa and Jennifer’s eyes, and Gambi’s eyes, we want to try to understand these communities not just as victims, but as hard-working people, blue collar people, who are caught in some very f—ed up circumstances, but it doesn’t make them less than, and we shouldn’t ignore them. One of the things that Black Lightning will do, and Jefferson will do, is be able to introduce the humanity of the people who are caught in these communities. So I didn’t want to distract from that, and I didn’t want to distract from us getting to know Jefferson, Jennifer, and Anissa, or Black Lightning, Thunder, and Lightning. I wanted people to get to know them first.

Now, you know, everything is possible. But hopefully this season everybody will just get to know them and get to respect them and accept them for who they are before we start making other moves. Yeah, I’m not opposed to it at all.”

“Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe haven for young people in a New Orleans neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero to his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning. However, after too many nights with his life on the line, and seeing the effects of the damage and loss that his alter ego was inflicting on his family, he left his Super Hero days behind and settled into being a principal and a dad. Choosing to help his city without using his superpowers, he watched his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) grow into strong young women, even though his marriage to their mother, Lynn (Christine Adams), suffered. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns — to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community. 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,” “The Flash”), Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Girlfriends”), and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash”). The Black Lightning character was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden.”

Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil & Greg Berlanti’s Black Lightning, starring Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning, Nafessa Williams as Anissa Pierce, China Anne McClain as Jennifer Pierce and Christine Adams as Lynn Pierce, will premiere mid-season on The CW.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

New Comic Book Shows That Are Coming In 2017-2018

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Comic Book TVThe current TV season is pretty much done as several comic book and superhero TV shows have concluded their respective seasons. All the comic book shows that aired this year will be back for the new TV season with The CW’s The Flash, Supergirl, Riverdale, iZombie, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, with ABC bringing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. back for another season and FOX giving Gotham and Lucifer another go.

FX is also bringing back their new comic book TV hit series with Legion while AMC is bringing back The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead for new seasons, along with their new Vertigo hit Preacher. While the comic book TV landscape is already epic in scope, it’s only going to get bigger next year. The 2017-2018 television season is going to be one of the biggest seasons of all time for comic book adaptations for both DC and Marvel.

To make it a bit easier to keep up with what is coming out next season, we have put together a perfect guide of what new comic book shows are coming to the silver screen. The shows that we have listed are those that have officially been picked up to series and been guaranteed a slot for the 2017-2018 TV season, for both broadcast television, cable and streaming services.

Several of these new comic book shows, while picked up to series, are still in the process of casting their leads as well as getting official premiere dates set. Hit the NEXT button below and let’s go through all the new exciting comic book and superhero television shows that are coming from DC and Marvel.

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Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht is an online entertainment journalist who has been covering television and movies since 2010. In addition, he is also a podcast producer.