The CW has released the first teaser trailer for Greg Berlanti's upcoming superhero series Black Lightning, which looks to be a slightly different kind of show than the network is used to. With a middle-aged character as its protagonist, it already feels more adult and judging from the footage, it's sure to be badass.
The show centres on Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), a charismatic African-American man who hung up his super-suit back in 2005, in favour of working as the principal of a high school in South Central Los Angeles. Despite retiring all those years ago – at the behest of his wife (Christine Adams) – he's forced to become Black Lightning again when his community school starts being terrorised by a local gang.
While Pierce will obviously be the focus throughout the series, the clip also teases that "justice, walks like thunder, strikes like lightning... and runs in the family," putting emphasis on his two daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain). In the comics, the pair have their own superhero aliases; Thunder and Lightning respectively, and it looks the show is going to showcase their electrifying talents as well as their father's.
First introduced in DC Comics in 1977, Black Lightning is an Olympic-level athlete, who was born with the ability to generate and control lightning. Before working with Batman and his team of Outsiders and eventually the Justice League, he worked as a vigilante taking down organised crime in Metropolis' Suicide Slum.
As most superhero enthusiasts already know, Black Lightning is far from the first superhero show to find its home on The CW Comic book adaptations such as Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow all air on consecutive nights on the US channel and regularly see characters from each series crossover into other titles. Unfortunately for fans of the team-ups, Black Lightning will remain unconnected to the existing four (collectively known as the Arrowverse) however, as it films in Atlanta and is set to debut in January (rather than filming in Vancouver, Canada and airing at the end of each year like the others).
"We do not aim to do a five-way crossover," network chief Mark Pedowitz explained to Entertainment Weekly on 18 May. "Black Lightning, at this time, is not part of the Arrowverse. It is a separate situation. But there will be a big fourth quarter crossover with all four of the shows that are on in the fall.
"We believe we have the best superhero programming around anywhere," Pedowitz continued. "Our belief is that we will never have more than four DC shows [on] at a time, as far as that goes, so we'll always have a rotation of some sort."