Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil are headed back to television with the superhero series Black Lightning, and we’ll get to see Black girls wielding superpowers.
The series, which is set to hit The CW in 2018, follows Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), a man with a secret. A father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school in a New Orleans neighborhood overrun by gang violence, Jefferson is hiding his superhuman power. He can harness and control electricity. Nine years ago, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as Black Lightning. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him … or so he thought. With crime and corruption spreading like wildfire and the birth of the volatile gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns.
On the series, Nafessa Williams and China Anne McClain will play Jefferson’s daughters, Anissa and Jennifer Pierce, respectively. Anissa, aka Thunder, is a 20-something trying to balance medical school and teaching at her father’s school while Jennifer, aka Lightning, is a teenage athlete and scholar with a wild streak. In the Black Lightning comics, Thunder and Lightning eventually get their own powers and apparently they will have them in the series as well.
When discussing the show at the 2017 Essence Festival, Brock Akil said, “His daughters will have powers. So, two young Black girls are going to be in a superhero suit. The empowerment that we have to help, save and be the hope in our own lives is what Black Lightning is all about.” Peep the trailer below.