‘Black Lightning’ offers unique depiction of comic book heroes

Freeland is in shambles, and it is up to one electrifying superhero to save the day.

“Black Lighting” is a new DC Comics television show that airs on the CW. The show centers around a retired superhero with electric powers who gets back into his costume to fight the 100 gang, a criminal organization that causes tyranny within the city of Freeland.

The show recently completed its first season, which delves into the origins of Black Lightning and his desire to rid Freeland of all the drugs, corruption and crime.

Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a school principal who has given up his past life as a crime fighter. After the 100 gang kidnaps his daughters, Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain), Jefferson suits up as Black Lightning one last time to save them.

After witnessing the negative impact the 100 gang has on Freeland, Jefferson decides to continue his position as the city’s protector with the help of his past mentor and friend Peter Gambi (James Remar), despite his ex-wife, Lynn (Christine Adams), who is disapproving of his efforts. With Tobias Whale (Marvin Jones III), the murderer of Jefferson’s father, leading the 100 gang, Black Lightning will need all the help he can get.

I really enjoyed the first season of this new superhero show. It was interesting seeing Black Lightning, a DC superhero who rarely gets recognition within pop culture, in his own live-action television series.

black lightningThe show does a great job of diving deep into the origins of Black Lightning and presenting the source material with exciting action and interesting characters.

Learning about a superhero I do not normally read about in the comics was very entertaining. I hope to see a second season that reveals more about Black Lightning.

    I really enjoy the overall story arc in this show. Later in the season, Black Lightning discovers that Tobias is behind the distribution of a new drug known as Green Light. This drug is responsible for the appearance of metahumans in Freeland and plays a part in the origins of Black Lightning’s powers.

Seeing Black Lightning facing a huge crime organization was very interesting, as he is a complex character facing many issues. Jefferson is a person who is conflicted by his need to be Black Lightning and his desire to be a role model as a school principal.

I really like how the show represented Black Lightning as a superhero who needs to fight crime in order to find strength within himself to lead his students.

I also like how the show utilizes the rest of the characters. Black Lightning’s allies, such as Gambi, who has a complicated past, and Anissa, who later develops powers and becomes the heroine known as Thunder, develop into intriguing characters as the season progresses.

These two characters were my favorite in this season, as they were not just basic sidekicks to Black Lightning. With Gambi’s experience as a former secret government agent and Anissa’s newfound powers, these characters play an important role in the show by investigating the Green Light distribution.

“Black Lightning” has many intriguing characters who I cannot wait to see again in future seasons. But the acting in this show is one issue that stands out the most.

Despite the characters being interesting and complex, the performances of the actors are dull and do not seem natural. The actors do not have a great chemistry with one another when performing dramatic or lighthearted scenes.

The only performance I enjoyed was the acting of Marvin Jones as Tobias Whale. He is a great villain, as his acting is not over the top or bland, as is the acting of the other actors.

“Black Lightning” is a good show that anyone can enjoy. People who do not read comics can appreciate the story, while comic book fans will enjoy seeing Black Lightning on screen.

With a few flaws and an intriguing, original story, “Black Lightning” has some good qualities other super hero shows do not have.

I give “Black Lightning” an eight out of 10.

Author: Adán Rubio

Staff writer for the Plainsman Press.

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